Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Julian Priester needs help

Many of you know Julian Priester...
...if not personally, then as one of jazz's living treasures. He's performed and recorded with the likes of Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Dinah Washington, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra... and has been a key member of the Seattle jazz community for the past 35 years.

Prof. Priester recently retired from his longtime faculty position at Cornish College of the Arts, and was hit with a "perfect storm" of events. He sufferred serious kidney troubles, incurring expenses and forcing him to stay near Seattle - both for treatment and to be available for a transplant should the opportunity suddenly arise. That prevents him from touring which, for lack of a pension, is his main source of income. He and his wife have already had to give up their home and put most of their posessions into storage. Even so, it has been a struggle to keep up with the costs of storage, and they cannot reclaim their belongings until the mounting fees are paid off. Soon their things will be auctioned off - not only practical posessions but a lifetime of artwork, music and family history.

Prof. Preister and his wife are wonderful people, and it does not come naturally to them to talk about their personal issues, much less ask for financial help. But they do need our help. They have been working hard to line up a good long-term home for themselves and their belongings, and to delay the confiscation of their posessions until they have the money to pay their storage bills and reclaim them.

Anything you can contribute now will be of immediate help. We hope to raise enough money to reclaim all their belongings and help with their medical costs, at least until they are able to get back on their feet.

Julian Priester has given so much to the jazz community for decades, through his music and his teaching. Let's come together to help him through this time of need.

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