AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
A collegue of mine recently posted a rhetorical question on his Facebook page - "Is a Gofundme campagin the best hope for a jazz musician's golden years?" I'm sure he was referring to us. We are currently running a Gofundme campagin for jazz drum legend Victor Lewis. Victor has developed a neurological disorder that won't allow him to use his legs. This, of course, will make it impossible for him to work - and not just perform but to get to his teaching job. His manager confided in me that he may very well lose his teaching job if he can't get there. I agree with my friends statement. Time and time again I've seen jazz masters in their older age trapped by their financial situation with no medical insurane or help and the most meager of substinence. I will not name names here but some verifiable geniuses live in destitution. It does seem ironic that after a lifetime of touring, performing and teaching, many senior musicians have nothing to show for it. As old age and infirmity sets in so do the bills and the inability to work. It is disastrous.
I don't have a solution for this in mind for this but I am just remarking on it as I've seen it over and over again. Through the SmallsLIVE Foundation, we are able to come up with grants and emergency funds but it is just a drop in the bucket. There's not much else out there to help senior jazz artists. So, we turn to the community and we do "gofundme" and try our best to subsidize our own beloved masters. It's tough and in some ways futile. But we try and soldier on.
If you would like to help Victor, click the link below to the Gofundme campaign that The SmallsLIVE Foundation and Joanne Klein (Victor's long time manager) are sponsoring. Our goal, really, is to just come up with enough dough that he can go 6 months to a year without work. There will be recovery and hopeful a return to performance.
CLICK HERE FOR THE GOFUNDME LINK.
I sincerely wish everyone a productive, peaceful and blessed New Year - I hope to see everyone at the club.
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