Music Rising Grants Relief Funds to over 1,400 Louisiana Musicians and Industry Workers Impacted by the Pandemic

Los Angeles, California(June 2, 2022)Music Rising, the charitable organization created after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has awarded grant relief to 1,474 musicians and industry workers who struggled financially due to the pandemic and after Hurricane Ida. The funds are administered by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and will be 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.”


MUSIC RISING was launched in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. The organization’s mission was to rescue the musical culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region of the United States in the hurricane’s aftermath by replacing musical instruments that were lost or destroyed in the deluge. Co-founded by U2’s The Edge, Gibson Musical Instruments’ Henry Juszkiewicz and legendary producer Bob Ezrin – along with a host of music industry partners, the organization provided instruments to thousands of musicians and many schools, churches, community and cultural programs. In April 2006, the organization helped to re-open the historic Preservation Jazz Hall in New Orleans and Music Rising was the beneficiary of the historic performance by U2 and Green Day that officially reopened the New Orleans Superdome with the New Orleans Saints first home game. Later, the organization dedicated itself to helping churches and schools rebuild their music programs by providing tens of thousands of students with instruments to support music education and choir and band members with instruments they needed to bring music back to their congregations. Music Rising was also dedicated to supporting a variety of community musical and cultural organizations and events. Music Rising also awarded a $1 million grant to Tulane University’s The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University (NOCGS). The Center is now home to the coordinate major, Music Rising – The Musical Cultures of the Gulf South, a course of study focused on the region’s music and culture. The NOCGS also co-sponsors the Trombone Shorty Academy (TSA), a program for teaching musical fundamentals and cultural traditions to young musicians from underserved New Orleans high schools. Music Rising’s commitment continued to grow by providing instruments to other areas across the country affected by natural or economic disasters including the floods of Nashville in 2010, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and others. The charity is the recipient of the 2005 Gold HALO Award for Cause Marketing, the 2006 Billboard Humanitarian Award, the 2008 PRISM Award and the recipient of close to $1 million from the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2016, Music Rising was honored with the prestigious Jazz Foundation of America Medal of Honor. Music Rising is administered by The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and 100% of donations made go directly to its efforts. Fans and supporters can purchase new limited-edition merchandise to benefit the organization directly from the website. To find out more go to


The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation invests proceeds from Jazz Fest and additional funds that we raise for year-round programming in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.  Education Programs include the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lectures, the Class Got Brass competition for school brass bands, a youth audio workshop program, youth vocal workshops, and more!  Economic Development Initiatives include the Community Partnership Grants, the Catapult Fund accelerator program and Sync Up entertainment industry workshops.  

Cultural Enrichment Programs include the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series and annual Foundation Festivals: the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival.  Importantly, these are free programs that the Jazz & Heritage Foundation has developed over many years to ensure that we give back to Louisiana. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation also owns radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM and the Jazz & Heritage Archive.  

In late 2014, the Foundation opened the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center – an education and community facility named for the late Jazz Fest founder George Wein and his wife Joyce.  In March of 2020, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation established the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund – a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana’s music community who were affected by the pandemic. In addition to our latest partnership with Music Rising, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation awarded COVID relief funds of 2 million dollars to support musicians, music industry gig workers, Black Masking Indians and other indigenous cultural practitioners. To learn more about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, please visit us online at

Caroline Galloway

US 440-591-3807