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Musicians Legacy Program

Our Musicians Legacy Program funds one-on-one music lessons by elder established musicians who have recorded and played with the jazz and blues giants and, in many cases, ARE the giants themselves.

Candidates for these lessons are young up-and-coming musicians who show promise but lack the financial means to afford lessons. These young adult musicians can perfect their craft and learn from the very performers they grew up listening to — musicians who might have inspired them in the first place. Instructors include saxophonists who have played with "everyone," the piano great who taught Danny Glover how to play for his last film, and even the amazing electric guitarist who learned from Lefty Diz, the man who influenced Jimi Hendrix! 

The program provides a way for respected artists to pass along their knowledge and experience to the younger generation, demonstrating their technique secrets and tricks of the trade. Passing on their legacy becomes an important priority for elder jazz musicians; and those who suffer from depression as a result of being homebound can regain purpose in their life. Matching them with bright, young and talented students provides them with this opportunity. Students get the privilege of developing an educational and personal relationship with one of the jazz greats, deriving inspiration and musical understanding through this unique connection. 

Target populations for this project include urban and underserved student populations who show outstanding promise but cannot afford to pay for lessons. These students are referred to us by professional musicians who have seen them play locally or by teachers who recognize their talent. On the instructor side, we target the legendary performers, the true gems in the field, who have stories to tell and experiences unmatched. We have found these figures to be the most influential in making an impression on young musicians, and these are also the individuals who gain the most by passing on their legacy. Additionally, these elder artists are the ones who often have no other options to earn income and sustain themselves. 

To inquire more about the program, send us an email at legacy@jazzfoundation.org.

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Jazz Foundation of America · 322 West 48th Street, 6th Floor · New York, NY 10036 · (212)245-3999 · info@jazzfoundation.org
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