Music Rising Relief Fund Announcement

Music Rising Raises $2 Million for Music Relief Funds and will aid Louisiana Musicians and Music Industry Workers

Deadline to apply is Monday, February 28, 2022 

Administrative partner, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, is now accepting applications from Louisiana musicians and music industry workers.

NEW ORLEANS (January 25, 2022) —Music Rising, the charitable organization co-founded by U2’s The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin in 2005 after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina has announced an open call for applications to the Music Rising Relief Fund – a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana musicians and music industry workers who have lost income amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort brings Music Rising back to its original mission to support the musical culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. Louisiana’s music community is still struggling to recoup financial losses from 2020 and 2021. In December 2021, Music Rising and Van Eaton Galleries held the Guitar Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction to Benefit Music Rising which raised $2 million dollars for musicians and gig workers in New Orleans and the surrounding regions. Read about the details of the auction here. 

Music Rising has collaborated with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation who is the administrative partner of Music Rising for this initiative, to distribute funds throughout Louisiana.  In March 2020, the Foundation launched the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund and to date has distributed over $2 million dollars in COVID relief aid to musicians, music industry workers, and culture bearers. All eligible applicants are invited to apply.  The grant is open to musicians and music industry workers who currently live and work in Louisiana, depend on events as a substantial part of their income, have lost a significant amount of income due to the ongoing pandemic, have not found supplemental employment, and continue to experience economic hardships.

Music Rising co-founder, Bob Ezrin, said “Louisiana musicians are the custodians of a unique music heritage, passing it down through the generations and influencing so many genres of music we enjoy. We are delighted that the proceeds raised from the Guitar Icons auction held in Los Angeles on December 11, 2021 will aid those who have suffered financially through this pandemic.”

U2’s The Edge, co-founder of Music Rising said “The music of New Orleans has influenced various styles of music borrowed from early traditions. It is the birthplace of jazz and represents a musical culture which bears great significance to most every genre today. If this multigenerational chain is broken, we lose more than just a few concerts. We lose an entire culture that stretches back centuries.”

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.” 

Applications are open now at Applicants without access to a computer or internet should call the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Relief Fund Hotline at 504-558-6108 for application assistance.

Qualifying applicants are:

  • Current Louisiana residents
  • 18 years or older
  • Facing financial hardships due to the cancellation of events
  • Musicians and/or music industry gig professionals

Applicants will be notified once grant determinations have been made on or before March 31, 2022.

Applicants must submit the online application by Monday, February 28, 2022 to be considered. Proceeds will be administered by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Approved applicants will be contacted directly by the Foundation. 


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 and 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 musicians who were affected by the pandemic. In the last two years the Jazz & Heritage Foundation has been able to provide relief funds of more than $2 million dollars supporting 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


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 and legendary producer Bob Ezrin – along with a host of music industry partners, the organization provided instruments to thousands of musicians and students and many churches, community and cultural programs. Since its inception, Music Rising has assisted over 3,000 musicians. In April, 2006, the organization helped to re-open the historic Preservation Jazz Hall in New Orleans and Music Rising heralded the historic performance by U2 and Green Day at the New Orleans Superdome officially reopening the stadium during the New Orleans Saints 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 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