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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

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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 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

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

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.

Previous Stories
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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Outstanding music and musicians. Lifelong dedication to music

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.

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 )

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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

3 Matt49

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group helps jazz and blues musicians to cope with difficult situations by providing financial and other sorts of support. The funds come from neighborhood jazz concerts presenting the best musicians in the area. Of course the musicians in need benefit greatly, but over the years the organization's committed leaders have also greatly expanded the opportunities for listeners to hear great music and for musicians to have fairly paid opportunities to play. The concerts are designed to be conveniently accessible to everyone in the region, and they're scheduled in early evening so young people can attend. There's a special question-and-answer period so people can learn more about this great American cultural treasure. With the commercial market for jazz and other forms of art music shrinking, organizations like Jazz Bridge become more and more important in preserving jazz as a live, spontaneously created art form. Yes, it helps musicians in need, but it's also a great benefit to present and future music lovers.

Comments ( 1 )

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Suzanne 10/17/2013

Thanks for taking the time to write such a beautiful review.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jazz Bridge does a wonderful job of helping local Jazz Musicians who are in need of emergency funds, medical care, general assistance. I'm a full time musician, and I have seen up close the great work that they do, including helping friends of mine, who had nowhere else to turn.
They also sponsor community concerts, which go a long way to keep the music alive, and to enrich the the communities that they serve.
Barry Wahrhaftig,
guitarist- Jenkintown PA

Comments ( 1 )

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Suzanne 10/17/2013

Thanks Barry for a great review!

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization, and it is helping people who often have nowhere else to turn, Jazz musicians who have fallen on hard times.
I am a Jazz musician myself, say], and although I haven't had the need to ask for help for myself, [ there but for the grace of God, as they say], I have told some friends of mine about them, and what they can offer. I can say that they have helped folks that I know, [sometimes it's better to keep it private]. They are really helping to fill a need that is largely going unmet.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have attended several of the Jazz Bridge neighborhood concerts in Collingswood. They present great talents in a small setting at a
very minimal cost. The newsletter and e-mails are also very informative
about what is happening in the local jazz scene and about the fine work the organization is doing in helping musicians in need.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of the Jazz Bridge Project several years ago through a colleague who quickly became a friend: Harrison Ridley. I subscribed to the website, discovered immediately, that Jazz Bridge is extraordinarily responsive to the daily realities and needs of persons within our communities whose creative lives are enriching the culture we know as jazz. Jazz Bridge is a safe-space; a network of resources; a crisis-intervention center; and a community as expansive and embracing as the persons who choose to access, support, and attend to the business of ensuring lives of well-being for our creative artists.

Review from Guidestar