A jazz band for the ages

Share this article:
A jazz band for the ages
A jazz band for the ages
Nursing home residents — especially long-term residents — deserve to have the best entertainment that money can buy. Unfortunately, most nursing home activity directors don't have the budget to draw musicians of that caliber. But Gary Gamponia, director of the Los Angeles-based Pay It Forward jazz band, is determined to change this. For free.

Prior to starting his band, he set out to become an expert on nursing home musical offerings, so he attended more than 200 performances and came to one conclusion: The offerings were (mostly) dismal.

“There needs to be some organization that is willing to stand up and say, ‘These people were raised on Benny Goodman and Glen Miller,'” Gamponia says.

To rectify this, Gamponia formed the Pay It Forward jazz band, which performs exclusively to skilled nursing facilities and primarily plays jazz standards. Pay It Forward has a rotating roster of about 140 musicians in Los Angeles alone. Gamponia has helped launch other Pay It Forward troupes in San Jose, CA, and San Diego.

“These [residents] are people who built this country after the Great Depression, the people who defeated fascism and kept this country a democracy. When we do a show, we say that this is our way of saying thank you to that generation,” Gamponia added.
Share this article:

More in News

Large hepatitis outbreak reaches 47 cases, podiatry company denies ManorCare's charges

The number of people infected in an infamous North Dakota Hepatitis C outbreak has risen, state health officials say.

National Quality Forum supports quality measures in bill to standardize post-acute assessments

National Quality Forum supports quality measures in bill ...

The National Quality Forum has come out in strong support of a proposed standardized quality measures, such as skin integrity, across different types of post-acute care settings. Uniform assessments are ...

CMS changes mind on hospice drugs

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services has revised guidance on authorization of hospice drugs for those under Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, according to a new memo.