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Be the Somebody

Live Music Cares“Somebody has to do something about this!”

Nearly 20 years ago my wife and I went to Kenya. We had been invited to come and see the work a non-profit organization was doing there.

Of course we did the “touristy” things – went on a safari trip, took an overnight train ride, experienced the Indian Ocean. But the thing that had the biggest impact on me was an 8-hour trip we made on dirt roads to a little village.

I’ll never forget the pride those villagers had when they showed us how they had planted crops, dug a clean well for themselves, and had built schools and churches (literally made out of dung!).

When we saw all the needs there were in the area and how much of a difference could be made with the right help, I thought “Somebody has to do something about this!” That’s when I decided to start working with charities who make a difference in the world.

I started looking for artists who felt the way I did – that “Somebody” needed to do something, and maybe that “Somebody” might be them. And I would help them get partnered up with a charity so they could appeal to their audiences to give ongoing support where help was really needed.

I’d go out and visit artists, helping them with their appeal, giving them encouragement. It didn’t matter if it was a weekend warrior, an emerging band, an indie artist, a professional singer…. someone who played small churches, big venues, coffeehouses, toured on the road, or played in their hometown…if they were onstage in front of people at least 25 times a year, they could qualify to partner with a charity!

So what kind of artists did I work with? Well, I remember one time as I was driving to find one of the artists, I checked their event schedule, and I saw I was going to be seeing them do a concert at a vacation mobile home park. I thought “holy cow, this is interesting!” I wanted to support the artist, but I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

They gave their appeal that night to about 85 people in the trailer park – 5 kids were sponsored. Not much, you might say. But since that time that same group has gotten over 5,000 kids sponsored over the years, by doing small dates, by being persistent, and by appealing to each audience, one concert at a time.

And here’s the crazy thing! Not only have more than 5,000 kids been given the chance for a better life because of them; this artist group has had financial tour support they never would have gotten if they hadn’t cared enough to sign up as artist associates with a charity!

How about major tour artists? Absolutely! I’ve worked with them, too. And some of them have gotten thousands of people helped in a single event. WinterJam 2010 saw over 10,000 orphaned children sponsored through appeals made during the event.

But even better than those big numbers is a story I heard one artist tell. He had done his appeal and went back to his table after the concert. A woman was standing there crying. When he asked if he could help, her reply was “you already did – I was one of those kids; YOU CHANGED MY LIFE!

In the years since Kenya, I have continued to look for artists that feel the way I do. My Artist Tour Support page has more of the details about the programs I work with right now. And I have a Tour Support Rep who would be happy to visit with you about how you and your show might fit with one of these causes.

I’d hate for you to miss out on this opportunity!

In these times of high prices, bad economies, and a shifting music industry, it’s a good idea for artists to find as many streams of revenue as possible. Why not use your passion for helping others, speaking from the stage you’re already on, to earn some financial support for your music?

And in the meantime, you could be the “Somebody” who does something to help!

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. This is Incredible!
    This is why I love doing music and making an impact!!! We are trying to partner up with a small, Texas based organization called Shoes for Smiles. Started by an eighth grader and a high school senior who saw a need. Check them out if you can.

  2. I remember attending this little performance seminar in a crowded basement in Colorado. At the end, the presenter added a footnote about the possibility of partnering with a charity in our concerts. He didn’t have to do it; after all, it would only be a distraction, something to take time away from everything else he had to say. But he did it anyway. He was the Somebody and he was doing something. Who knew I would see him in a mobile home park a few years later!

    Keep it up, Tom. Those 5,000 kids (and the thousands more from other artists) wouldn’t have been sponsored if you hadn’t taken the first step.

  3. Hi Tom,

    I recently returned home from a trip to Bangkok where I was involved with an organization called “The Well” who help girls escape the prostitution trade. I saw both the ugly side and the good – made friends with some girls working in the bars and heard their stories, and also met many girls at “the well” whose lives have been changed forever because someone cared enough to help them out. This trip has changed my heart forever.

    What I do with my music has to be about more than me and my career, and i now realize that as musicians we have a platform to influence others from. Im not quite sure where to go from here, but I’m particularly interested in doing something about the situation in Thailand, and if there is any way you know of that I could tie this in with my music, PLEASE tell me.

    I could have just dropped everything to stay in Thailand and work with the girls there, but I cant ignore the call on my life and I know I have to work in the music industry, writing and performing, and being light there.

    Thank you for everything you are doing Tom, and the inspiration you are to so many of us. Music is so not about us huh. Its a powerful tool, and we are privileged to be entrusted with it.

    Richelle Boer


  4. I’d be surprised that you haven’t had a clamoring of support from bands looking to help. I am gearing up with a new CD, new website and should be playing more regular soon. Put me on your list of those to call and explain the program.


    Stephen Breeze

    • Actually, Stephen, since we put this post up a couple hours ago we’ve had a lot of people interested. I’m hoping even more artists let us know they’d like to find out how the programs work!

      Honestly, without being goofy, I’ve had a lot of success in the music industry with some of the biggest names in the world – and yet when it’s all said and done, I feel this is the most important thing I’m involved with. That’s not a slam on the artists. It’s just that I’ve seen the difference this can make in people’s lives (INCLUDING the artists)!

      My tour support rep will be contacting you soon. Looking forward to making a difference together!

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