Jimmi Mayes: Sideman to the Stars
inThe Artistson November 12, 2018
The holiday season—a time often equated with comfort and joy—can bring feelings of anxiety and despair when you’re living alone in chronic poverty. This is the case for many of our artists who, despite being among the most important names in America’s musical heritage, find themselves choosing between keeping their instruments and keeping food on the table.
Last month, blues drummer Jimmi Mayes reached out to Music Maker looking for help booking gigs. Jimmi is a living piece of blues history and has spent his career playing for and touring with legends like Jimi Hendrix, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Robert Junior Lockwood, and Earl Hooker. He was hoping that Music Maker could help him get back to what he loves most—making music.
Although his drive to perform is ever-present, Jimmi is recovering from spinal surgery and has been unable to work until just recently. Without a steady source of income, Jimmi found himself skipping meals and resorting to predatory payday loans and pawn shops to make ends meet.
Music Maker immediately moved to assess how we could best improve Jimmi’s situation. We provided an emergency grant to help alleviate his financial stress. Our in-house social worker, Brittany Anderson, is now working with him to locate resources that will help him find stability during his recovery so he can once again focus on what matters most—the music. We look forward to booking gigs for a healthy Jimmi in the near future.