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Rex Foundation Announces Jerry Garcia Award and Grants


The Rex Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting distinctive arts, environmental and social services programs through grassroots giving, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Jerry Garcia Award, along with other new grantees.

Arts for Humanity! is the recipient of the Rex Foundation's Jerry Garcia Award in memory of Grateful Dead guitarist and founding Rex Board member Jerry Garcia.  This award honors and supports individuals and groups that work to encourage creativity in young people. We believe the work of Arts for Humanity! (AH!) is just what the Jerry Garcia Award is about.  AH! celebrates humanity through the arts with programs that cultivate creativity and empower people with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, the elderly and others in partnership with local artists and the Santa Barbara community. AH!'s performing and visual arts programs benefit individuals and build community by giving a voice to the underserved through the power and beauty of the arts.

We made four additional grants to grassroots non-profit organizations doing outstanding work.  In connection with the generous support of the Sacramento Kings that resulted from the February and March, 2011 Grateful Dead Tribute games, the following two local area programs received Rex grants:

  • Sacramento Blues Society Blues In The Schools (BITS) program, which gives Sacramento-area youth an opportunity to participate in a dynamic interactive musical experience with professional musicians. The Blues In The Schools program brings students together with musicians, educators, storytellers, and other performers in a synergistic environment, creating a free flowing exchange of the Blues experience and facilitating a lifelong passion for learning.
  • The Yolo County Children's Alliance, which was established in 2002 as an essential services program at Alyce Norman Center in West Sacramento to address a number of concerns that impacted children and families.  The Rex grant helps support the Children and Families' Access to Food program that provides 150 low-income families with fresh fruits and vegetables and other food items each week. This program, threatened by recent state budget cuts, not only provides essential food and nutrition education, but also enables the Alliance to reach more families with additional support services.

The two other Rex grant recipients are:

  • The Tiburon Salmon Institute (TSI), an organization that teaches school-age youth about salmon, steelhead, and the stream, river and ocean habitats that we share with them, with the overall mission to "Empower Today's Youth To Save Tomorrow's Salmon."  The Rex grant of $5,000 both supports this vital work and helped make possible a matched grant from the Belevedere Community Foundation, thereby significantly boosting the ability of TSI to advance its program.
  • The Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp provides all local West Marin children with equal access to memorable summer camp experiences. Although camp fees are kept to a third the cost of similar camps, many area families are unable to pay even part.  The Rex grant provides funding for The Music Project for the Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp to provide additional activities in the form of music education for the campers, with emphasis on building community through music, especially through the rhythms of drumming.

Click here to learn more about each of these great Rex grantees.

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About the Rex Foundation:

Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.  Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Lunch with Jon Fishman!

The Mimi Fishman Foundation announces two donations were issued April 29 to the Tuscaloosa, AL area to help the tornado victims. The Foundation donated $2,500 to Hands On Birmingham’s Disaster Relief program and $2,500 to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Disaster Response program.

In addition the Foundation recently hosted a pair of auctions that raised over $6,600 for Rock The Earth and over $5,100 for Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation.

The Foundation also just launched a new charity auction that predominantly features items donated by Phish. Two items are certain to generate quite a bit of interest, one of which includes joining Phish drummer Jon Fishman for lunch, the other is the actual black kick drumhead – with Phish logo – and signed by all members of Phish. In addition the auction features signed drumsticks and drumheads used during Phish 2010 shows.

The on-line auction is currently live with the bidding coming to close on Tuesday, May 24.

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

UK Sensation Israel Nash Gripka Releases Sophomore Album Today

Singer/songwriter Israel Nash Gripka releases his sophomore album entitled Barn Doors & Concrete Floors TODAY, March 29, 2011. Building on the success of his debut release, New York Town (2009), Gripka is poised to increase his fan base both stateside and abroad. In fact, strong buzz for the upcoming release in the UK, lead UNCUT Magazine to include a track from the new album on their March cover mount.

In addition to a new record, the Ozark native has been passionately supporting Food for Thought a program created by his mother. Across 29 counties in southwest Missouri, children often go home to an empty dinner plate. Many of these children rely on school meals alone for their daily nutrition. In the Pierce City school system where Gripka grew up, 71% of children qualify for free or reduced lunches. Food for Thought was established to help by providing the most at-risk children with backpacks filled with healthy, easy open foods to eat over the weekends. “It is such a great program,” says Gripka. “I’m honored to help give back to my hometown and help kids in need.” In addition to working with his mother to obtain donations, Gripka is working on a music festival this summer to raise money for the program.

Multiple tours in the US and Europe, growing recognition as a songwriter and new philanthropic endeavors, the last two years left Gripka with renewed passion. He set out to write new songs, with new sounds and new ideas from these experiences. The nostalgic and uplifting record starts off with the reflective, harmonica infused, “Fools Gold.” It then slips into the bittersweet ache of “Goodbye Ghost” and UNCUT’s March cover mount “Baltimore” before settling into the flirty “Red Dress.”

Harkening back to the days of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Gripka’s vision was to record in a studio that was, in fact, not a studio at all. In the heart of a dusty, old barn nestled deep in the Catskill Mountains, Gripka, along with co-producer/drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and a merry band of musicians, created the highly anticipated follow up. “I really wanted to capture sounds that no other place could create,” says Gripka. “I wanted to throw away clocks, avoid set hours, eat around a big table for dinner and sit around a warm fire at night. The idea was to create an environment where nothing else really mattered except making music.”

Gripka presents a musical experience that is both old and new. In an almost conflicting manner, Gripka uses his upbringing as the son of a southern Baptist minister to contrast the realities of his life through music. From drinking to praying, from churches to county jails and from sorrow to revival, his songs are stories and reflections that kick like classic Rock N’ Roll all while pining with the heart of Americana roots, complete with undertones of soul trampled country, and gospel choirs.

The 11 track record plays like a vinyl relic you might find in your parent’s basement. “When artists make records that are unencumbered by regimented schedules,” says Gripka. “And you turn off contact from the outside world and really reflect, you can hear that in the recording.” Listeners will hear it loud and clear on Barn Doors & Concrete Floors.

For more information about Israel Nash Gripka, to purchase the album or donate to Food for Thought visit www.israelgripka.com.

ROCK'N BOWL TO BENEFIT THE BOGART FUND

The Rock 'n Bowl Charity Event will be held on February 3, 2011 from 7pm-2am at the Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes at LA Live in Los Angeles, CA to benefit the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.  Celebrities from the Music and Entertainment Industries will be in attendance to support the charity.  Tax-deductible donations for tickets, sponsorship of lanes and raffle tickets are funding this event to save lives.  There will be an After-Party Tribute Concert in memory of Richie Hayward (drummer of Little Feat who lost his battle with Cancer on August 12, 2010) featuring performances by members of his band and Nashville Recording Artist, Nick Nicholson, fresh from his New Year's Eve performance with Toby Keith. Sound and lighting provided by Southern California Sound Image of Escondido.

Over the years, hundreds of volunteers have worked passionately with the charity to help raise the funds to provide research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. The charity is proud of their long history and reputation for innovation in fundraising and the research they support.

The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program is headquartered in Los Angeles at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Contact Melissa Rosen for more information, Her email address is:

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WHEN: FEBRUARY 3, 2011

BOWLING FROM 7PM-11PM

"We Are All VIP's" AFTER-PARTY FROM 11PM-2AM

WHERE: LUCKY STRIKE BOWLING LANES, LA LIVE

800 WEST OLYMPIC BLVD.

LOS ANGELES, CA  90015

WHAT:FOOD AND DRINKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

COST:$20/PER PERSON DONATION

$500 - LANE SPONSORSHIP DONATION

$5/TICKET - RAFFLE DRAWING HONORING SHELLEY LAZAR

* POLLSTARLIVE! PRE-PARTY/HOB REUNION FUNDRAISING EVENT

Roy GAINES “Tuxedo Blues” Blues Award Academie' Best Blues Album

Roy Gaines & His Orchestra recorded their first CD “Tuxedo Blues” (Black Gold Records) in 2009 at Capitol Records, and has performed at local venues and events in 2010 including the Central Ave Jazz Festival, The Typhoon Restaurant and the Catalina Jazz Club.  The motto of this 17-piece orchestra is “Dress the blues up”.

Tuxedo Blues has been aired on KKJZ 88.1 FM by Helen Borgers, who also wrote the liner notes.  The blues we hear on this disc have been arranged for a swingin’ big band that could be performing at the elegant ballrooms of the most prestigious hotels.

The music harkens back to the days when Roy was part of a touring program, on the same bill with Count Basie’s Orchestra and Jimmy Rushing, under the influence of impresario John Hammond.  But the music transcends any one era.   Roy puts everything he has into everything he does.  And he is a visionary.  His plans for the evolution of this music – where it will be heard, played and grown – are exiciting.  Today a homage to Count Basie, tomorrow Duke Ellington.  Beyond – who knows?   One thing is for sure, it will be a class act!

Amanda Palmer - CD Release Concert at Berklee Performance Center

A chance meeting with Amanda Palmer has led to the chance of a lifetime for Berklee summer student and Saratoga Springs, NY-based pianist Tristan Allen. Walking home from a rehearsal in late August, Palmer met a group of Berklee summer students on the last day of the college's five-week program. She decided to take a picture of three teens who were hugging on a bench. They obliged, and as she walked away, one of the teens, Allen, ran up after her, having been told "she plays cabaret piano music." When Palmer informed him she was in the Dresden Dolls, Allen was shocked -- he had been a fan of the band for ages -- and asked if she'd be interested in hearing his original piano music.

With no practice spaces available, Palmer said, "My house is six blocks away. I have a piano. Let's go there." So they did. Allen performed, and his music so impressed Palmer that she asked him if she could webcast to her fans on the spot. For the next hour, he played original compositions and improvisations for Palmer's online fanbase (over 450,000 Twitter followers), insuring that many would witness the event.

The response was ecstatic and demand for Allen's music was such that Palmer invited him to a studio a few weeks later to record a five-song EP. It was funded directly from her fanbase using Kickstarter, generating over $8,000 in 48 hours. The EP, recorded in September in Boston with engineer Owen Curtin and produced by Amanda Palmer, includes four of Allen's compositions and one four-handed piano duet, "János vs. Wonderland," that Palmer and Allen wrote together and recorded exclusively for the album.  You can download the MP3 of "János vs. Wonderland” duet with Amanda Palmer HERE for a taste of what you will hear on the rest of the self titled EP, Tristan Allen!

The CD release concert, An Evening with Amanda Palmer and Tristan Allen, will take place Sunday, December 12 at 7 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC).  The concert will be streamed live via Ustream. Ticket proceeds will fund a Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program scholarship. The album will be available in physical and digital format on KickStarter!

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Tristan Allen
Tristan Allen's music is solo piano (no vocals), blending heartful passages of improvisational rhythm and textural, cinematic drama, inviting comparisons to his heroes Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Eric Satie, and Yann Tierson. His upbringing added to his artistic coffers; his Montreal-native mother is a dance professor at a university, and his father is a top scenic designer. The family lived in Japan for several years. Allen, currently a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, plans to study piano performance and electronic music in college.

Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer is a performer, director, composer, and musician who is best known for her role as front woman and keyboardist for the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret band the Dresden Dolls. In 2008, Palmer released Who Killed Amanda Palmer, her debut solo album which was produced by Ben Folds. Palmer is currently on a reunion tour with The Dresden Dolls and recently ended a sold-out run of 43 shows in which she starred as the Emcee in the American Repertory Theater's production of "Cabaret" in her native Boston.

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Berklee Performance Centeris located: 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

General admission tickets are $10 and will be available starting Nov. 5 at the BPC box office and through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com). A limited number of free tickets will be available for Berklee students, faculty, staff, and alumni. For more information, visit Berkleebpc.com or call 617-747-2261. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

2010 ACFNY FALL JAZZ FESTIVAL

During the week of October 19 – 23 a new generation of Austrian jazz musicians will hit the New York scene. For this year’s installment of the annual series, the Austrian Cultural Forum has found a new partner in Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club. The Festival will showcase Austria’s foremost young artists on five consecutive nights, and tap into a unique blend of Austrian and American creativity. This year’s Festival kicks off on Tuesday, October 19th at the Austrian Cultural Forum: one of Austria’s leading jazz musicians, Wolfgang Puschnig will perform with his American musical partner and free funk bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Martin Reiter will also present his new solo program. Join us for some late night jazz sessions at exclusive Jazz Club Dizzy’s where Christian Maurer’s band Mausi will appear together with Jack Walrath and versatile alto voice Ali Gaggl on Wednesday, October 20th. On Thursday October 21st, the program at Dizzy’s continues with young jazz singer Simone Kopmajer, who will perform with talented young musicians from New York. The Austrian-born drummer Gernot Bernroider and his band Oulipians will appear together with the extraordinary vocalist Chanda Rule on Friday the 22nd. The series will conclude with Franz Hackl and his Acoustic Band on Saturday, October 23rd, featuring Kenny Davis and special guest Randy Brecker.

Members of Austria’s hip young jazz scene move freely and fluidly among the multifaceted styles in the world of jazz, always intent on finding and refining their own modes of expression. There is no other city in Europe where opportunities for musicians to mingle with each other are as diverse and spontaneous as in Vienna. The spirit of openness is part of Austria's musical heritage, as is a joy of connecting with musicians from other countries.

All events take place at the ACFNY, 11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022 and at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, Frederick P. Rose Hall Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor