AMRF Katrina's Second Line Coalition

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Katrina's Piano  is the brainchild of New Orleans resident Juan Labostrie; and Klondike Koehler, owner of Klondike Sound  and for 28 years the Audio Director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After Juan rescued some 15 of his neighbors in New Orleans (see http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=90&cat=23&id=495718&more for the inspiring story of Juan and his wife Vicki), he started thinking of what he could do next. He came up with the mission statement for Katrina's Piano:

" It's a simple economic equation: once a musician has an instrument in his hands, he can go back to work. Little economies will spin up around each instrument, in all the relocation cities. Money for the long trip home can be earned, and the soul of New Orleans will be saved."

Juan has served on the stage crew at the jazzfest for many years, and he contacted his good friend Klondike in Greenfield, MA. Klondike in turn contacted other friends and associates from the jazzfest, a provisional 501(c)(3) number was established, and Katrina's Piano was founded.

In addition to soliciting cash donations, Katrina's Piano is actively pursuing the donation of instruments, and is actively engaged in trying to form partnerships with instrument stores and manufacturers to provide instruments either for free or at cost. Available instruments are then matched up with the musicians in need and shipped directly to them.

Katrina's Piano will be accepting donations at the AMRF table in the lobby of the Royal Oak Music Theater during this year's Boogie Woogie and Blues Festival. If you would like to donate an instrument, the information will be taken and you will be contacted about where to send it. Cash donations may also be sent to:

Katrina's Piano Fund

Greenfield Savings Bank, attn: Alexa

400 Main St.

P.O. Box 1537

ph: 888-324-3191

 

Meanwhile, our friends at the Detroit Blues Society (http://home.flash.net/~dbsblues/) have mounted their Gimme 5 campaign, benefiting the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. The NOMC has provided comprehensive health care to musicians since 1998. (In the aftermath of Katrina the NOMC had relocated to Lafayette, LA, but Rita is forcing them to move yet again. Where they will land we do not know.)  The NOMC is collaborating with the Jazz Foundation of America to provide whatever form of relief is needed directly to musicians. The Detroit Blues Society will be accepting donations for the Gimme 5 campaign at the Royal Oak Music Theater.

Finally, the Nataional Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS, or The Recording Academy - these are the folks who present the Grammy Awards) established the MusiCares Foundation in 1989 to help musicians across the country cope with personal, medical, and financial hardship. In response to Katrina, MusiCares has established a Hurricane Relief Fund to provide for the basic needs of musicians impacted by the disaster. Musicare's website also provides en extensive set of links to other organizations providing assistance, including Katrina's Piano and the NOMC. Our good friend Howard Hertz is on the regional board of The Recording Academy, and he will be accepting donations to Musicares at the Festival..

As part of the AMRF's mission to care for the artists who create the music, we have been actively engaged in the work of matching people with resources, and faciltating communication between organizations that have resources to share, in an attempt to match supply with demand.

Again, the AMRF has partnered directly with Katrina's Piano, and we ask that you support their efforts. But also, we ask that you follow your heart and support any or all of the organizations represented in the Katrina's Second Line Coalition.  



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