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Higher Grounds and Jail Guitar Doors: Creating Change Through Coffee and Music
Tune in to our Facebook Live kickoff event Thursday 5/13 to listen to Wayne Kramer play a few tunes and to hear about JGD's inspiring work.
Higher Grounds is excited to team up with Jail Guitar Doors USA to bring their music rehabilitation programming to Michigan. Throughout 2021 we will be helping to raise funds for JGD with our new Coffee For Change "Riff Roast" and through monthly concerts that will feature some of Michigan's best artists and bands. The collaboration with JGD underlines our commitment to utilizing coffee and music to help create positive change in the US and the world. 
JGD-USA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Los Angeles providing musical instruments, workshops, and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners in an effort to create a more fair and just America. They provide opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners, organize prison outreach programs, and produce concert events. JGD advances new solutions to diminish prison violence. They support organizations that engage in policy reform efforts and partner with social service groups to help people in prison reconnect with the outside world.
The roots of Jail Guitar Doors lie with MC5 guitarist and Detroit rock legend Wayne Kramer, British folk star Billy Bragg, and punk rock trailblazers The Clash. During sessions in 1977, The Clash recorded and released the song "Jail Guitar Doors” as a B-side to the single "Clash City Rockers". The song tells the tale of Wayne's imprisonment back in the 70's and the loneliness of a life in jail. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launched JGD-UK to provide musical rehabilitation for inmates in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Wayne hooked up with Bragg to create Jail Guitar Doors USA. JGD-USA has been growing and building momentum based on its positive work and experience with the incarcerated ever since.
Higher Grounds began working with Jail Guitar Doors in 2019 creating a coffee that JGD sells on their website to raise proceeds for their programming. We have been so impressed by and excited about their work that we began to ask them what they thought about bringing their programming to Michigan. As it turned out, JGD had already done some work in Michigan prisons and were interested in building on their successes. Through following conversations we all decided to deepen our mutual collaboration to help bring Wayne's work back to his home state.
This all sounds amazing, right? We are glad you feel that way and we want to let you know that you can help make JGD's work happen in Michigan. Please consider donating directly to JGD and/or buying a bag or two of Riff Roast (available on 5/13). This only works when we all band together to create the world that we want to live in. No one will do it for us, but we also cannot do it alone. Drop us a line to discuss how you can help this effort-- we are all in this together.
Don't forget to tune in to our Facebook Live event Thursday 5/13 to listen to Wayne play a few tunes and hear about JGD's inspiring work.