How The Jazz Coalition Commission Fund Is Trying To Help Unemployed Musicians The Jazz Coalition Commission Fund is trying to help struggling musicians by doling out $1,000 micro-grants through a nomination and jury process. Winners will create new musical pieces.

Without Live Music, A New Commission Fund Seeks To Help Jazz Artists

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This is jazz music in front of a live audience, which, for some aficionados, is almost the only way that jazz should be. But when we say live music, we mean it was live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest last year, an event that was canceled this year. Brice Rosenbloom of a group called the Jazz Coalition found that news devastating.

BRICE ROSENBLOOM: Many jazz musicians have no other sources of income. We feel it's vital to remind the musicians of their value and their worth as creators. So we're launching the Commission Fund initiative to keep musicians working.


Rosenbloom normally organizes the New York City Winter Jazzfest. Now he's trying to raise money for musicians out of work. Here's his pitch - if you can donate $100 or more, you can also nominate a musician to potentially win $1,000 in commission. A committee decides who gets the money and commissions an artist to create a composition.

ROSENBLOOM: We're asking artists to create a piece that is reflective of the times. You know, the real goal here is that we're going to create a canon of new work that really represents our collective resilience and can help inspire and move us forward.

MARTIN: Grammy Award-winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater approves.

DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER: It's healthy. It makes them feel worthwhile, you know, and it could be the spark that that musician needs to move beyond this one piece.

INSKEEP: Now, Rosenbloom knows a $1,000 grant is not going to pay the rent all year.

ROSENBLOOM: But we certainly are confident it's going to boost morale and inspire them to keep working.

INSKEEP: And to that end, they've already raised $70,000.

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