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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Alliances & Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Music

Mission: KTBA’s purpose is to help nurture the next generation of musicians and appreciators by funding music educational programs and scholarships for students and teachers who posses the desire but lack the resources or access that would enable them to achieve their potential within the music industry. By using the Blues genre as a vessel for musical growth, the Foundation aims to stimulate and foster relationships within the music community – paying it forward to young musicians while sustaining the Blues as a beacon of American history and culture as an artform. To maximize our impact on current efforts, we may seek to collaborate with other non-profit organizations which fall under the 501(c) (3) section of the internal revenue code and are operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. In 2020, KTBA has expanded it's mission to helping musicians affected by the global pandemic, by starting the Fueling Musicians Program.

Results: To date, we have funded over 460 initiatives for the advancement of music education in schools across the country which have affected over 71,000 students across the country. In addition to music education funding, our Fueling Musicians Program has funded over 300 musicians and bands by providing financial aid to help them get back on the road when it is safe.

Target demographics: to conserve the art of music in schools and preserve music education for the next generation

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250+ musicians that were unable to work due to the pandemic

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Music is Your Ali Program, Funding for music classrooms, Educational Scholarships, Fueling Musicians Program

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The mission and goal of this organization is absolutely worthy as giving a chance/opportunity in life can be crucial to the survival of many professionals in music; supporting schools can affect the life choice of youngsters; preserving the musical treasure and maintain it for younger generations is really a great cause. It is clear that this organization is making progress towards its goals that is demonstrated by the consistent and steadfast actions they have done so far. This impacts their progress and boosts confidence for anyone who appreciates and/or wishes to support for this charity before making final giving decision or probably wish to make long-term commitment to it. The most pleasant thing is that in the long-run perspective, the commitment to its mission as well as deeds and actions of this organization and overall input can hopefully trigger changes in policy-makers' and overall society's perception of the importance of more preserving cultural elements, sharing and raising awareness among future generations as well as ways it can be done. Very well done.

lawilson.nj

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I donate to Keep the Blues Alive Foundation, Inc. for two reasons: 1) Both of our now adult children benefitted greatly from arts education, including music, and we're concerned music programs in schools are in jeopardy; and 2) We appreciate how this foundation pivoted in response to COVID by implementing their Fueling Musicians initiative, supporting professional musicians whose livelihoods abruptly disappeared with access to little/no financial safety nets. Musicians enrich our lives, often provide the soundtrack of significant events, and they need support until live performances resume to pre-COVID capacity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This started as an altruistic notion from guitarist & bluesman Joe Bonamassa, and has since become successful in both providing instruments to schools, and helping out of work musicians following the COVID-19 pandemic, through his Fuelling Musicians programme. The team are cheerful and friendly, as well as very helpful. Can wait for the KTBA cruise in February 2022. A fantastic cause, and extremely well organised.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation is a wonderful organization dedicated to supporting career musicians through the good times and the bad. They quite literally helped me and my bandmate stay afloat through the worst of the pandemic, when we had all of our shows and tour plans get completely wiped out. Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation has been a huge support and a very positive and accessible resource for us as musicians. They are a stand up and stand out organization!

Linda Barger Dorgan O.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hi and THANK you for your Monetary Grant in December 2019! This enabled us to deliver 14 Acoustic Guitars and 2 Acoustic Electric Guitars with Cases, Straps and Tuners to 2 Title 1 Schools and the Youth Detox/Diagnostic Center in Albuquerque, NM. • THANKS again!!! Our 501 C3 • 100% "Volunteer" Acoustic Guitar Program • www.thefreedominmusicproject.com • has delivered 165 Guitars to Youth Detention Centers, Recovery Academies and in 2020 Title 1 Schools in New Mexico and Texas. 22 Programs in our Home State of New Mexico and 2 in Texas! We couldn't have done this without the support of wonderful organizations like yours. It's NOT just the Guitars • It's decent Acoustic Guitars that are "Professionally" set up • We also give extra sets of Strings • Electronic Tuners and Batteries • Picks • Straps • Stands • Gig Bags • Humidifiers • Written Teaching Tool • Teaching DVDs and Song Book! God Bless you and what you do for Musicians and Schools/Kids! Peace ON Earth • Stay SAFE and keep ROCKIN'! Phil & Linda Oliveira • New Mexico

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We had the pleasure of working closely with Shawn Hagood and his team at Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation while coordinating two very special music fundraisers that benefited thousands of music students in Rochester, NY and Monroe County! "Round Up For Music 2018 and 2019" created a unique partnership between KTBA, Distillery Restaurants and *the great House of Guitars* to raise much needed funds for music programs in Rochester City School District, Greece Schools, Rush-Henrietta Schools and Aquinas Institute. The fundraisers were a great success and highlighted the ongoing need to keep music alive for students of all ages and abilities! A million thanks to Shawn and everyone at KTBA for enriching the lives of so many students!

Alex M.12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive kept me on my feet while all of my gigs were canceled..They have been a god send!!

autoharper

Client Served

Rating: 5

Once upon a time, I traveled 70,000 miles a year and performed several hundred concerts annually, from the Everglades to the Arctic Circle. After seventeen months of unemployment, prolonged illness, surgeries, and the loss of my partner, 2021 was not without its challenges. I deeply indebted to the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation for their unwavering financial support during this pandemic and economic depression. Whatever the meaning of the word “lifesaver" may be, the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation is its best example, and perhaps its definition. I am filled with gratitude.

Andy S.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a touring musician, I lost nearly all of my income when COVID hit. When I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage all my expenses, the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation stepped in to help me out. It was an incredible grant, and what was even more incredible was that I reapplied and got it again in 2021. I’m so so appreciative to this foundation and everything they’ve done to help keep me doing what I love and supporting the ones I love.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a full-time musician for 35 years. I never would have thought something like covid-19 would happen as I've always worked a lot with very little downtime. I was out of work for 15 months. So when I was selected to receive help from this great foundation I never felt so grateful! Thank you Joe and the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation for doing a great thing for us musicians out there!! You are appreciated!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The uncertainty of the past year was taking a major toll on me. When I received the email from KTBA Foundation that said I was chosen for financial assistance I cried. I was introduced to KTBA by a very grateful bandmate who had previously been selected for assistance. As a touring musician and educator, I can't express enough how KTBA is helping to do just that. The future is bright when folks that truly care to make a difference do so and KTBA is doing it.

Andy B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Like many musicians COVID-19 decimated my touring income. I pivoted to online events but still struggled. I heard about Keeping the Blues Alive and their Fueling Musicians program from a resource email blast.


I have applied to many programs these past few months. Keeping the Blues Alive is the only program that communicated clearly and in a timely manner and delivered on ALL promises. With other programs I felt like a fool wasting an hour completing a form only to see that there were only a small handful of grants available. No such nonsense exists with KTBA.

I am so thankful for all they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

GREAT non-profit that is actually making a difference in musicians’ lives during this trying time!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation helped me immensely. I am a full-time working musician who has been unable to find consistent work since the beginning of the pandemic in the US & Europe, as venues have been closed and festivals have been canceled due to concerns about health and safety. KTBA responded quickly to my request for assistance, helping me to pay for essential expenses such as rent, groceries, and medication through their Fueling Musicians emergency relief program. Thank you for all you do to support our community, KTBA!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Forever grateful to the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation's Fueling Musicians Program for their generous support in my time of need. It has made all the difference to have them as a resource. The process was incredibly straight forward, and the staff are kind, encouraging, and great communicators. During the duress of COVID and the struggles presented for musicians and the music industry, Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation's generosity has brought a good deal of peace of mind and hope back into my world. It has also put my band in a position to be ready to return to touring as soon as we're able to safely do so. Thank you to Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation and the Fueling Musicians Program for acknowledging how crucial music is to our world, and doing the work to support musicians through this incredibly difficult time. They are doing a fantastic job.

Al L.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a very generous organization. I'm Al Lauro, the band leader of Big Al & the Heavyweights. I lost all my gigs in March. I'm a single Dad raising an autistic son. They not only sent me a very generous check but a gas card and gift card to Guitar Center . These folks were very easy to work with and completely supportive.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing, this package really helped all the musicians going thru a difficult time or with jobs lost on pandemic. Thanks to KTBA Foundation for this awesome help! - Emmanuel

Client Served

Rating: 5

KTBA provided great assistance to me this year through the Fueling Musicians Program. My entire year of touring was cancelled in an instant and the grant they provided helped give me and my family a bit more peace of mind during a turbulent time. Thank you KTBA

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping The Blues Alive has helped me tremendously this year during the Covid-19 crisis. As a musician it was hard to find help. This organization reached out to the community and I am so grateful to this non profit for the support I've received from them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to be the recipient one of the grants that the Foundation created to support touring musicians who faced cancellations due to the coronavirus. I'm grateful to the KBAF for pivoting, in the face of the pandemic, to meet 2020's shifting priorities. I was in the middle of a European tour when lockdown began; my remaining Spring tour dates were cancelled and, eventually, so were the rest of my 2020 concerts. To say that this grant was a godsend is not putting it strongly enough. Thanks to KBAF for keeping the music alive by helping to keep the musicians alive during these trying times!

Celeste Di Iorio M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you to Keeping the Blues Alive for supporting musicians and music industry folks throughout this pandemic! You continue to do important and wonderful work!!!

rabega

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping The Blues Alive (KTBA) has been a true and unforgettable gift during these times. KTBA helped give me 'wiggle-room' when wondering what the next move would be. KTBA afforded not only financial, transportation and gear assistance, KTBA also brought prompt care and support. Cheers to KTBA, Joe Bonamassa & Shawn Hagood. Thank You Very Much!

Martin S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Keeping the Blues Alive foundation helped out my music business big time when the Coronavirus pandemic canceled all my gigs!

- Fast Heart "Martin Stamper"

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive has been amazing. They have helped me(an independent musician) get through the pandemic by providing resources and connections to help look passed these last 6 months of not being able to tour. Whether it was through financial support, gas cards, or equipment... I feel like Keeping the Blues Alive is dedicated to helping the smaller musicians out there. Can't thank them enough.

-JR
The Bones of J.R. Jones

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping The Blues Alive was a life saver! The check AND the gas card really helped us tremendously as I haven’t had any steady gigs since March 16th. This is an amazing organization and my family is grateful for its existence. They are definitely keeping the musicians alive.
Steve Hass & Family

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive was very helpful and timely when most needed.
Because it is run by musicians, they understand the special needs for musicians.
They were quick in responding and delivering the help that was needed in a human way.
Their staff was excellent.
KTBA Rocks! Five stars, and Thank You!

Eric M.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation helped keep me alive this year during this terrible, historic pandemic, as it did other professional musicians, including friends of mine. By the middle of March, all of my gigs, guitar workshops and even private students disappeared for the foreseeable future, except for a small number of private students who were interested in lessons on Zoom. For working musicians like myself, the grants, prepaid gasoline credit cards and Guitar Center cards all were highly appreciated. I am grateful to Joe Bonamassa, Shawn Hagood and the crew at Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation for considering my application and in helping me and my family during a challenging time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an awesome organization to help musicians and artist survive. I have benefited from the great deeds of this company

Eric J.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This foundation has helped me and other artists I know during this difficult time. They are always above board in their communications and delivering the aid to artists.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation blessed me beyond belief during the COVID-19 pandemic. They ensured that my vehicle had gas for a couple months and that I had money in my pocket for essentials and needs. They went above and beyond for myself and countless other musicians all over the country who have suffered greatly due to something that none of us could have ever imagined. They are amazing folks and truly love the musicians and do everything they can for us.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am genuinely amazed by the enthusiasm the Fueling Musicians Program campaign has maintained its steam during the pandemic. Joe Bonamassa has said he is an impatient man, he is also relentless in his pursuit not only to keep the blues alive but also caring for his fellow musicians. Most people once they have attained success want more for themselves. He is successful but clearly remembers his meager beginnings and is eager to help others.

The KTBA also funds students in schools.
Please give what you can. 100% of proceeds go to their efforts.
If it is within your means there are annual cruises to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean through Norwegian Cruise Lines. They feature up and coming artists intermingled with established stars for four days of non stop concerts. It is a blast.

Music is an important part of most of our lives, students should be able to pursue music, song writers and musicians bring joy to our lives. Please help them all continue to be creative for themselves and for us.

Be safe and be good. Peace.
Savitri Hook

Tom W.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a part of Keeping the Blues Alive. I have been with them for a couple of years, and they have been a leader in helping musicians in our time of need. Thank you.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I participated in junior high and high school bands and they were the programs that gave me a life long love affair with music and made me a more complete person.
I understand how vital it is for developing minds to be exposed to the arts as well as the traditional educational programs, so I will continue to support this foundation and all the good work it does...
R. Scofield

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a real-deal, great charity. Joe Bonamassa is a gifted musician who wants to see music education keep an important place in public schools. This charity is his way of having others with a similar vision have a way to donate money that will be spent wisely. I have personally seen the effects that a donation by the foundation had on a local school near my place of business. If you support music education, this is a great charity for you to support.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If you think this organization just donates to "other" towns and schools, just look at the newsletter and you may be surprised to see your own community has already benefitted from KTBA's musical instrument donations or event sponsorships. Personally I've been to a day long blues event they helped sponsor and I know of at least one local school that has received instruments. They put our money where it has an immediatate and lasting effect!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive generously supported our high school's request for money to help support our attendance at a festival in San Diego, CA, through Donorschoose.org. My students and I are extremely grateful for their support and love for music in the USA. -Joshua White, Music Director: Santa Cru Valley UHS, Eloy, AZ

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think Willie Dixon said it best..."That's the reason I always say about music, the blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. Without the roots, you have no fruits so it's better keeping the roots alive because it means better fruits from now on." Blues music is the history of the human experience in music...so (for me personally) keeping blues alive means to preserve a forum for valuable expression and insight.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation in my experience has been awesome! After posting a grant on donors choose for drumsticks and tambourines, their generous donation has helped me achieve the best lesson unit with my older students so far! The kids are thriving and it's all because of their wonderful donation.

Donor

Rating: 4

Very pleasant interaction, honorable objective, gracious and appreciative recipient.

Donor

Rating: 5

Blues music is the roots of virtually all American music. The Blues can be about good times as well as give solace and comfort in bad times. The Blues can be a part of anyone's life, it knows no boundaries. During the past sixty some years I have seen the popularity of the Blues rise and fall many times. Unfortunately the Blues never seems to get the radio airplay and exposure it deserves. Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation Inc. is a long overdue organization that not only gives the younger generation the tools and hopefully incites in them the desire to carry on this uniquely American musical art form and follow in the footsteps of the legends that have kept the Blues rolling along in good times and bad. The Blues is alive and well in spite of what some people think and Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation Inc. is doing it's best to keep it that way. Who knows maybe the next legendary Bluesman (or woman) will be the result of the work being done by Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation Inc.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

KTBA is run by people who are truly passionate about furthering music education in schools. The foundation has made a positive impact on many lives.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a 5-12 band director in a rural district. We are short on funds, and I am short on some basic equipment. I posted a Donor's Choose Project worth about $800 hoping to get part of it funded. The Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation fully funded my project! I now have tuners, metronomes, guitar picks, and more to use in my classroom! I was and still humbled by the generosity of this fine organization.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I've witnessed the need for music education support from both sides (teacher and former contributor to Keeping the Blues Alive) and love the work Shawn and the team get done. Aside from their regular social media posts raising awareness to the general public, KTBA has accomplished some concrete objectives such as funding instrumental programs in many different areas of the country. Keep up the great work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keeping music in schools absolutely necessary for our youth. This is a great foundation.

1 Karly H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing focus and I feel they are impacting our future leaders. So much potential here. Love the direction and creative forces in this movement!

1 Bobbiejean C.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am 63 and grew up in small rural schools where football was king and music barely existed. most kids had to rent their instruments. it touches me deeply to see these schools getting needed items for their programs. Keeping The Blues Alive is doing an excellent job of getting needed materials to schools in need. I have been a blues fan since I was little. I grew up in Mississippi listening to negro gospel out of ackerman in the morning and bluegrass in the evening. my "tataw" --granddaddy--played harmonica & banjo. love this organization. wish I could contribute more than I have.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keeping the Blues Alive is such an important cause to me. Music education was everything to me growing up and it really influenced my positive attitude and outlook on life. As more funding is cut from schools and local areas to promote the arts, I hope KTBA can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful charity!
My wife and I have been involved with KTBA for just a year now, and we cannot say enough great things about this charity & its founder Joe Bonamassa!
We strongly believe in music education and have seen the difference music makes in children's lives.
Our donations go directly to individual kids as well as kids in the classrooms in all 50 states . The KTBA.org website allows us to see students who have received scholarships and instruments on a weekly basis.
We have decided to get more involved with Keeping the Blues Alive and to help champion this cause in our area.
Keep up the great work!