The New Orleans Brass Band Musicians Relief Fund fills the financial gap left by cancelled gigs to support New Orleans’ brass band musicians, their families, and the tradition they carry during the COVID-19 crisis.
CONTRIBUTORS DONATE HERE
MUSICIANS APPLY HERE
New Orleans brass bands bring us together. They organize us into exuberance, bring us through our grief for loved ones passed, lead us down the street with high and fast stepping. While our venues are closed and our streets are silent, it’s our turn to organize for them. “New Orleans Brass Band Musicians Relief Fund” organizes funds to support the people who give life to this essential tradition. The funds go directly into the hands of New Orleans brass band musicians, so they can cover their basic expenses during this time.
NOBB Musicians Relief Fund is set up to accommodate the way gigging musicians often get paid - in cash, “under the table”, or as splits from a tip bucket. The nature of these payments means most musicians are unable to apply for unemployment or other relief funds. Most cannot provide bank statements that prove the income they used to have and the income they’re losing each day the COVID-19 crisis extends. For this reason, NOBBMRF is flexible and low-barrier. It’s not about providing prepared food or food boxes, it’s about supporting musicians the same way unemployment supports the “formal workforce”: cash grants. We believe this is the most efficient and effective way to support the New Orleans Brass Band community.
The busy March-May Spring season in New Orleans is key to enabling musicians to make ends meet year-round, using the buffer of the spring season to get through the slow summer months. While some of the gigs might eventually be rescheduled, many gig workers who rely on the Spring festivals, weddings, and celebrations to get them through those slow months are seeing a dip in their funds where there should be a peak. NOBBMRF aims to offer assistance to make sure musicians can provide basic necessities like groceries and rent payments for their families, starting with the month of April.
For every Sunday you’ve spent dancing down the street behind the band, for every wedding, funeral and celebration that’s been lifted up with brass music, for every time you’ve yelled “hey!” after the trumpet’s call, give back by stepping up with us to support the musicians who make those moments happen.
Current projects: Radical Health Zine, the New American Songbook, Pathways with Joseph Campbell.