The institutions that support and advocate jazz have not abandoned the music or its makers in their hour of greatest need. Several are taking steps to provide emergency assistance for the COVID-19 crisis.
Earlier this week, Jazz Road, the South Arts initiative that supports small jazz tours, created the Jazz Road Quick Assist Fund to provide financial aid to those musicians who have lost work due to quarantine and social distancing guidelines. The Quick Assist Fund aims to distribute $1,000 grants to jazz musicians across the country. Due to high demand, applications for Quick Assist Fund grants closed on April 13, the same day they were announced—further indication, if any were needed, of how serious the current situation is. However, at least two other grant funds are still available for jazz musicians.
Today (April 14), the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF) announced that it has organized the Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund for Jazz Musicians, a $1 million grant fund. The fund will award grants of $1,000 for 1,000 individual musicians who live in the greater New York City area and work regularly within the five boroughs. Applications can be submitted through April 20, with a selection committee evaluating the applications and distributing them directly to successful applicants. Interested musicians are invited to apply at the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation’s website.
Meanwhile, the Jazz Foundation of America has established the COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund, which offers to assist jazz and blues musicians and their families with basic living expenses. Musicians in crisis are invited to apply for assistance; others are invited to contribute donations to the fund. Both can be done through the Jazz Foundation’s website, which now also features helpful links to additional sources of support for the musicians’ community.