community

Young Deadhead Composes "The World As It Could Be" & More Good News

Henry Sidle, a 12-year old self-proclaimed avid Deadhead and musician, learned about the Rex Foundation when he read a review of The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  He contacted us, seeking to include Rex as the community service element of his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.  When I asked if he would consider learning more about The World As It Could Be project and help raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, perhaps applying his musical talents along the way, Henry enthusiastically said, "Yes!"  Henry composed an original song "The World As It Could Be" and created a video to help get the word out about furthering human rights. Click here to read more about Henry's project, see the video and the song lyrics, and learn more about my unexpected, yet very special personal connection to Henry. Henry will be performing this song at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, interviewed by David Gans.

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Here are upcoming Rex Musical Caravan events that reflect the wonderful support of the musical community and beyond.  Enjoy some fun, great music and kindred connection, while supporting the Rex Foundation at the same time:

July 8-10 in Tipton, PA - Pennsylvania's Mysterytrain once again supports the Rex Foundation, this time at the multi-day JesterFest at the PPG Pavilion.  Click here for details.

July 14-17 - The All Good Festival once again supports the Rex Foundation, including a Rex Jam on Saturday with Matt Butler and The Everyone Orchestra to support the Preston High School Music Program.

Saturday, August 6 - Sonoma County's own Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone (THUGZ) are doing another show for Rex - outdoors under the stars at the rustic Rio Nido Roadhouse.  Here are the details.

Tuesday, August 9 - The SF Giants will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead with another special event package that includes support for the Rex Foundation as they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is information on how to get your tickets now.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Race Riot Suite

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will release their 21st album Race Riot Suite on August 30th. Conceived, written and arranged by the band's lap steel guitarist Chris Combs, the recording is a long form conceptual piece that tells the tragic story of the 1921 Tulsa race riot. JFJO's core line-up, which in addition to Combs includes Brian Haas (piano), Jeff Harshbarger (bass) and Josh Raymer (drums), is accompanied by a five-piece horn section featuring Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and baritone saxophone), Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone), Mark Southerland (tenor saxophone) and Matt Leland (trombone). The album was produced by Costa Stasinopoulos and recorded at Tulsa's legendary Church Studio less than a mile from where the riot happened.
In 1921, Tulsa was home to a powerful and affluent African-American community. In one of the largest racial conflicts and cover-ups in American history, massive race riots resulted in the death of hundreds of black Tulsans and the destruction of the entire Greenwood city district, including "Black Wall Street." With jittery melodies, propulsive rhythms and swirling improvisations, JFJO reflects on one of the least understood atrocities of the Jim Crow-era. As the Race Riot Suite unfolds, however, the music ultimately offers light amid the darkness, celebrating the resiliency of community and offering a prayer for the terrible mistakes of the past to never again be repeated. Through the process, the album becomes part of a long lineage of jazz recordings to bring awareness to civil rights issues.
"We felt obligated as Oklahomans to shine a light. What played a big part in the creation of the suite was that it wasn't talked about in Tulsa or taught in schools. So it's kind of this weird looming thing around a really comfortable middle-class suburban community," explains Combs. "As a Tulsan, there was this weird darkness that was still looming. It wasn't talked about. It was deliberately covered up by the local government and press. The idea came from me as a jazz musician and a Tulsan having an emotional reaction to what I learned."
JFJO debuted Race Riot Suite in its entirety with a live performance at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center this past May. They will embark on a U.S. tour to support the album's release in the Fall. The band performs at Festival International De Jazz De Montreal on Friday evening.

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.

Nonprofit CASH Music previews upcoming release

What Wordpress did for bloggers, we're doing for musicians. CASH Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and our mission is to create open source tools and services that benefit artists and music. The goal is to help artists find sustainability and to encourage innovation in the music industry. We're doing this by building world class open source software designed specifically for the new music industry: tools handling promotion, distribution, commerce — creating the connection between artist and audience.

Too many companies have tried to control the music market and instead have stifled real innovation and freedom for artists. An open source solution will allow tools to be built for the community and improved upon as they are used by that community. We can stop reinventing ways to collect email addresses and focus on real innovation in the music tech space. This benefits artists, managers, labels, and even tech startups.

CASH Music began with the vision of Kristin Hersh, Donita Sparks, Robert Fagan, and Billy O'Connell and has since grown into the organization it is today. Led by Jesse von Doom and Anthony Batt, CASH Music is working on solutions that will range from an instant-setup hosted solution for music sites right down to fully customized, host-your-own code. Every line will be released in the open source and built on open standards.

We want to change everything by creating open source software that freely gives musicians total control over the presentation, sharing, and sale of their music — enabling them to make a living off of their art, building strong direct relationships with their audience.

Learn more about CASH Music by visiting their website.

Todd Snider & Great American Taxi @ Boulder Theater

Mark Vann's spirit parted company with his body on March 4, 2002. Mark consistently lived by the motto of "Go Big!". He applied this motto to both playing music and his unending willingness to offer his time and knowledge to teach anybody who wanted to learn. He encouraged others to "Dream Big", "Go Big", and "Pick Big", and personally supported their efforts to do so. The sun rose on March 5th to the task of shining light into a newly empty space in our many worlds.

The Mark Vann Foundation was created to continue the spirit of joy, gratitude, and generosity that Mark brought to our collective communities through his life and music.

Our primary mission is to serve community based non-profit organizations bringing light, love and laughter into the lives of those in need through nature, music and the arts; and to provide a conduit for kindhearted people with similar values to nurture impactful positive change within their own communities.

The Mark Vann Foundation is supported entirely by volunteer efforts and has no paid employees. It is managed in such a way as to maximize our ability to support beneficiaries by keeping operating costs to a minimum. We warmly welcome all who would like to participate, volunteer, or contribute, and kindly thank the many of you throughout the music community who already have.

Marching forth to help dreams "Go Big!"

More Info / Buy Tickets

Koji Announces Holiday Shows & Spring US Tour

Resolve will take to the road this spring on THE RESOLVE TOUR, accompanied by one of the most powerful voices in music today, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, artist and activist Koji. The six-week tour of the United States will take place in March and April of 2011. The presentation will be a powerful combination of music, storytelling, media, and visual art, with an emphasis on empowerment to create change and build community. Following each event will be a workshop for those interested in getting further involved through concrete and effective action.

Since 2005, Resolve has worked together with communities in central Africa seeking an end to the brutal violence committed by top leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group at the center of Africa’s longest and arguably most ignored war. For more than two decades, the LRA has abducted tens of thousands of children, forcing them to become child soldiers and sex slaves in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic. This war has been largely ignored by the international community even though it is characterized by widespread, brutal violence against civilians, namely children.

The dedicated team at Resolve conducts in-depth field and policy research related to the LRA crisis and facilitates nationwide advocacy campaigns in order to both motivate political leaders to make ending this crisis a genuine priority and guide their efforts toward effective, responsible policymaking.

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Koji Live!

12/26/10
- HOWELL OPERA HOUSE - HOWELL, MI
w/ The Felix Culpa, Stay Ahead of the Weather, Castevet, Apathetic Critic, Shivers

12/27/10 - MUSICA - AKRON, OH
w/ The Felix Culpa, StayAtHeart, more

12/28/10
- MIDTOWN SCHOLAR - HARRISBURG, PA
w/ Balance and Composure, Stay Ahead of the Weather, Castevet

12/29/10 - BULL RUN UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS - MANASSAS, VA
guests TBA

12/30/10
- BRIEF RELIEF 2010 - BRANDYWINE VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH - WILMINGTON, DE
guests TBA, benefit show to raise awareness for homelessness in the surrounding areas

Jake Shimabukuro Believes Music is Good Medicine

"If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place." -Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro is recognized as one of the world's most exciting and innovative ukulele players and composers, having "given the ukulele a new respect altogether" (All Music Guide), as he demonstrates on his forthcoming album ‘Peace Love Ukulele,' out January 4, 2011 on Hitchhike Records.

But as his career continues to blossom, Shimabukuro, a Hawaiian, is also busy giving back to his island community, using the ukulele as his tool. He’s currently the head spokesperson for Music is Good Medicine (MIGM), a living-healthy community program that tours schools, hospitals and senior centers around Hawaii and on the US mainland, as well as in Guam, Saipan and Japan.



Shimabukuro’s belief that music is good medicine goes all the way back to his childhood. "Ever since my mother first put a ukulele in my hands at the age of four," he says, "this magical instrument has been a positive force in my life – helping to steer me away from drugs, violence and other negative influences. It fueled my passion for music, which has helped me to develop in mind, body and spirit."

He points to the therapeutic, stress-reducing benefits of playing music and says the ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn, as well as one of the most affordable. "This tiny, four-string instrument is a universe of joy and healing, with a childlike quality about it that returns us to our youth and energizes us."

The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

Save Saturday, December 4th to join the Rex Foundation at The Fillmore in San Francisco for a special night of music and connection: The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  Watch for the full announcement within the week, including ticket details.

There are also some great Rex Musical Caravan events taking place over the next few weeks in different cities that we hope you'll enjoy:

  • Saturday, October 23rd, The Kind Buds perform at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. Click here for event details and more information about Bud & Budd, the talented artists.
  • Saturday, October 23rd, the Reflections Band performs at Mexi Cali Live in Teaneck, NJ, once again supporting the Rex Foundation while also treating fans to their great music. Check out the details.
  • Friday and Saturday, October 29th and 30th, The String Cheese Incident will play a two-day Hulaween celebration at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA, with proceeds supporting the Rex Foundation as well as Rex grantees HeadCount and the Conscious Alliance. Here are the details.

We thank all the talented musicians for their generosity of spirit by including Rex as a charitable part of their live performances.  We welcome musicians, venue operators and others in the musical community to get on board the Rex Musical Caravan to demonstrate how music and community spirit can make a positive difference.

Speaking of music and community spirit, Jam Cruise 9 is including the Rex Foundation as part of their January 4-9, 2011 excursion.  If you have considered taking this cruise, check out what's on deck and how you can help support Rex while also enjoying a music-centered vacation.

This message reflects the ever-growing network of supportive people like you who want to be part of our philanthropic community.  Together, we are furthering what the Grateful Dead started with our major areas of work including grassroots grants, Rex Awards, The World As It Could Be Project, and other creative endeavors including our newsletters that help engender positive social change and community engagement. You make the difference in advancing this work. Check out all the different ways you can help support Rex, even getting something in return besides the satisfaction of seeing all the good that results.

Dead, Yankees & Colbert Donate To WhyHunger

2010 marks the 25th year that WhyHunger, the non-profit organization founded by Harry Chapin and Bill Ayres, has made its annual November Hungerthon auction a premiere charitable event during the holiday season. To date, the auction has raised over $11 million to help put a stop to hunger and poverty worldwide.

This year, WhyHunger will open the auction to participants nationwide online; promoting it on SIRIUS XM and at radio stations across the country on Saturday, November 20th and Tuesday, November 23rd, making it the biggest Hungerthon yet at a time when many are struggling.

Here are just a few of the many items up for bidding during the 2010 Hungerthon:

- Autographed guitars from Sting; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Carlos Santana and Cheap Trick
- Grateful Dead pelon (t-shirt design stencil) autographed by all original members of the band
- Baseballs autographed by the Yankees' Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera and by the Mets' David Wright
- Comedy Central Package - 2 VIP tickets to attend a taping of The Colbert Report and 4 VIP tickets to attend a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- Tom Chapin house concert
- Lunch with Charles Grodin
- Dinner with Vincent Pastore
- NY Giants - 2 great seats to attend a 2010/2011 season home game, with a pre-game personalized tour of Timex Performance Center stadium by the NY Giants' Director of Community Relations (with opportunities for autographs)

Additional Hungerthon auction items will be announced soon.

About WhyHunger: WhyHunger is dedicated to fighting the root causes of hunger and poverty by supporting grassroots organizations that create self-reliance, economic justice and equal access to nutritious and affordable food. Founded in 1975 by the late musician and activist Harry Chapin and current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to the hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and more than 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger's main programs include the National Hunger Hotline, 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, government programs and community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building and access to more than 8,000 anti-hunger and poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; Global Movements, which links the organization's domestic work to broader global movements for food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R., Papa Roach and many others. www.whyhunger.org

Fourmile Fire Benefit ft. SCI, Big Head Todd, Yonder Mountain String Band, Phish Members and More

Colorado’s music community comes together for “Fourmile Canyon Revival,” a remarkable night of music to raise funds for individuals and families directly affected by the devastating Fourmile Fire near Boulder. Presented by KBCO, the benefit concert will take place on Saturday, October 9th at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. It will feature Colorado’s own The String Cheese Incident, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Vince Herman & Drew Emmitt.

The members of PhishJon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio -- are also honored to take part in the event, which comes on the eve before the launch of their fall tour. Colorado was the site of Phish’s first extended tour outside of the Northeast, and the band has always felt a deep connection to the community.

“It’s been humbling to see the generosity and immediate response of these amazing musicians. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said KBCO Program Director Scott Arbough.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the Boulder Mountain Fire Relief Fund. The Fund supports the local volunteer fire departments that courageously fought the recent fire and the mountain residents whose lives were directly impacted by this disaster and are in critical need of financial support.

Tickets to “Fourmile Canyon Revival” go on sale this Tuesday, September 21st, at 10:00 A.M. Mountain Time at www.tickethorse.com.

ALL SEATS GENERAL ADMISSION, 4 Ticket Limit
TICKETS ARE $60 INCLUSIVE OF SERVICE CHARGE
TICKETS ONLY SOLD ONLINE AND NOT AVAILABLE AT ANY OUTLETS
ALL TICKETS SOLD ONLINE AT WWW.TICKETHORSE.COM, AND WILL BE NON TRANSFERABLE PAPERLESS TICKETS.
TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AT ANY OTHER TICKET OUTLET LOCATIONS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO KIOSKS AT THE PEPSI CENTER, DICK'S SPORTING GOODS PARK, AND 1STBANK CENTER.
A LIMITED NUMBER OF VIP SUITE PACKAGES WILL BE AVAILABLE; FOR INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: 1STBANKCENTER@AEGLIVE.COMALL AGES WELCOME