Georgia is home to an abundance of accomplished, and in some cases globally known, musicians. Our state is full with a rich musical culture whose foundation is giving back to the community. It is key to any musician’s success and we all know that music can deeply impact an individual and become a guiding light throughout someone’s life.
Georgia Music Partners is extremely proud to highlight a few of the state’s non-profit music charities that are working hard to create a positive impact through the power of music.
JOHN JARRARD FOUNDATION
John Jarrard is a name that many people don’t know, but the north Georgia native has a long lasting influence on country music. Born in Gainesville GA., John moved to Nashville in 1977 to become a songwriter. Over the course of his career, eleven of his songs went on to achieve number one status on the Billboard Charts. His songs were recorded by George Strait, Tracy Lawrence, Don Williams, Alabama and other country artists. John passed away in 2001, but his legacy will live on through a non profit foundation set up by fellow songwriter and boyhood friend Bruce Burch, along with Mike Banks, Philip Wilheit, Jim Mathis & Allen Nivens, in his honor.
Georgia Music Partners spoke to Executive Director Jody Jackson about John and the Foundation. “The whole Jarrard family has just been really great here in North Georgia. John, he was just the most amazing man. He had Type 1 Diabetes, he lost his eye sight, he lost a limb, he lost a finger, and he ended up losing one of his legs, and if you ever ran into him, you know like I used to on Music Row in Nashville, he’d just have the best attitude. Always smiling and always very friendly, funny. Just amazing how he touched so many lives with all the things that he was going through, and so it’s great to be able to keep his name alive through music and through songwriting and songwriting events.”
The John Jarrard Foundation raises money for North Georgia charities through their annual concert featuring songwriters from North Georgia and Nashville. The Foundation has raised over $1.5 million dollars for charities such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, The Good News Clinic, The Good News Shelter, The Northeast Georgia Food Bank, and other North Georgia charities over its fifteen year history.
“We are all about the song and the songwriters,” says Jody Jackson. “We’ve been promoting songwriters here at the John Jarrad Foundation since our inception in 2001, when we started our first annual concert. So this September will be our fifteenth annual.” The annual concert is held at Brenau University in Gainesville and is a big draw.
Non profit charities like the John Jarrard Foundation are positive examples of music’s healing power. We don’t have to tell you how important music can be, or how life changing it can be.
“I think that music is such an amazing part of all of our lives and it’s another outlet for kids to pursue something that they enjoy. Some of them may not like to play baseball, football, or basketball…cheerleading for the girls, or whatever. And I think that they have this outlet of music, and you’ve got kids that play piano or guitar, or every other instrument that you can imagine, and I think it’s a real way to show their creativity, and express themselves and grow within their music. Because we all, you know whether you’re a musician or just a music lover, we all could think back to our teen years and our early twenties and thirties, and you remember all the songs that were so hot back then, and music touches everyone. I think it’s something good for kids to learn, go with, and build self confidence and self esteem.”
The John Jarrard Foundation welcomes donations in any amount. Their annual concert takes place September 17 at Brenau University.