Monday, November 21, 2005

MUSIC RISING: AIDING MUSICIANS AFFECTED BY KATRINA AND RITA

Following a visit to New Orleans late last week, U2’s The Edge unveiled 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 two months ago.

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 so no two will be alike. All of the usual plastic parts (back plate, pick guard, toggle cover, truss rod cover) have been replaced by woods from the States affected by the hurricanes and the Music Rising logo, exclusive to this guitar, is etched into the pick guard.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 on Thurs., Nov. 17 between U2’s current “Vertigo” tour dates in order 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 firsthand 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.”

For information on Music Rising go to www.musicrising.org.

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