Louis Armstrong org starts COVID-19 fund for jazz musicians

U.S. & World
Louis Tootling

circa 1955: Louis ‘Satchmo’ (‘Satchelmouth’) Armstrong (1900 – 1971), the great jazz trumpeter and vocalist blows his horn, watched by his wife, Lucille. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation has launched a $1 million emergency fund to support freelance New York City-area jazz musicians during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization’s board of directors on Thursday announced The Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund for Jazz Musicians. It is aimed at providing financial support to jazz vocalists and instrumentalists who have lost income because of the coronavirus, which has forced performers to cancel concerts, tours and performances. 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,” aid Wynton Marsalis, the Grammy-winning jazz icon who is also president of The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation as well as managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. “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 currently submit an application at www.louisarmstrongfoundation.org; the deadline is Monday evening.

The foundation was founded by Louis and Lucille Armstrong in 1969 and supports jazz musicians, educators and students. Louis Armstrong, whose revered career spanned five decades, died in 1971.

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