Route 66 Challenge 2008

Up for a challenge? Strap a guitar to your back, put $100 in your pocket, put your boots on and be-bop, barter and busk your way from Chicago to California on old Route 66.

Cow Bop takes to the road again in support of JazzMasters Workshops (JMW)! Yet another odyssey down America's most storied road. This time Cow Bop will be playing concerts along with their trademark troubadour-style impromptu performances on street corners, in stores, bars, restaurants, at hot dog stands, gas stations and a variety of roadside haunts.

Bruce Forman and his Western Cowboy jazz band, Cow Bop, will be departing Chicago on May 12, 2008. This time playing some arranged concerts as well as the street corners, dives and honky tonks they frequented on their first three Route 66 Challenges. The tour coincides with the release of their new CD, titled Route 66. Bruce Forman's guitar playing was recently featured in Clint Eastwood's Academy Award winning film, "Million Dollar Baby"!

Joining Cow Bop this year is Devin Hoffman, a freshman at USC and student of band leader Bruce Forman. "I am thrilled Devin is joining the band, he can really play! Although, after a grueling tour like this, I won't be all that surprised if he changes his major to business or law." What better way to show firsthand how the music-mentoring process works?

“This is not for the faint of heart, believe me. It does promise to be a lot of fun and I hope we can raise awareness of what we do and find some new spots to expand the program. Musicians are an untapped resource and JazzMasters Workshop has shown how mentoring transforms lives. I expect many musicians to find us out on the open road and play along. I’m throwing down the gauntlet here… it’s time to stop complaining and do something!” The band will be blogging journals and pictures (some of which will be printed in newspapers), doing radio call-ins, and even some video.

All of the proceeds from performances, per-mile pledges, grants, and part of the CD revenue will benefit JazzMasters Workshop (JMW), a non-profit that Forman started in 2000. JMW recruits veteran musicians to mentor kids who otherwise might not have access to music lessons. Funds raised in 2008 will support two new programs for Boys & Girls Clubs in underserved areas. Cow Bop also hopes to inspire and challenge other communities along the way to begin programs with the help of JMW. "I was pleased to learn that you are using your musical talent to reach out to young people in your community. Programs such as yours are helping to enrich the lives of young Americans, and I commend you for your caring commitment to this endeavor." President Bill Clinton

Know of a cause in your area, let us know about it. Forman has tapped his industry colleagues to join in the fun, too. On April 12, Clint Eastwood will co-host a kick-off fundraiser in Carmel, Calif. And in January, The Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation honored JMW with its Jerry Garcia Award, including $10,000 to jump start this year’s fundraising.

Come on out and support our cause while having a ton of fun to boot. Our daily routines will be posted on our blogs/websites with all the information needed to track and follow our every step. Cowbop will be entering the High Desert leg of their challenge on May 24, 2008, which is available for booking.

Much more information coming soon.....

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