Jail Guitar Doors, a reference to the 1979 song by the Clash of the same name — and a song that details Kramer's 1975 arrest for selling cocaine to an undercover agent, which landed him two years in prison in Lexington, Kentucky — was founded in 2007 by fellow punk performer and activist Billy Bragg as a way to honor late Clash frontman Joe Strummer's legacy.
Initially, the organization's focus was on providing musical equipment to inmates incarcerated at Her Majesty's Prisons in the United Kingdom. It wasn't until 2009 that Bragg partnered with Kramer to found Jail Guitar Doors USA and, now, the organization has turned its resources and efforts to facilitating Michigan inmates' “healthy and productive re-entry into society” by way of music programming.
“I’m excited to partner with Higher Grounds to launch this new programming initiative. We’re laying the building blocks of a community of caring that includes those living behind bars in my beloved home state of Michigan,” Kramer said in a press release. “Our teaching artists in Detroit have already begun outreach to other musicians throughout the state in anticipation of creating a network of workshops for those in need.”
Per a press release, the Facebook Live event will also mark the launch of “Riff Roast” — a specialty fair-trade, dark-roasted collaboration between Higher Grounds and JGD-USA to directly raise funds ($5 per 1-lb bag) to support rehabilitative music programs.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Support Local Journalism. Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.