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February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

My mother, the late Susan B. Ford, was involved with Jazz Bridge in it's formation. She along with the founders, Wendy Simon and Suzanne Cloud, came together with countless others to give something back. Not just for the musicians they help, but to the people that need it most - talented and gifted people who just don't always have what they need to get the job done.

Jazz Bridge allows individuals to share their gift with the public at large. And it's a wonderful thing to behold. From the woman who needs dental work to smile at her audience while she plays to the 90 year old musician who needed legal assistance for righting a wrong.

This isn't an organization about politics or the color of skin... they help ANYONE in the music business get a fair shake and who, for whatever reason, are without resources. Jazz Bridge has formed incredible relationships with the community at large. Medical, legal, psychological and local government, just to name a few.

Through Community Concerts in PA & NJ, they raise money to pay musicians for their performances and put something back in the till, for a rainy day. It's hard to balance providing music to the community and helping musicians in need, but that what Jazz Bridge is ALL about.

It would be easy to just go along in life and ignore what is put before you, but Jazz Bridge is about helping and giving back, unconditionally. With the public's assistance, more people in the arts can be helped. It doesn't happen unless you get on board. I did and I am better for it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By getting involved.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invite more people to make a donation and help someone you don't even know. Or ask them to attend the Community Concerts and see what their contributions can do.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

We have been attending the Jazz Bridge concerts in Collingswood for the past three years. We look forward to every First Thursday concert and have enjoyed every one. The program and featured musicians are always top notch and professional. Suzanne Cloud is able to plan fantastic programs and invite superb musicians to play.
By bringing other friends to these concerts we have been able to expand the audience and are proud to be part of such a successful program. It is not unusual to even have some of the beneficiaries of this outreach program return and publicly thank jazz bridge for the assistance provided to them.
It is rare in these troubling economic times to be able to experience such a true sense of spirit and sincere generosity of the musical community. We are forever grateful to have an organization like Jazz Bridge here in Collingswood, NJ. M. and F. Gramkowski

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Positive feedback to suportors who attend and contribute. Organizers are very grateful for all donations and participation of attendees.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NA. No need for improvement. fine as is.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Financial need of musicians for assistance with medical/legal/financial crisis.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Able to do this.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Very deserving and honorable organization.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 26, 2011

Without the love, dedication and work of JazzBridge and Suzanne Cloud my father's happiness would shine a dimmer light. They (she) has helped tremendously in keeping the flame alive in news reports, newsletters, FYI's for the who what where when of what's happening in jazz, briefs on how folks are doing, obituaries---you name it. My dad was featured in the calendar this year which sparked a light in him and our family. He is recovering in a nursing home after brain surgery and this was one thing we needed to keep all of us going. He is still there and I call him in Philly to read the emails from JazzBridge to him from my home in Virginia and it is truly a great connection. Thank you so much!--Brenda Bailey Williamson

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Leads given to us to help my father find nursing services and a new scooter to ride in.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Love to provide donor support financially to help her continue to provide print resources for those in need of assistance who don't have family to help them research organizations that provide assistance.

February 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 26, 2011

One of the co creators of Jazz Bridge is Suzanne Cloud, a lady with a varied and interesting background. She spent 15 years in nursing. She is a professional singer and also teaches American Studies at Rowan University. I spoke to her after attending one of their signature events, a neighborhood concert, led by Michael Pedicin Jr., in Collingswood, NJ. She explained that the Bridge resulted from the medical crisis suffered by pianist and composer Eddie Green in 2004. His was a sadly familiar story; he had no resources when he learned he had terminal pancreatic cancer. As he was both her mentor and friend, Suzanne worked to smooth his last days. In that process, she had an epiphany. “This had to stop. It was a crazy way to deal with this kind of need, just throwing a benefit; tops they would get was maybe $4,000 and that would be it. So they needed an advocate and a place to go to get the resources they needed right away. Why not do it as an organization? The person I thought would be the best person to work with me was Wendy Simon, another singer. We had come up working together in the city through the 80’s and 90’s. I called her and said this is what I want to do and she said ‘Sure’. We got people involved, got our 501C3 with some help from Law Works at Temple University. They did the whole thing pro bono, and that was the beginning of it.”

One way Jazz Bridge has attracted attention is with a series of neighborhood concerts. Suzanne was running these already and folded them into the new organization. These aren’t fund raising events where musicians donate their talents. They are extra venues.”We guarantee each member of the band at least $100, even if no one shows up in the audience. Depending on the head count, their take home pay goes up.” For instance, after a recent success, each artist got $230. Success, however, was not immediate. “Eddie played the very first one. We had 25 people show up. [Laughs] I sang and Eddie played. I struggled through two dicey years. All of it was if I fell short it came out of my pocket. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep it up because I couldn’t keep paying. I went to the mayor and Councilwoman Joan Leonard and said, ‘Look I want to do this. Can you support me in some way?’ They were terrific. They said, ‘We’ll help you. We’ll give you the room for nothing and you develop the audience.’ The third year was the first I didn’t have to take any money out of my own pocket. After that it has been running smoothly and we are paying for the room now.” The money they take at the door goes to paying for the room and paying the musicians. Jazz Bridge takes only 15% and that is when there is a good audience.

“We do real well. I don’t have any problem getting people. People beg just to have a place to play. It’s a magical experience. Most musicians aren’t used to people who just sit there listening and know jazz. We pick a musician from that area so it is like neighbors meeting neighbors and having a creative exchange. You can talk to the artist, they are approachable. There are an awful lot of international jazz stars who live in the greater Philadelphia metro area.” Artists like Tyrone Brown, Denis DiBlasio, Bootsie Barnes and Duane Eubanks have all performed for Jazz Bridge.”I just heard from Odean Pope. He wants to work one. I got a phone call from pianist Hal Galper who lives in New York. I said, ‘Do you realize this is a neighborhood concert?’ [Laughs] He said, ‘I heard it’s a great place to play. The audience is great.’ In fact [after his recent gig] Mike Pedicin called me the very next day and said, ’Sue that was such an incredible experience. How can I help Jazz Bridge?’ We are replicating this idea in other towns. We are doing it in Cheltenham now and I’ve been talking to people in Bryn Mawr and Wilmington. I just met with the person who is head of economic development in Swedesboro and their trying to do the same thing.”
There soon may be many more happy jazz fans in South Jersey.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping various musicians who are in dire financial, medical and legal need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not.

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

Jazz Bridge serves a very unique and under-publicized role in assisting artists in need. Jazz is America's greatest contribution to the arts, and unfortunately does not command the respect or financial support that is enjoyed by performers of European classical music.

As such, talented
and dedicated performers, more often than not, choose to live at subsistence levels in order to pursue this art. Emotional rewards aside, remuneration for Jazz musicians rarely allows a lifestyle above minimal survival (rent, food and hopefully transportation.)

The slightest financial, health or legal problem can render the average jazz musician or vocalist homeless in very short order.

Jazz Bridge fulfills a role which no other organization does in recognizing this rare segment of our society, and coming to the aid of those in need in a very selfless manner.

Funds are not spent on fancy headquarters. Officers to not meet in the Caribbean. Donors know that when they support Jazz Bridge, their funds will go directly to help those artists who selflessly give us a great deal of joy, receiving little in return.

Jazz Bridge allows them a little bit more dignity in this life than they are used to (or expect.) They deserve all the support they can get.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am not personally a working professional musician, but I do play Jazz as an avocation and have close personal relationships with many of the musicians who have benefited from Jazz Bridge's help.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See that they are funded to the extent that they could serve more constituents.

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

I am very impressed with the goals and accomplishments of Jazz Bridge. This organization works tirelessly and creatively to meet the needs of jazz musicians in crisis situations, and they deserve our continued support.

Jamey Nocks

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've read about their fund-raising efforts and their outstanding work with jazz musicians.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

"You cannot travel within and stand still without," James Allen

Jazz Bridge and its' funding has provided Philadelphia Jazz & Blues artists sustenance for the Body, Peace of Mind, and very tangible relief that prevents the many challenges of life from breaking one's spirit. This
allows the Artist to keep doing what they do best...Create!

They have provided lodging for artists and their families impacted by fire. They have provided medical care for artists' babies resulting from accidents. They have assisted families in laying to rest, beloved Artists. I am constantly impressed with their limitless support.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...being able to enjoy as a Patron, the uninterrupted sharing of gifts from our local artists.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...not change it but do what I could to gain a wider audience, so that Jazz Bridge may continue to exist for the next generation of Jazz & Blues artists.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

An organization that has the welfare of jazz artists in the community as their primary focus is a great asset. This is what the Jazz Bridge is about. It is concerned with artists dealing with emergency hardships as well as fostering an environment where the art of jazz can continue to flourish. It should be supported by the community at large because it strengthens and supports one of the essential ingredients in any healthy society and that is its artistic life and energy.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing how concerts have been organized and benefits and resulting contributions have been made to jazz musicians in need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No specific recommendations at this time.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

Jazz Bridge is a great resource for jazz and blues artists in the Philadelphia region. It provides financial and emotional support for artists who need a helping hand. Jazz Bridge truly gives back to the community. I've attended many Jazz Bridge concerts in Collingswood, NJ, and have found them professionally executed by its staff and volunteers. In addition, the music is great! Both staff and volunteers really care about the artists they support and will go the extra mile in making sure the artists receive the services they deserve for contributing so much to the cultural landscape of the Philadelphia area.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

N/A

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I have been attending the Jazzbridge concerts in Collingswood for the past 2-3 years. It is hard to find a regular jazz venue in this area and the performances are balanced with "regulars" and new talent. It is also an opportunity to make jazz affordable to the public and is very reasonable. I am also proud to support an organization that has provided so much support -financial, legal, medical, etc.- to so many struggling jazz musicians and their families! We all wish this creative genre of music to continue and Jazzbridge is active in exposing young people to the music and cultivating young talent. Buy a scarf, a calendar, a CD - attend a concert- just show your support! Janet Greenlee

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

WAtched young musicians form area HSs make debut performances!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get the word out more - it amazes me how many jazz fans I speak to who've never heard of it wor what it does!

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Provide outreach by manning a table at our concerts!