Real Stories

Here you can read just a few of the countless stories of musicians in crisis who the Jazz Foundation has assisted.

  • Cecil Payne

    Nine years ago, Cecil had gone into seclusion because his eyesight was failing, which could have been prevented if he'd had access to health care.

  • Fats Domino

    For five days Fats Domino, could not be found. Getting information on missing persons was nearly impossible as phone lines hadn't been working.

  • Dennis Irwin

    "He came to us complaining of back pain," Wendy said. "We found out he was riddled with fourth-stage cancer."

  • Freddie Hubbard

    In 2002, she lost her job, and a just a month after they lost their coverage, Freddie suffered congestive heart failure.

  • Odetta Gordon

    In 2005, Odetta broke her hip at age seventy-five and, wheelchair bound, she had to cancel all of her tours and concerts for the year.

  • Johnnie Mae Dunson

    Johnnie Mae Dunson wasn't supposed to live past her 14th birthday, let alone turn the blues on its head with her singing and drumming.

  • Sweet Georgia Brown

    In March of 2003, when we met Sweet Georgia, she was homeless and sleeping in Penn Station with her twelve-year-old granddaughter.



"I cannot even imagine the world without jazz and the blues, and I cannot imagine turning our backs on the very people who gave their lives, their life experiences, and their music to us all these years, especially now when they need us most. The Jazz Foundation is saving the music."

— Quincy Jones

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