The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time. Music Maker will give future generations access to their heritage through documentation and performance programs that build knowledge and appreciation of America's musical traditions.
Since our founding in 1994, we have assisted and partnered with over 300 artists, issued over 150 CDs and reached over a million people with live performance in over 40 states and 17 countries around the globe.
How Music Maker Began - Music Maker started by helping a small group of blues musicians in Winston-Salem, NC including Guitar Gabriel, Willa Mae Buckner, Preston Fulp, Mr. Q, Macavine Hayes and others. In the early 1990′s, we were amazed to meet elderly artists still performing the musical traditions of the nineteenth and early 20th century America. They lived in abject poverty but when we asked how we could help, they didn't ask for money, they wanted a gig.
Our Founders - Through our humble efforts to secure bookings, record and promote their careers, these artists were soon performing on national stages at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and first-rate European festivals.
It became apparent to us very quickly that due to age, poverty and educational constraints, these elderly artists would need a strong support structure to perform their music beyond their home communities and be documented for posterity. Some generous music lovers offered to help and we formed the nonprofit.
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