NEW ORLEANS — Losing weeks, maybe even months, of paying gigs, working musicians are taking one of the hardest hits from the coronavirus shutdown.
The Jazz Foundation of America is working to get them the counseling and financial support they need to support their families through this tough time and a New Orleans tuba player is helping them pull it off.
Jon Gross, who mainly plays with the Treme Brass Band, will be featured in a video being put together to raise money for the COVID-19 Musicians Emergency Fund.
The video will feature musicians from all over the world playing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” together.
“During times of trouble, during great times … that song appeals to the entire world,” Gross said. “I think that’s why the Jazz Foundation of America chose it to represent this time of need for musicians.”
The COVID-19 Musicians Emergency Fund will help musicians across the country cover basic living expenses for their families during the coronavirus crisis.
“These artists live precariously even in good economic times, with no job security and minimal savings. Now they face an indefinite period of financial free fall, with months of gigs lost already,” Joe Petrucelli, Executive Director of the JFA, said. “One after another, musicians are saying the same thing: ‘I don't know how I will provide for my family.’”
Money donated to the fund will go directly to musicians in need, according to Petrucelli, and help keep an always resilient community afloat.
“If a Little bit of playing tuba on a phone video can help my country and my musicians, my friends, my colleagues, that’s what I’m going to do,” Gross said.