Return of the Jazz Fest Musical Instrument Player

If you have an old musical instrument lying around, you can put it to good use by donating it during the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival this week. The annual Musical Instrument Drive, hosted by the Rochester Education Foundation and M&T Bank, is back after two years of cancellations related to COVID-19. Since it began, more than 3,500 instruments for students in the City of Rochester School District have been collected.

Volunteer Josie Bradley is a teacher in the district. She said the player gives kids access to music and experiences they might not otherwise have.

“It gives them the opportunity to develop math skills, ELA skills, it gives them a chance to have something to grow with through high school and into their graduation,” Bradley said.

She adds that music can also become a lifelong experience.

All instruments will be accepted. The most popular instruments are trumpets, alto saxophones, violins, violas and cellos.

Rochester Education Foundation deputy director Sarah Johnston says this year they are more intentionally collecting the instruments the district has told them they need.

“We make sure we’re good stewards as a nonprofit,” Johnston said. “Ask what the need is, then try to find and fill that need instead of just creating a giant collection of instruments.”

Volunteers will collect donations during the Jazz Festival on Jazz/Gibbs Street.

For those interested in donating to this collection, but unable to attend the Rochester Jazz Festival, the organizers have set up

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