The Cowboy Jazz band ‘Cow Bop’ departs October 18, following the length of California's Highway 49, starting with only a full tank of gas and $100. Our intent is to make it the entire way by playing, bartering, selling CDs and living off the kindness of friends and strangers. We are seeking pledges to be donated to JazzMasters Workshop, a national mentoring program that is free for students. We will also endeavor to visit schools and community centers, encouraging everyone to take part.

“You guys are crazy.” That was the most common response to our Route 66 Challenge (May 2004). In context, it was spoken with vicarious envy and a forlorn nostalgia for simpler times, the very sentiment evoking freedom. If it’s crazy to believe in the power of music and to have faith in fellow humans—that they will rally to support our mission—then that’s a quality we gladly accept.

In the very spirit of our last adventure in music we are taking to the road again. This time, we have chosen the ‘49er Challenge’, California’s Gold Country, a place deeply etched in America’s westward expansion, during a time of pioneering, optimism and hope. We will travel this corridor of natural beauty and historic towns reaching out to people, sharing our passion and commitment to the power of grassroots efforts, and hoping to create more interaction with music in our culture’s daily life.

This craziness is to support the legacy of our music and to energize the music community in regards to nurturing and inspiring the next generation of Americans. Please take part in our journey by contributing to our cause and find out more about JazzMasters Workshop so we can help ensure that children are offered this vital opportunity. “Yeah, I guess we’re crazy.”