[JPL] Fundraiser for Bay Area jazz musicians' health care

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Sat Apr 10 12:43:45 EDT 2010

  Fundraiser for Bay Area jazz musicians' health care

By Angela Woodall
The Oakland Tribune, Calif.

Apr. 8--Few jazz musicians today choose to live the rough lives that led 
to the early deaths of such legends as Charlie Parker. But one thing is 
still the same: They tend to neglect their health. That, jazz trumpeter 
Eddie Gale said, is because few are able to afford health care.

The situation is something Gale wants to change by creating a jazz 
musician health care collective. Which is why he organized the Jazz Fest 
fundraiser April 23-24 at Velma's in San Francisco.

Health care is desperately needed in the jazz world, Gale said. "I've 
seen it too long in my career -- seen too many great jazz musicians not 
taking care of themselves."

Even with the changes brought about by the recently passed health care 
reform, jazz musicians are vulnerable.

Their incomes depend on shows that often pay poorly -- in cash. As a 
result, few have savings or pension plans, according to the California 
Jazz Foundation.

''We've got to do something about this. It doesn't make sense," said 
Gale, of San Jose. The situation is more pressing because the new laws 
will require individuals to carry health insurance.

The government plans to step in to help low-income Americans. But, as a 
collective, the musicians can negotiate a better rate, Gale said.

The musicians would play regular weekly gigs at Bay Area venues to 
qualify for membership in the collective. They keep the pay from the 
regular shows but effectively work for their health care,

which would be funded by donations from an annual gala event every April.

''What's a better a time than Jazz Appreciation Month," Gale said.

''The whole country needs health insurance. We are just putting the 
light on jazz musicians."

Drum night starts at 7:30 p.m. April 23 with jazz drummers E.W. 
Wainwright and Donald Duck Bailey, the African Roots of Jazz band, and 
the San Francisco City College Advanced Jazz Band. The night continues 
with performances by Clifford Brown III, Will Nichols, Lewis Jordan and 
Wayne Wallace. On April 24, the event starts with free youth and adult 
workshops with guitarist Bobby Vega from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Then the 
music begins again at 8 p.m. For a full list of performers, go to 
www.californiajazzfoundation.org. Clubs and musicians interested in 
participating in the collective should call 408-294-3173.

Follow Angela Woodall at Twitter.com/angelawoodall or 


To see more of The Oakland Tribune or to subscribe to the newspaper, go 
to http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/.

(c) 2010, The Oakland Tribune, Calif.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
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(248) 542-7888
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Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI  48237
(248) 542-7888
SKYPE:  drjazz99

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