As the COVID-19 quarantine schedule grows longer, so too does the list of jazz artists in dire straits. Fortunately, the list of emergency initiatives to aid those musicians is also growing. The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), the Latin-jazz advocacy and education nonprofit founded by pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill, has launched the ALJA Emergency Artist Fund to provide assistance for jazz musicians and dancers based in New York and New Jersey.
Application for grants can be made on a monthly basis. All artists in the NY/NJ geographical area are welcome to apply; however, Afro-Latin and Latin jazz artists will take precedence.
The ALJA is raising funds via donations to a GoFundMe account. All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of the donations will be made directly available to artists.
In addition to the Emergency Artist Fund, the ALJA has created a new virtual initiative, the ALJA Digital Village, to allow fans to enjoy the music of Arturo O’Farrill and his 18-piece big band, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, from their homes. The musicians will also be at home, but will perform together each week in an online forum called Virtual Birdland—recreating, as circumstances allow, the Orchestra’s Sunday-night residency at the legendary Times Square jazz club.
Performances are archived after the livestream and are viewable from both Birdland’s and the AJLA’s Facebook pages.
For more information on the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and its COVID-19-related initiatives, visit its website.