Friends organize after retired educator and jazz legend Julian Priester is stricken by kidney ailment

Well-respected trombone player Julian Priester, a sideman with Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra and John Coltrane, is enduring a withering run of bad luck.

Priester, a fixture on the Seattle jazz scene for some 35 years, recently retired from the Cornish College of the Arts — where he had taught after establishing a separate legend in music. He has since been struck with serious kidney problems, which have kept him from performing — Priester’s principal form of income, since he is without a pension.

He and his wife had to give up their house, placing many of their belongings in storage, so that Priester could be near his treatment center, and available should a transplant become available. With storage bills now mounting, they will be unable to reclaim their possessions until all fees have been paid off. If that money isn’t raised, a lifetime of memories could be auctioned off.

A group of friends and fans have stepped in to help — and through the YouCaring.com site, raised some $10,000 in just 48 hours. At the end of the week, that figure had risen to nearly $29,000 in donations for the Priesters.

Fellow jazz legends like Bill Frisell have gotten involved, adding information about the fundraising efforts to their own sites.

Organizers say your help is still needed. Visit the YouCaring.com link above to find out more. All proceeds go directly to the Priesters, after PayPal’s 3 percent credit card fee is taken out.

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