For over three decades, the Jazz Foundation of America has helped jazz and blues musicians in need of emergency funds. From housing assistance to pro bono medical services, the non-profit provides to musicians and families in times of crisis.
To fund the New York City organization, artistic director Steve Jordan and promoter Peter Shapiro are teaming up for a special 16-hour livestream, called Red, White, Black & Blues, that presents the story of Black music through classic performances.
Available on Shapiro's Fans.com, the charity broadcast will feature archival performances of Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Earth Wind & Fire, The Meters, The Temptations, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic and more.
"We thought the best way to showcase the unmatched influence that Black performers have on music that defines America and the American identity was to actually show it." shared Shapiro in a statement. "So, we edited 16 hours of video together, featuring the most amazing live performances by Black American artists over the past 100 years. It’s a very powerful thing to watch, and it becomes quite clear quickly that the story of popular music in America is driven by the story of Black music.” The livestream will also include clips featuring Sade, Beyoncé, Missy Elliot, Alicia Keys, Tupac and other iconic Black musicians who have made unforgettable contributions to the cultural fabric of America.
“Jazz, blues and gospel are African-American art forms,” shared Jordan, who also performs in the John Mayer trio as a drummer. “They are the basis of rock & roll. They are also the bedrock of American pop culture. American pop culture has turned out to be our greatest export. The universal language of music is undeniable, unmistakable and unstoppable.”
Tune into the marathon here.