Rudy Royston on supporting MusiCares with his new album ‘PaNOptic’

Rudy Royston talks about supporting the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund with his new album:

It is my sincerest pleasure to donate 100% of the proceeds of this album to charity. I myself have received financial assistance from the MusiCares and other organizations alike. In a time when many of my fellow musicians and others in the entertainment business are in financial hardship from loss of work, faced with uncertainty about the future of work, I am honored to offer any help I can.

In mid-March I was still reeling from the recent, massive loss of work, income, opportunities and the uncertainty of my future, when a call came from a friend on who’s canceled tour I had been scheduled to play. This friend offered to pay me a quarter of the fee for the tour. The next day a check came from the Louis Armstrong Foundation. A couple days later, Newport Jazz COVID relief money came (I had applied for all I could in the early days of losing all my work.) The relief I felt was like coming up from underwater to take a much needed breath of air. We are all in unfamiliar territory and it was the best comfort is to be reminded I was not alone.

I had recorded PaNOptic a few years ago and was just waiting for the right time to release it. A few days later, with most bills paid and a little breathing room, I was thinking how I could help any fellow musicians who are also in need and perhaps more immediate need than I. I wanted to give others the assurance they were not alone in this pandemic. I remembered PaNOptic and knew this was something I could offer to help. I emailed Dave at Greenleaf Music the idea of using this solo CD as a fundraiser for charity and he felt the same as I did about helping others as much as we can.

At first I thought to try and find a few select musicians who were in financial hardship and donate the money directly to them. Then I realized we are all in hardship right now, so Dave and I thought to cast the widest net possible would be best. I asked around to some friends and MusiCares came up a few times. I chose to go with MusiCares on my friends’ advice though still a little skeptical, until a week later when a check from MusiCares arrived in my mailbox. It was confirmation MusiCares is doing what their name says.  To know this somewhat larger organization was present with one little jazz drummer in a New Jersey suburb was all I needed to be assured of MusiCares’ sincerity. I have been helped all along the way from the generosity and care of others, I just want to repay to others the care and love and concern that has been given to me.

For me, the music on this CD represents freedom from boundaries, hope, beauty, love, joy, light, adventure, inspirations. I hope to offer the same to all who listen.

Love you all sincerely, Rudy