A decadeslong lawful fight amongst customers of Jimi Hendrix’s loved ones leaves the foreseeable future of a Renton songs college unclear.
A U.S. District Court choose in New York dominated previous 7 days that the Hendrix Music Academy is in violation of a court docket buy stemming from an ongoing trademark battle amongst Jimi Hendrix’s estate and the tunes icon’s brother, Leon Hendrix. The not-for-financial gain youth plan operate by Leon’s daughter, Tina Hendrix, was pulled into the bitter authorized dispute pursuing a Seattle memorial function held final fall in Jimi Hendrix Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the guitar hero, who was born and raised in Seattle. While the Hendrix Audio Academy is not registered as a 501(c)(3) with the IRS, Tina Hendricks instructed the courts it is effective with a fiscal sponsor that is.
The judge dominated that the party, which also serves as an yearly fundraiser for the tuition-free new music university, violated an injunction towards Leon Hendrix and any of his associates issued following the court docket found past calendar year that he had dedicated numerous trademark and copyright infractions by providing an array of Jimi Hendrix-branded items. Leon Hendrix is listed as 1 of the academy’s governors, even though Tina mentioned he has no involvement with its functions.
The latest ruling — which Tina Hendrix ideas to charm — orders the Hendrix Music Academy to transform its title and web-site to point out that it’s unaffiliated with Jimi Hendrix or his estate, as very well as take out any “Jimi Hendrix indicia” from its site.
Severing its seen ties to the Seattle new music legend could demonstrate fiscally crippling, claimed Tina Hendrix, who started the organization in 2009 to honor her famous uncle’s legacy. A great deal of its $25,000 annual working budget comes from supporter donations, she explained.
“Jimi’s the motive why I’m right here [and] I’m able to do this,” Tina explained. “If you consider Jimi out of it, it’s really significantly going to be completed. After 11 decades, I’m meant to … up and change our name? That would damage any enterprise.”
One particular of the violations cited in court files was the sale of T-shirts with an image of Jimi Hendrix’s deal with that Leon drew. Most of the shirts ended up presented absent to volunteers at the occasion, which normally raises about $1,500 for the academy — enough for about 10 guitars, explained Tina Hendrix.
Numerous months prior to the Jimi Hendrix 50th Anniversary Memorial party, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York purchased Leon Hendrix to shell out a lot more than $400,000 in damages to Expertise Hendrix, LLC and Genuine Hendrix, LLC — the estate managed by Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s adopted sister. In the ruling, the choose wrote that Leon and his business enterprise husband or wife Andrew Pitsicalis had produced “the illusion of an empire of ‘authentic’ Jimi Hendrix goods” advertising various Hendrix-branded products including strains of hot sauce, wine and hashish products. A equivalent injunction was issued from Pitsicalis in 2015 and a settlement was reached months later.
Although Tina Hendrix explained she does not condone some of her father’s enterprise dealings, she feels the Hendrix Audio Academy was wrongfully dragged into the lawsuit. She thinks a 1988 letter from James “Al” Hendrix, Jimi and Leon’s father, granted her loved ones the skill to use her uncle’s title for charitable applications. In 2004, a King County Top-quality Court choose awarded sole control of Jimi Hendrix’s estate — then valued about $80 million — to Janie Hendrix, in accordance with Al Hendrix’s will. The Washington state Supreme Court docket upheld that verdict three years later.
An attorney representing Expertise Hendrix declined to comment for this tale.
For the past decade-moreover, Tina Hendrix — a violinist and producer — has operated the songs-centered youth progress program in the basement of her Renton residence. The Hendrix Music Academy gives absolutely free songs classes to at-possibility youth ages 5 to 18, providing instruments for learners who can’t find the money for them. The academy’s mission is more about mentorship than producing the upcoming Jimi Hendrix, she mentioned, though audio recording and production courses appear to be geared for more mature, extra critical college students.
Prior to the pandemic, the academy operate by Tina Hendrix, her lover and four volunteers could accommodate up to 20 pupils at a time. Due to the fact in-human being programming was halted, the school has carried out on the net lessons and ongoing distributing devices to young children.
“I want to run the Jimi Hendrix charity permanently and I want my little ones to operate it following me,” Tina Hendrix reported. “We have to do anything very good in Jimi’s identify.”