Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund

News • April 24, 2020

Jazz Musicians Across New York Are Receiving $1,000 Grants

from The Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund

to Help Alleviate Costs Caused by Covid-19 Closures

NEW YORK, NY, April 20 – Grants are on the way into bank accounts of New York-area jazz musicians who were selected from over 1,000 applications submitted to The Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund for Jazz Musicians. A special initiative, created by the Board of Directors of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF), the Fund is providing an unprecedented $1 million in much needed financial support to vocalists and instrumentalists in the New York Metropolitan Area who have lost income due to coronavirus-related closures. Find out more at www.louisarmstrongfoundation.org.

These one-time grants of $1,000 are assisting 1,000 individual freelance jazz musicians that live in the New York region and work with regularity in the five boroughs of New York City.

“Hundreds of applications were received in the first hour. These responses make it clear: the need is high! We know that Pops would have been amongst the first and most significant financial and moral supporters of our community in these unexpected and extremely challenging times. We’re happy we were able to launch this fund quickly and get some much-needed cash into the hands of musicians immediately,” said Wynton Marsalis, President of LAEF.

Grant recipient and drummer Rudy J. Royston said, “I am so grateful for this grant during these unprecedented, challenging days. It greatly helps to ease some of the anxiety that is present during this quarantine and time of total loss of work. ‘Pops’ gave us so much love, joy, inspiration and beauty while he was with us, and he continues to serve humanity even after leaving us.”

Jackie Harris, Executive Director of LAEF, added, “We had no doubt that there are countless musicians whose livelihood has been grossly affected. When we launched the Fund, we also added a donation component to invite individuals and corporations to join us to extend the grants beyond 1,000. We know the need is there, and we hope to receive the support to offer a second round of grants.”

Grant recipients were selected by a committee of area club owners, scholars, presenters and media activists, who evaluated each application. Once approved, musicians are informed and their $1,000 grant is deposited directly into their bank accounts.

Founded by Louis and Lucille Armstrong in 1969, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation funds organizations supporting jazz musicians, educators, and students. In the last 10 years alone, the organization has given over $8 million to these various groups. Those wishing to join LAEF in this effort in a more substantive way as a collaborator should email president@louisarmstrongfoundation.org.