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News Release
Portland Musicians Rally to Support those affected by COVID-19 - 04/06/20

More than 30 local musicians create a video to support fellow artists in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

April 6, 2020, Portland, OR -- On March 23, thousands of Portland-area musicians prepared for the reality of a shutdown of all public gatherings of more than 10 people. For those who depend on restaurants, clubs, and concert venues for their livelihood, the news was devastating. 

“In good times, and bad, there has always been a strong sense of support within Portland's music community,” said Jack Mortensen, a 22-year-old bass player, and producer.

He knew he wanted to do something to raise awareness and support for his fellow musicians, so he got to work producing a video. He released the video on Monday, April 6 on YouTube.

VIDEO: AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH/PORTLAND MUSICIANS FOR COVID -19 RELIEF 

Mortensen selected Ain’t No Mountain High Enough as the song to cover.  He said it was “an obvious choice because of its cross-generational appeal and inspirational power.”

On Friday, March 27,  he began reaching out to his musician friends. Within 24 hours he had heard back from more than 20 people, and by the following Monday, he had received 30 videos from the artists.  

His next step was to connect the project to a local organization that delivered resources directly to musicians. He contacted singer-songwriter and music producer, Jeremy Wilson.

In 2010, Wilson founded the Jeremy Willson Foundation (JWF), a 501(c)3 non-profit assisting musicians and industry professionals during medical emergencies. 

The JWF offers a connection to local resources, financial assistance, and fosters a sense of caring for one another in times of need, according to Wilson.

“As the news of the pandemic unfolded," he said, "we knew we had to do something to help those most in need, to bridge the gaps they were facing.” 

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, JWF started a GoFundMe campaign for its COVID-19 Oregon Musicians’ Relief Fund. In addition to financial assistance, the JWF COVID-19 Oregon Musicians’ Relief Fund offers a list of resources available for medical, housing, and employment services in Oregon and SW Washington.

Within a couple of weeks, the GoFundMe campaign had reached the initial goal of $25,000.  By then, it became clear that much more would be required to serve the number of people in need. JWF amended the appeal to a $50,000 goal.  

On April 6,  the JFW will begin processing grant applications submitted by professional musicians who have lost their income due to mandated cancellations.

Wilson said that JWF expects to be "overwhelmed with requests for assistance," and they are grateful to everyone involved in the video project for helping them reach their fundraising goals.

“It means a lot that this generation of young professional musicians is recognizing the need and taking action,” said Wilson.

“In the blink of an eye, we go from 25 years old to 45 years old,” he joked, “and reality hits hard in times of emergency.”

All of the musicians who participated in the video donated their time. Mortensen says he hopes the video will "not only increase donations to the COVID-19 Oregon Musicians’ Relief Fund but also show Portland’s spirit of collaboration in times of adversity.”

DONATE to the COVID-19  Oregon Musicians’ Relief Fund: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/covid-19-oregon-musicians-relief-fund1

VIDEO: AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH -- PORTLAND MUSICIANS FOR COVID-19 RELIEF 
https://youtu.be/RDekA8Bqc_0

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