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Music Rising, a campaign launched to replace musical instruments lost or destroyed in the Gulf Region hurricanes, announced today that it has provided instruments and/or gear to over 2,000 professional musicians to date. Launched in November 2005 the campaign has provided aid to Gulf Coast musicians not only in the region but also in over 34 States from California to New York. To mark the one year anniversary of the Katrina disasters, Music Rising has announced that it will launch the sale of the Music Rising Epiphone guitar with all proceeds going to the charity.

Music Rising was formed in late 2005 by U2's The Edge, legendary producer Bob Ezrin, Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, and facilitated by MusiCares. Since its inception Music Rising has been recognized throughout the world through media coverage and has received accolades from various other organizations. Former President Bill Clinton has even participated in press coverage for the campaign. It also became the recipient of the 2006 Gold Halo Award for Cause Marketing on June 13, 2006 and in November, 2006 the campaign will be the recipient of the prestigious Billboard Humanitarian Award at a special event held in New York. Many people from the ravaged region are still living in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers or are without a permanent residence. Those musicians who have depended on the local music industry for their livelihood, have been supported by Music Rising through the replacement of lost instruments and equipment. The Gibson Foundation will continue to manage all phases of Music Rising.

The limited edition Music Rising Epiphone guitar will be sold exclusively through Musician's Friend with all proceeds going directly to the Music Rising campaign. The Music Rising Epiphone Les Paul guitar features exclusive artwork and the campaign's slogan "Rebuilding the Gulf Region Note By Note." The artwork which was emblazoned on The Edge's t-shirt at the 2006 Grammy Awards broadcast has become a symbol of the campaign and is also available on limited edition t-shirts sold exclusively through U2.com.

The Limited Edition Epiphone guitar specs include all the features that have made the legendary Les Paul guitar synonymous with great rock tone including a solid mahogany body with carved top, glued-in mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, Alnico Classic Humbucking pickups and stopbar/tunomatic bridge and tailpiece combination. Backed by a Limited lifetime warranty, the Music Rising Epiphone guitar will sell for $599 USD and be produced in limited quantity. It will also include a custom "Music Rising" gig bag as well as a signed certificate of authenticity.

"Even though it has been a year since the hurricanes struck the Gulf Region we still see so much need and we want to continue to help. The limited edition Epiphone Music Rising guitar will put money straight into the fund so we can continue to assist the region," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. For more information or to make a donation to Music Rising go to www.musicrising.org or www.gibson.com. Questions or inquiries can be emailed to info@musicrising.org. Checks may also be sent to the Gibson Foundation/Music Rising, 309 Plus Park Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee 37217.

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