Subscribe now for free! JAZZed. CLICK HERE to signup now!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund Applications Open through March 31

Frank Hammel • News • March 10, 2021

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is now accepting applications from musicians for the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund, a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana’s music community who have lost income amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The deadline for applications is March 31.

More details from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the non-profit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, announced today that it has reopened applications for the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund – a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana’s music community who have lost income amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The collapse of the live music industry has affected not only musicians, but thousands of music industry workers and culture bearers who work alongside them. The pandemic has triggered a “domino effect” in the music sector with cancelled music events disrupting income for so many.

The Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund was first created in March 2020 by the Foundation to support Louisiana musicians whose livelihoods had been adversely impacted by COVID-19. During the past year, relief fund grants have been awarded to 2,500 musicians, music industry workers and Black Masking Indians with distributions totaling just more than $1,000,000. An additional $800,000 has since been raised with thanks to community partners and advocates: Spotify; Greater New Orleans Foundation, Inc.Miller/ Crescent Crown; New Orleans Business Alliance; Bentson Foundation; Give Back 2020 Tulane Fund; Michael Murphy Productions; Goldring Foundation; R.C. Baker Foundation and more than 1,500 donors from across the world.

Recognizing the continued dire hardships the pandemic is causing for Louisiana’s music community, the Foundation’s board has extended its giving efforts to help offer further economic relief. The first round of funding will be open to musicians. Additional funding for music community members will be announced in the coming months. The board plans to continue to explore opportunities to aid Louisiana’s music culture during this crisis to expand upon its existing community support.

Those eligible for this round of the relief funds are musicians who currently live in Louisiana. Applications are open now at Musicians without access to a computer or internet, can call 504-558-6108 for application assistance. Read more about eligibility requirements here.

Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Don Marshall said, “The contributions musicians make to enrich our lives are immeasurable. It’s important that we recognize the centrality of music and culture in our daily lives. Now more than ever is a time to support and acknowledge the impact musicians have on our cultural continuity. The impact this fund has had on the music community has been one full of hope and perseverance. It was created during a time when so many people needed good news,” Marshall said.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Board President, Jeffrey Goldring, added that, “The social and financial inequities that many musicians experienced before the pandemic have only been amplified by the current global pandemic. With a commitment to continuing the support for our local music community, the Foundation’s board believes that the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund is timely, but most of all, still necessary.”

The Foundation has invested proceeds from Jazz Fest directly into the community with grants to fund projects that support the Foundation’s mission. Over the last 10 years, more than $9.1 million dollars have been awarded in Community Partnership Grants. Through the Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund, the Foundation continues its support of Louisiana’s music community.

Make a Difference

Donations are still being accepted. Make your tax-deductible donation to the relief fund at; 100 percent of donations is applied directly to aid.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation invests proceeds from Jazz Fest and additional funds that we raise for year-round programming in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. Education programs include the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lectures, the Class Got Brass competition for school brass bands, a youth audio workshop program, youth vocal workshops, and more! Economic Development initiatives include the Community Partnership Grants, the Catapult Fund accelerator program and Sync Up entertainment industry workshops. Cultural enrichment programs include the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series and annual Foundation Festivals: the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival. Importantly, these are free programs that the Jazz and Heritage Foundation has developed over many years to ensure that we give back to Louisiana. The Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund is a natural extension of the work we have been doing for the community since 1979. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation also owns radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM and the Jazz & Heritage Archive. In late 2014, the Foundation opened the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center – an education and community facility named for Jazz Fest founder George Wein and his late wife Joyce.

For more about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, please visit us online at

To request assistance through the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund, please apply here.

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!