New York, New York, August 13, 2007 — Music Rising, a campaign launched in 2005 to rebuild the musical culture that was nearly destroyed by the hurricanes which ravaged the Gulf Coast Region, announced its continued support of professional musicians, schools and churches two years after Hurricane Katrina. Music Rising initially supported the replacement of instruments lost by professional musicians so that they could regain their livelihood. It has since entered into a second phase which supports churches and schools with replacement instruments so that musical programs can once again be initiated. To date, Music Rising has benefited 30,000 students and parishioners and over 2,500 professional musicians. The campaign has assisted in providing instruments to 21 schools and 41 churches, allowing those music programs to become operational again.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the unique musical heritage that is New Orleans. So much has come from that part of America. From the birth of jazz, the roots of R&B and Rock “n” Roll, to the traditional celebrations in the streets, New Orleans has provided all of us with so many traditions. Music Rising was created to ensure that this unique music culture did not die out, and on this second anniversary of the Katrina disaster, it is apparent that we still have much to do. We will continue to support and stay focused on the needs of the musicians, schools and churches,” said U2’s the Edge.
Music Rising was co-founded by U2’s the Edge, producer Bob Ezrin and Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. Thousands of instruments have been provided and millions of dollars have been provided in an effort to continue to strengthen the culture and communities of those areas hardest hit. Music Rising is dedicated to supporting the musical needs of the area for as long as it takes. Several major events have raised funds for Music Rising including an unprecedented auction of rock memorabilia which took place in April of 2007 in New York and raised over $2 million. The auction was hosted by Juliens Auctions. Supporters include former President Clinton and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, ACT (All Congregations Together) and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Music Rising is administered by the Gibson Foundation.
“When we created Music Rising in 2005 we had a mission which was to preserve the musical culture of the Central Gulf Region by replacing the instruments that were lost or destroyed in the storms. We will continue to do that until the region is rebuilt and the music is restored no matter how long it takes,” said producer and co-founder Bob Ezrin.
“We continue to support Music Rising as a co-founding partner and will do so in every effort to help restore the rich musical heritage which originates from New Orleans. With the support of the Gibson Foundation we plan on staying the course until the region is rebuilt “Note by Note,’” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.
For thousands of Gulf Coast residents, including those hardest hit in New Orleans, the circumstances are still grim and for many others the chances of going back home are remote. Two years after Hurricane Katrina, there are still over 30,000 displaced families and more than 13,000 families living in makeshift trailers. In spite of hopelessness and despair, Music Rising has continued to persevere and aid many people in the task of regaining their livelihood through music.
About Music Rising:
Music Rising is a campaign launched in 2005 to replace musical instruments lost or destroyed by the hurricanes in the Gulf Region. The initiative was co-founded by U2’s The Edge, producer Bob Ezrin and Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. The initiative continues to support those in need through its consistent efforts to aid professional musicians, schools and churches. Partners of the campaign represent the most diverse partnership in the entertainment industry and include MusiCares, Guitar Center, Musician’s Friend, Live Nation, Kennedy/Marshall, Ticketmaster, Hard Rock International, VH-1, MTV, Real Networks, ABC News Now, The NFL, Rolling Stone, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, All Congregations Together (ACT) and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. Former President Bill Clinton has participated in press coverage for the campaign and presented a Music Rising instrument to a needy musician in Baton Rouge, LA. Music Rising is the recipient of the prestigious 2005 Halo Award for Cause Marketing and the 2006 Billboard Humanitarian Award and has been recognized around the world by various media organizations. Music Rising is administered by the Gibson Foundation.