Music Rising was formed in late 2005 by U2's The Edge, legendary producer Bob Ezrin, Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, and MusiCares. The Guitar Center Music Foundation is also an inaugural partner. Its purpose is to maintain the essence of the Gulf Coast's musical tradition and help those devastated by the hurricane disasters. An exclusive Gibson Music Rising guitar sold through Guitar Center launched the effort with all proceeds going directly to Music Rising.
Over half of the current Music Rising recipients are in Louisiana and instruments have been sent to over 54 towns within the State alone. Texas and Mississippi have the second and third largest recipient group. Music Rising clients have received a gamut of instruments from amps to guitars, to drums to saxophones and more. The current application and qualification process for musicians is handled by MusiCares, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping music people in crisis. "Providing replacement instruments through Music Rising, not only helps the professional musicians to regain a foothold on their future, but will also ensure that one of the Gulf Coast's greatest assets, its music, will rise again," said The Edge.
The pool of applicants has remained steady since the tragedy struck, and each week new clients emerge who need assistance. The number of musicians affected by the hurricanes is estimated to reach as high as 7,000 – this initiative aims to put musical instruments back in the hands of people who lost everything. "We knew when the hurricanes struck the Gulf Region that we had to do something to help. Music Rising has now assisted more musicians than we ever expected and we are dedicated to helping restore the rich musical tradition of that region," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.
Bob Ezrin added, "Artists and lovers of music from around the world can help to replace its heart. Once the music is playing, the people will once again have a reason to gather. We believe: if they hear it, they will come and Music Rising is there to make it happen.
"Music Rising will continue its outreach beyond the professional musicians with aid eventually going to churches and schools in the area. Other programs helping to raise funds for Music Rising include a month-long online auction with Ticketmaster in April (www.ticketmaster.com) and a special event in New Orleans on April 27th, 2006 at the historic Preservation Jazz Hall.
For more information or to make a donation to Music Rising go to www.musicrising.org or www.gibson.com. Questions or inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks may also be sent to the Gibson Foundation/Music Rising, 309 Plus Park Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee 37217.