Music Rising Grants Relief Funds to Over 1,400 Musicians Who Suffered Through Pandemic

Music Rising, the charitable organization created after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 by U2’s The Edge, legendary producer Bob Ezrin and a host of musical instrument industry partners has awarded grant relief to 1,474 musicians and industry workers who struggled financially due to the pandemic and after Hurricane Ida. The funds were administered by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and were distributed directly to recipients.

The funds which were raised through a Guitar and Music Memorabilia auction held by Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles in December were designated to applicants who qualified for the financial relief. All approved applicants have been notified of their status. Additional funds raised by the auction will be distributed to other qualifying organizations that support the region’s musicians this summer.

Musicians were quick to respond on receipt of their grants and sent their own personal messages of thanks to Music Rising including:

“I have so much gratitude and am thankful that Music Rising and the N.O. Jazz and Heritage Foundation gifted me with this amazing grant. Peace and Love!” 

“This grant will help me pay for my rent where I have little money to cover it. I am grateful”

“When the shutdown happened I didn’t know how my family would make it. Both my wife and I are musicians and depend 100% on music for income. We have two children under two years old. I am so grateful for this grant. Thank you Music Rising. This money will go a long way to help pay for groceries, living expenses and instrument repair. My family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Music Rising was created in response to a natural disaster that put at risk the musical culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South in 2005. The current pandemic has caused many musicians and industry workers to lose jobs and face financial hardship. The musicians and their crews who depend on tourism and special events were out of work for many months. Music Rising raised the funds needed to keep the music playing. The unique musical heritage and culture of the region have played a significant role in shaping many important careers and as the birthplace of Jazz is an important part of the music’s history.

“New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and represents a musical culture which bears great significance to most every genre today. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose my ability to do what I love – making music. When we created Music Rising we were committed to helping those musicians who suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Now our passion remains steadfast to help those who have suffered financially due to the pandemic. I am personally honored to have been part of helping each of the musicians we have been able to fund and look forward to enjoying the bright sounds and images of music from New Orleans during my next visit.” U2’s The Edge

When we launched Music Rising in 2005 we didn’t have any idea how significant a role the organization would play in helping musicians for as long as it has. We raised significant funds during our Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction to Benefit Music Rising in December and worked closely with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to help bring back the music of New Orleans and its surrounding regions that have fallen somewhat silent due to the pandemic. It’s an amazing tribute to see what Music Rising has been able to accomplish and we want to thank every musician who participated in the auction. We are humbled by your generosity and grateful for all of your continued support of Music Rising.” – Co-Founder and producer, Bob Ezrin

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Executive Director, Don Marshall, added, “For generations, our music community has contributed to the soul of Louisiana; they enrich our lives immeasurably. We are grateful for our partnership with Music Rising. Their support is a lifeline to musicians and music industry professionals.”



Photo credit Shahar Azran

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