Los Angeles — Following a visit to New Orleans in November 2005, U2’s The Edge announced the unveiling of Music Rising, a campaign to raise funds to replace the lost instruments and accessories of the musicians affected by the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast region. Lead partners Gibson Guitar and Guitar Center Music Education Foundation have spearheaded the initial effort by collaborating on the design, manufacture and sale of an exclusive Gibson guitar with all proceeds going directly to the Music Rising program. The guitar will be available through Guitar Center.
The instrument captures the essence of the Gulf Coast’s musical tradition. A very limited quantity will be produced with all proceeds benefiting Music Rising and a pledge of $1 million in support. The Gibson Music Rising guitar features hand-painted designs using the colors of Mardi Gras. Each guitar will be individually painted and handmade. All of the usual plastic parts (back plate, pick guard, toggle cover, truss rod cover) have been replaced by woods from the States affected by the hurricanes, and the Music Rising logo, exclusive to this guitar, is etched into the pick guard.
The Edge visited New Orleans between U2’s Vertigo tour dates to see the profound impact on the area first-hand and to spend time with local musicians, listening to their experiences and trying to understand their needs. During his stay, he toured several neighborhoods and struggling venues.
“My recent visit to New Orleans gave me a first-hand look at the devastation which tragically destroyed the lives of thousands. The area’s rich and spirited culture must be restored and can be by assisting those musicians affected by the disaster, which in turn will bring back the essence of the regions,” said Edge. “Providing replacement instruments through Music Rising will not only help the professional musicians to regain a foothold on their future, but will also ensure that one of the Gulf Coast’s greatest assets, its music, will rise again.”
The application and qualification process for musicians will be handled by MusiCares®, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping music people in crisis which has already provided more than $1.5 million in direct financial assistance to more than 1,800 Gulf Coast music people. MusiCares Foundation will manage all eligibility for Music Rising grants, and fulfillment of the grants will be managed by Musician’s Friend, one of the country’s largest online music retailers.
In addition to the purchase of the Music Rising guitar, interested supporters can make tax-deductible contributions to Music Rising at www.mus icrising.org or by sending a check made payable to: Music Rising, c/o MusiCares Foundation, 3402 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405. For more information on Music Rising or how to purchase the Music Rising Gibson guitar go to www.musicrising.org.