Rhythm Relief Fundraiser for Albert Alva

At Albert’s request, we have closed down fundraising as of November 20, 2022. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this effort! More information below.

68.88% Raised
$41,326.74 donated of $60,000.00 goal
376 Donors
Campaign has ended

November 20, 2022—a campaign update and a message from Albert:

At Albert’s request, we have closed down fundraising as of November 20, 2022. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this effort! The generosity of our community—swing dancers, musicians, music students, and jazz enthusiasts—is awe inspiring.

With Nick Williams’ leadership, we started the Rhythm Relief in May of 2023 in order to respond to the pandemic. But it was clear almost from the beginning that the Rhythm Relief Fund could serve a broader mission of supporting members of the swing dance community in times of emergency. We were well-positioned to help Albert when he had an emergency, and if you think that’s a good thing, please consider contributing to the Rhythm Relief Fund.

From Albert:

“At the end of August, a serious and challenging medical situation turned my world upside down. I was in the hospital for three and half weeks, had to re-learn how to walk, and my right arm didn’t move for two weeks. I’ve worked with many caring therapists since then. The current program has a team of therapists who come to my home, and this has allowed me to rebuild my life at the same time. The next phase will be outpatient therapy for the fine motor skills so I can get back to playing, writing music, and driving. The love and support from friends and family will be in my heart for the rest of my life. This is also a great time for a special THANK YOU to Jason and the Pacific Swing Dance Foundation, along with Jonathan, Josh, Hilary, and Adam. I plan to start visiting some dance events in the near future with the goal of being back on the bandstand, sooner rather than later. I’ll never grow tired of saying that I feel lucky to know each and every one of you!”


September 26, 2022—a message from Albert and important update:

From Albert:

“A few weeks ago, life presented me with a serious and challenging medical situation. I made the decision to deal with it in the most positive way possible. Still, one thing is for sure: The well wishes, support, and love, from both near and far, has meant the world to me. I am home, I can walk without assistance, and I am in early stages of movement in my arm and hand, all which have given me new hope. I can’t wait to see all my friends, family, students, and of course, the wonderful swing dancer community who have supported me for many years. I feel lucky to know each and every one of you!”


One month after his stroke, Albert’s recovery has proceeded well beyond expectations, but of course there is still a long road ahead. He is currently waiting to see if he will qualify for at-home physical therapy, rather than significantly more expensive in-patient therapy.

Because the outlook on his out-of-pocket expenses has changed significantly for the better, and because it may do so even further, Albert has asked us to pause further fundraising until we know better what his needs will be going forward. The almost $41,000 we have raised so far, will make a huge impact in offsetting Albert’s medical costs and lost income.

We will update again as the picture develops.


Have you ever been to a swing dance event and heard the incredible Jonathan Stout Orchestra featuring Hilary Alexander live? Have you reveled in the rhythm while swinging out and living your best life at 220 beats per minute? 

If you have, you have saxophonist Albert Alva to thank. 

A pillar of the music that drives our swing dance community, Albert is one of the most well-known and incredible saxophonists in swing and jazz music today. 

Albert has given us his heart through his music … and now he needs our help. 

In late August 2022, Albert suffered a stroke, resulting in partial paralysis. The good news is that he is a candidate for special rehabilitative care that will help him recover and get back to what he loves best—the music. But this care is expensive—about $12,000 per week. Our goal is to raise enough to cover living expenses and rehabilitative care so Albert has the time and opportunity to recover.

A true role model, Albert is a jazz lecturer at Chapman University as well as the co-director of the Jazz Angels youth band. Albert has shaped and guided countless young jazz musicians with his mentorship and teaching—one of his proudest accomplishments. 

Albert is also one of the most humble and immensely compassionate people you will ever meet. Never one to sing his own praises, he would much rather put his focus on uplifting others around him, which he has done quietly on and off the bandstand for years.  

Albert’s undeniable artistry and career have contributed to our swing dance community and the jazz world. Albert is a gift we have all benefited from. Please make a tax-deductible donation to support Albert in this time of need!


  1. Hi, Albert!
    The Barretts are sending you good thoughts. I look forward to playing with you again soon.

  2. Hope you’re feeling better and better every day, and can’t wait to see you return to doing what you love. Love and miss you Albert!

  3. So heartened to hear your recovery is going better than expected- hope that trend continues. Thank you for all the incredible music.

  4. Albert, we are rooting for you! I know rehab is hard work, sending hugs.


    Lisa and David
    (Sam’s parents)

  5. Albert,
    I pray you feel so encouraged, and that you hold onto courageous hope even when it doesn’t make logical sense. I believe you’ll fully recover. We are all rooting for you in your journey back to full health and want you to know how loved you are as part of this community. I can’t WAIT to dance love to your playing soon!!!

  6. Albert: I so appreciate your encouragement and team spirit. You rooted for us, now we’re rooting for you! ❤️

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