A GoFundMe page has been set up for jazz bass legend George Mraz following serious medical issues. The 72-year old bassist, who has worked with everyone from Oscar Peterson to Chet Baker to Stephane Grapelli, was operated on this summer for his pancreas. Complications from the procedure have kept him in an extended hospital stay.
“On July 8th George endured seven hours of difficult surgery on his pancreas, and while in hospital he suffered a heart attack, and many critical complications that unfortunately extended his hospital stay,” the statement reads. “As his birthday on September 9th approaches, this situation is a devastating hit to him and his wife, Camilla. The doctors expect full recovery, but it will take time.”
The page is accepting any donations, but set up a special $99 “MRAZ Challenge”. “The amount of $99 dollars is in honor of George’s birthday on 9/9. And to cheer his spirit, we challenge you to submit a silly still photo of yourself pulling your mouth into a smile that we will post on Facebook. The silly photo idea was inspired by a photographer who sent the photo to George to give him strength and hope for quick recovery, and as a symbol for many smiles ahead.”