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Music Industry
Aids Haiti Relief

Since the Jan. 12 earthquake devastated Haiti, music retailers and suppliers have lent their support to help disaster victims. Some have brought that relief directly to those in need.

Patricia Horowitz, the wife of Barry Horowitz, senior vice president at Sam Ash Music, made a personal connection with a family in Jacmel, Haiti. The village has been cut off from the main source of aid coming into the Haiti capital, Port-au-Prince.

“I connected with a member of the family that lives in the U.S., and after some e-mails back and forth, I got a list of the supplies they desperately needed,” Horowitz said.

She rallied friends and relatives to make donations. Then, she enlisted the help of Sam Ash’s Eric Spitzer and former Guitar Center CEO Larry Thomas, both partners in a helicopter company, to arrange transport of approximately 500 pounds of food to Jacmel.

“I contacted a pilot out of Florida, and he happened to already be in Haiti volunteering,” Spitzer said. “It turns out he was only 80 miles from the village, so we sent him the money for the air time.”

“We already had more shipments done, and we will continue as long as we can get more friends on-board to be part of this powerful journey,” Horowitz said. “The joy that helping people gives is a strong feeling of love, and it leaves you hungry for more because you see how anything is possible as long as you pursue it.”

Other retailers have gotten into the spirit of giving through fund-raisers and concerts. At American Guitar & Band in Maple Grove, Minn., owners Stephanie and Cory Lake have planned a fund-raiser event from Feb. 27–28 to benefit the American Red Cross International Response Fund. The shop’s staff will restring and appraise guitars in exchange for a minimum $10 donation to the Red Cross. Fender and D’Addario will provide strings for the event.

Stephanie Lake described the event as a musical “Antiques Roadshow.”

“It will be fun to see what comes out of local attics and basements, knowing that something so simple can directly impact lives,” she said.

Throughout February, American Guitar & Band is authorized to accept Red Cross cash donations. The Lakes are also fundraising with in-store and online auction items. They reached out to suppliers and received such items as a lithograph signed by Taylor Guitar co-founder Bob Taylor; a rare, custom-built mandolin top signed by Kim Breedlove of Breedlove Guitar; and tickets to an upcoming John Mayer concert at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., which were donated by Fender.

Steinway Piano Gallery of Madison in Madison, Wis., played host to a Hope for Haiti benefit concert on Feb. 4. In partnership with student members of the UW School of Music MTNA Collegiate Chapter, the concert showcased current and former graduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Suppliers Respond
Another Hope for Haiti concert, on a much larger scale, aired Jan. 22 on more than a dozen U.S. television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, HBO and MTV. Yamaha sent two C7S silent grand pianos to the charity concert and telethon that featured celebrities, such as Bono, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake. The event raised funds for the Red Cross, Partners in Health, Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation and Unicef.

Plus, The Gibson Foundation, a corporate supporter of Unicef, donated $10,000 to Haiti disaster relief. Donations can also be made through the Gibson Foundation. One hundred percent of the donations will go to Unicef and the Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund.

While Woodruff would not say to what capacity, he indicated that the McFadyen family will be a part of the new store. MI