The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF) has launched a $1 million emergency fund to support freelance New York City-area jazz musicians during the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.
The news was announced on Thursday, 16 April, by the organisation’s board of directors, establishing The Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund for Jazz Musicians.
With concerts, tours and performances cancelled, musicians have been hit particularly hard by New York’s citywide shutdown and shelter-in-place order.
The fund is aimed at providing financial support to jazz vocalists and instrumentalists who have lost income because of the coronavirus. The fund will give one-time grants of $1,000 to jazz musicians that live in the New York City region and work regularly in the five boroughs of New York City.
“The entire jazz ecosystem has been shut down, and the jazz community is devastated. To mitigate some of the loss, this fund will award an unprecedented $1 million to assist qualifying musicians in need,” said Wynton Marsalis, the Grammy-winning jazz icon and president of The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation
“Although this is a very large fund for an institution of our size, we are doing what we know ‘Pops’ would do; and we welcome individual, foundations and other organizations to join us in supporting this underserved community.”
Musicians can submit an application at the foundation’s website from 14 April through Monday, 20 April by midnight EST. They will be evaluated and approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications must be submitted online and will be evaluated by the selection committee.
The foundation was initially founded by Louis and Lucille Armstrong in 1969 and supports jazz musicians, educators and students.
Marsalis, who is also the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center also oversaw the venue’s first-ever online gala yesterday. The organisation hosted its annual gala online, with the ‘Worldwide Concert for Our Culture’ live-stream that is still available to watch on Youtube.
The virtual performance featured artists from Japan, Brazil, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Cuba and the United States, joining the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis from remote locations.