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Tornado Relief: Gibson gives guitars to musicians who lost them in Tennessee tornadoes

The move is a part of the 'Gibson Gives' initiative that works towards ensuring musicians impacted by life-changing events can continue to create and work
UPDATED MAR 19, 2020
The Basement East music venue in Nashville (Brittney Bremnes)
The Basement East music venue in Nashville (Brittney Bremnes)

Multiple tornadoes ripped through Tennessee on Tuesday killing at least 24 people, and the death toll might rise as search and rescue operations are still underway. The strong cylinder of high speed, swirling winds also destroyed several buildings in their way, impacting multiple businesses in the process. In the wake of all the destruction, 'Gibson Brands Inc.' is giving back to the community and hoping to help get Tornado hit musicians get back on their feet and get playing again.

'Gibson', founded back in 1894, has been at the heart of several projects aimed at using music to inspire and uplift people. In 1906, they recognized the power of music to heal and bring about positive change and began working with teachers to place a guitar in the hand of every student.

In 2019, they launched the 'Gibson Gives' initiative and committed to donating 1000 guitars over 1000 days. They played a major role in getting the 'Do it for the Love' Foundation off the ground, contributed guitars for the music room of the Maplewood High School in Nashville, and donated 48 guitars and 19,000 string sets to Guitars for Bets, which aids the recovery of returning U.S. military veterans with PTSD, through the use of music.

A guitar, once owned and used by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, stands on display at Christie's December 10, 2004 in New York City. Christie's, in a partnership with Julien's, will hold a Rock & Roll and Entertainment Memorabilia auction Friday, December 17, 2004 (Getty Images)

Gibson has donated 160 guitars in just four months, and ever since 2020 kicked off, they have given 100% of their donations to musical initiatives. It has now turned its attention to musicians in Nashville who require support following the devastating tornadoes. 'Gibson Gives' is hoping to help guitarists affected by the storms feel whole again by giving those who lost their instruments in the storms new guitars.

For most musicians, the instruments they perform with are not only a huge part of their creative process but are also a big part of their livelihood. The move from Gibson to support musicians in need would be a huge source of relief for many who are trying to pick up the pieces and get on with their lives amidst the chaos that follows a storm. “Our goal is to get a guitar back into the hands of anyone who has had their guitar damaged or destroyed in the recent Tennessee storm,” says Dendy Jarrett, Executive Director of Gibson Gives. “As a Nashville, Tennessee based company, we are also engaging with our artists and other partners to provide support across many areas.” 

Musicians who lost their guitar in the recent storm can reach out to the Gibson Gives Guitar Recovery Plan via with their story. Guitars will be provided at Gibson’s sole discretion based on proof of damage or loss. Replacement guitars may be demo models, prototypes, or shopworn across Gibson’s family of guitar brands.