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Jazz Bridge Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Jazz Bridge Project is a nonprofit organization that was established by a group of caring jazz musicians and fans dedicated to assisting professional Greater Philadelphia Metro area jazz and blues musicians and vocalists in times of crisis by providing confidential and caring support in keeping with their personal dignity. Through donations, grants, and our neighborhood concerts, Jazz Bridge assists those coping with emergencies involving health, legal, financial, personal and professional needs, while building an awareness of the local jazz sound.

Target demographics: All professional jazz and blues musicians in crisis in the Greater Philadelphia Metro area

Direct beneficiaries per year: About 60 crisis needs and over 130 musicians are employed in our neighborhood jazz/blues concerts

Geographic areas served: Philadelphia, Southern NJ, Wilmington, DE, and Trenton, NJ

Programs: Five Neighborhood Concerts Series from Oct-May Client Crisis Needs

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge helped someone I loved even before it was an organization. I've witnessed over the years all the folks they have helped, all the music that many have enjoyed. I am truly grateful for what they have added to keep the artists from falling through the cracks when times get tough.

Rhenda Fearrington

Board Member

Rating: 5

Artists sustain the world. The world is beautiful because they have lived. It's a perfect paradox. Humanity must then, sustain its artists for a beautiful world.

Jazz Bridge's Misson is to ensure that every Philadelphia Jazz musician contributes their art to the world. They then pledge to assist the jazz musician in times of crisis, so that they may continue their art. Voila! The perfect conundrum!

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Moving an Artist from Illness to Wellness, is the role of a Savior! It's no wonder musicians have referred to Jazz Bridge as "Having an Angel on Speed Dial!" Jazz Bridge doesn't just satisfy the artist's needs through all of the obvious and not-so obvious ways of a non-profit; but with empathy, it provides a conduit to do what Art is supposed to do, every day...move the dial on Social Justice, Activism and CHANGE! That's POWERFUL! That's Jazz Bridge! I'm very grateful to serve on a Board with such passionate, caring people!

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the good this organization does for the musicians it serves. From booking them for gigs, to making sure they get to the gig. You will be surprised where help comes from in your hour of need. If you need dental assistance so you look good on stage, they can help you with that. They step in when no one else will. So happy to have Jazz Bridge in my life. May they continue the good fight for many years to come. With donations from everyone they will.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Excellent organization that supports the Philadelphia metro jazz scene.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As far as I understand, the organizers of this non-profit take no money for themselves whatsoever. They are committed to helping musicians in need. They provide their service without any fanfare in order for the recipients to maintain their privacy and pride. Therefore there is no ability to "advertise" these good deeds and needed assistance. Plus the concerts are top notch with excellent musicians donating their time and talent. Jazz Bridge deserves the highest score!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Helping musicians in the Delaware Valley receive health care with dignity

1 Cathie G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge has been an essential part in promoting the Jazz and Blues performers. This music is part of America and our future generations need to be exposed to other music. We need to support groups that help performers get established and continue to provide musical options for everyone.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A win-win organization. Audiences get to hear the best of jazz in the Delaware Valley. To be more accurate, they get to hear the Jazz in the Delaware Valley, but it's probably some of the best Jazz in the country. And, at the same time the money from our tickets and our donations goes to help musicians in need. Those of us with "regular jobs" rarely think when we go out for a night of great entertainment that folks lightening our days don't have the same job benefits we have... no health benefits, insurance, etc. Jazz Bridge Project fills that gap.

1 Sandy105

Donor

Rating: 5

I have given to the Jazz Bridge because it helps people and their families, specifically jazz musicians, through some difficult times. Musicians tend to be independent contractors. When they're sick, they may not have money to spend on needs. Many are in this position. Give to the creative community.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization that provides a showcase for talented area artists and at the same time makes financial aid available to musicians who may have fallen on hard times. Fans of jazz win as well with awesome concerts to attend in intimate settings.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge does a fabulous job supporting musicians and the community

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work this organization does is irreplaceable, and a credit to the arts & culture scene in Philadelphia, as well a humanitarian effort.

1 Dave82

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've have performed for and support the project.
The assistance the project provides for area musicians in need is incredible. Please support the Jazz Bridge Project!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge is great organization helping musicians who need help when they need it the most. What's amazing is thier mission is sort of two fold, not only helping those who need help the most but also keeping America's original musical artform Jazz alive by building new audiences, holding concerts at multiple locations at a very reasonable price.

1 Debbie184

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge is one of those selfless groups that is all about helping others...jazz musicians in crises. They are run by volunteers who have determination and grit and get the job done. Musicians are often self-employed and under paid and when illness or another emergency strikes, they have no where to turn for help until now. Jazz Bridge is there for them!

1 ktucker279

Client Served

Rating: 5

You never know when you need a helping hand. They have helped me in ways, I can never imagine or thank them enough. From advice to helping me stay on my feet with dignity. One of the most caring, unselfish group of individuals you would ever want to meet. Even if they can't assist, they have the knowledge and resources to make your situation less dire. I hope Jazz Bridge is around for many years to come. They have been my lifeline in the sea of despair.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Jazz Bridge as the second generation - my mother was the first. They are NOT just about Community, but their fellow man or woman, jazz and blues artist. They have helped countless individuals in need or crisis. Whether it's a gig, assistance with a place to live, medical, mental and dental problems. Sometimes all that is needed is a kind word or some direction. Jazz Bridge has been there when no one else was. They have even been there for me, spiritually and personally. Thank you for EVERYTHING and not just the music. God Bless you 365 days of the year!

KT

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Dedicated people proving their love for their art form!`Thank goodness for people like this!

1 Lee N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are incredible!!!@ Helping Jazz and Blues Musicians AND doing great Concerts here.
Philadadelphia is BETTER because of them.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned of Jazz Bridge through an article about Odeon Pope. Like Odeon my late husband suffered from Bi Polar Disorder. It's a terrible disease and people often times are isolated and ashamed. Keep doing what you do Jazz Bridge and keep the great music coming !!!!

1 Flip P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great project, benefiting the community as well as the musicians.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I know one of the directors of this charity and say without a doubt that the money collected goes towards the people who are in need. People who've spent their lives attempting to enrich our culture.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge focuses on a underserved community by providing jobs and assistance when needed. It does the important work of preserving a cultural treasure by supporting the creative people who make it possible.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Outstanding music and musicians. Lifelong dedication to music

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Passion, amazing music, community, and the heritage of jazz all define Jazz Bridge Project. It's mission to preserve and disseminate jazz and its rich and storied culture to everyone is truly important, and a gift to us all.

2 Jan K.

Donor

Rating: 5

Many people may look at an organization like this and say "Hey.. there are plenty of more pressing problems that deserve my money." Well sure, there is no shortage of causes that are worthy of our contributions.

But the old phrase "Charity begins at home" should not be lost. There is something very special and personal about contributing when the direct beneficiaries are those whose daily lives are intertwined with our own. Jazz and Blues musicians and vocalists (the professional ones) have devoted their lives to an art form which has declined precipitously in popularity over the decades. This creates not only a decrease in their revenue and ability to eke out a living, but also deprives them of the opportunity to share their gifts with those who still appreciate and love America's only native musical form.

Jazz Bridge not only provides a safety net for those who need assistance with the mundane aspects of daily life.. medical and dental care...replacement of lost or stolen instruments, and legal assistance. The local concerts they organize and present give these artists them opportunity to do what they have devoted their lives to mastering. In the Philadelphia / Delaware Valley, the dozens of venues that hired live musicians (especially Jazz and Blues artists) have closed in rapid succession, By holding various series of events at family-friendly venues and for modest fees, Jazz Bridge not only provides reasonably paid working opportunities to musicians, but offers opportunities for exposure to fans (and potential fans) of all ages.

It feels good to know you can help people across the globe whom you will never meet ... but if feel GREAT to help those who are your neighbors, and share in making our region a viable place for a deserving art form to thrive and continue.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Besides their tireless assistance to musicians experiencing personal difficulties, I'd like to point out their hard work promoting America's indigenous musical art form via their Neighborhood Concerts Series. With SIX venues now - Collingswood & Willingboro, NJ; Center City & Roxborough in Philly; and Cheltenham & Bryn Mawr, PA - that's 48 concerts presented between October and May, providing work for approximately 200 musicians!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge is the best! Jazz Bridge was founded so that jazz musicians have a place to turn when they face crises, like the need for health care, safe housing and other safety issues. Sadly, many jazz musicians, even world class jazz musicians, live at incomes below the poverty level. Jazz Bridge also supports series of fabulous jazz concerts in many communities around Philadelphia. The people at Jazz Bridge,e integral to the music scene in the Philadelphia/NJ area, are saviors to those facing life crises.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Jazz Bridge is a multi faceted organization that provides employment opportunities for local musicians. This organization is also going to purchase a house that will be a "safe haven" for musicians who are in need of housing, and/or, are without medical insurance. I feel Blessed to be able to support them.

2 Jan_57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge serves a much under served yet deserving community with its medical, legal or financial difficulties. It also serves an educational function. All members of the board are volunteers and all donations are directed toward the organization's primary purpose.

1 David267

Donor

Rating: 5

The wonderful folks at Jazz Bridge are a tremendous help to jazz and blues musicians in the Philadelphia tri-state area . . . and by this they have also become a pillar of the community at large. Their work includes developing continuing opportunities for musicians to perform through their own concert series (which seems to be growing all the time), public service information about everything from grant opportunities, health care and legal information to connecting musicians with other professionals. And most importantly they lend a hand to countless musicians with difficult life situations and help them find solutions where they would otherwise have no where to turn. They have organized fundraisers for people with cancer, helped to resolve legal issues with musicians housing, even helped elderly musicians by organizing a ride to the doctor for them- Jazz Bridge is there to help in anyway they can. The Jazz Bridge Project truly makes a difference with the work they do. As a Jazz musician I am over joyed to know that they are in my corner if I need them.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The tireless and creative work and dedication of "Jazz Bridge Project Inc. has been a Godsend to the community of jazz musicians in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Helping and assisting those who are down on their luck in a severely underpaid profession with no financial security for later life and years. Coming to the aid of a proud and dignified profession of wonderful gifted musicians and singers who bring to glorious life the true American music and art form , jazz. I have witnessed the courage and determination of the people at Jazz Bridge and all the good they are doing and continue to do for the community of jazz musicians. My gratitude is boundless for all that they have done and continue to do. Larry DiTommaso

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge has filled a need in the music community that has been dear to my heart for years now. To provide support when you have a problem in a private and confidential manner is immeasurable. We are here to help one another and that is a space that Jazz Bridge has done over and over again for a part of our community that provides us with the magic of music. In addition, their public work with their neighborhood concert series is a wonderful way to provide musicians with work and promote the vision of Jazz Bridge while doing so. I enjoy them immensely.

1 Alan31

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is an angel on the Philly jazz scene. They do so much for musicians with so few resources. I have been a friend and supporter for years and will continue to be one. Highly recommended.

1 Bruce35

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A bit over two years ago, I was in the midst of a personal, professional, health and financial crisis. It was as far down as one could get, and as falls go, it was pretty quick, as not long before, I had been a more-than-successful jazz drummer, recording artist, video producer with Warner Bros. , columnist with Scripps-Howard, and happy and secure in my personal life.

The beautiful folks at Jazz Bridge, notably Suzanne Cloud and Wendy Simon Sinkler found out about my situation. Ms. Cloud, who I had not seen in years, tracked me down. I was looking, feeling and playing lousy, without drums and without computer. At first, I didn't want the help of Jazz Bridge or anyone else. I think that's why it's called "foolish pride." I eventually broke down and accepted the assistance of Jazz Bridge. In short order. Jazz Bridge got me a computer, a set of drums, and because of their faith me me as a writer, installed me in the Jazz Bridge Public Relations chair. It took about a year, but my writing career resumed, I'm busier playing jazz now than I have been in 40 years, am handling public relations for a variety of clients, feel well, look well, etc.

Let me tell you how important Jazz Bridge is: If not for them, I wouldn't be here. Nor would lots of others. I vowed to them at the start, that I would be more than happy to tell my story--loudly, frequently and to anyone within earshot--about how essential and important Jazz Bridge is to our community.

It would be impossible for me to adequately express my gratitude for what they did for me. I can only hope that my love for all those in the organization comes through in my writing and above all, via my playing.

1 Keli V.

Donor

Rating: 5

In this business, we do not get any benefits, even as small as sick day pay. When serious illness causes financial strife, there's no one to turn to, and that's where Jazz Bridge steps in and helps to help its own.

2 Vita

Donor

Rating: 5

It is true for so many artists that one often is not sure when the money will be there and there are times in everyones life that help is needed for the unforeseen.
What a wonderful organization to have something to turn to!
And then to hear the wonderful musicians for so little and get the music out there for the people that have never had the incredible experience of jazz.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Suzanne 10/17/2013

Thanks for the review Vita!!

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge is such a necessary and special nonprofit. The dedication and valuable hard work is so inspiring. I have had the privilege of listening to concerts at the Cheltenham Art Center and can testify
what a thrill that is. Not only does Jazz Bridge bring much needed help to those who bring so much joy and hope to the world with their playing and singing, as an added benefit they continue this vital art form by making it an affordable one too.
To be there in time of crisis is a very noble thing and my hope is that Jazz
Bridge will get stronger and stronger to help so many more in need.

Review from Guidestar