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Please Help Julian Priester

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Julian Priester
Julian Priester, the well-known trombonist who has, in a career now well into its sixth decade, played with everyone from Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Dinah Washington and Booker Little to Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra, Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane —not to mention a small but superb discography as a leader that includes Love, Love (ECM, 1974) and Hints on Light and Shadow (Postcards, 1997)—needs your help.

Recently retired from a longtime position on the Cornish College of the Arts Faculty, the septuagenarian trombonist has been hit with a severe kidney problem that ultimately requires a transplant to resolve. Like so many musicians who lack a retirement pension of any kind, Priester has been completely dependent on touring for his income, but because he must stay close to his Seattle home for treatment and, should a donor kidney become available, the surgery he so desperately needs, he has been unable to do so.

Priester and his wife have already been forced to give up their home, and their possessions have been placed into storage, but mounting storage costs are becoming increasingly difficult to meet. The result? Their possessions are now at risk of being auctioned off—and not just the important family items to which anyone can relate, but a lifetime of artwork and music as well.

Anton Schwartz has organized a special fundraiser for the Priesters, and while it's already been quite successful, your help will still be greatly appreciated. As Schwartz has written, “Professor Priester 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 possessions until they have the money to pay their storage bills and reclaim them."

Please consider donating something—anything—to help Priester make it through these rough times so that he can receive the treatment he so desperately needs, and so that he and his wife can get settled in a new long-term home, with their possessions intact. The fund drive ends on February 28. 2013.

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