Hendrix Family Non-Profit Being Sued by Experience Hendrix, LLC
(Seattle, WA – November 16th, 2020) – Since 2009, Tina Hendrix, niece of Jimi Hendrix, has operated the Hendrix Music Academy (HMA) in order to bring musical education to the underserved youth of the Seattle community. Many of these kids grew up in the same impoverished neighborhoods as Jimi Hendrix. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, the HMA is at risk of permanently being closed, but not due to Covid-19, but rather due to litigation, led by Janie Hendrix and Hendrix Experience, LLC.
On September 18th – 20th, 2020, the HMA sponsored and organized a Free Public Memorial & Peace and Love event in Seattle’s Jimi Hendrix Park, to honor Jimi Hendrix, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his untimely death. This event, even though it was a non-profit event and followed social distancing guidelines, was cited in the litigation as an infringement on Jimi Hendrix’s copyright. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the Hendrix family was given the rights to use Jimi Hendrix’s name, by the late Al Hendrix, as long as it was for a charitable entity, of which the HMA qualifies.
The HMA has spent over a decade providing valuable services to the underserved youth of Seattle and has survived through small donations. The HMA has provided all of these services without any costs to the youth participants or their families. This recent attack will potentially force the HMA to cease programming for children, who may not have any other access to music lessons or equipment. It would be a shame for this valuable institution to be extinguished due to petty and vindictive litigation, that only serves to punish Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s brother.
This recent legal action by Experience LLC is not reflective of the man that Jimi Hendrix was. His 27 short years on this planet was full of charity and love for the underprivileged and the youth of the world, of which he was one during his formative years in Seattle.
The Hendrix Music Academy calls for all fans of the great Jimi Hendrix to stand with us, as we fight this heavy-handed and extremely punitive lawsuit and fight for the right of the Seattle youth to have access to the gift of music, of which Jimi Hendrix could only dream about as a youth. For more information, please visit our website: www.hendrixmusicacademy.org
Update: On January 11, 2020 Judge Engelmeyer ruled against the Hendrix Music Academy in what we feel is an incorrect decision which further violates our first amendment rights. We plan to appeal this unfair and unjust ruling and continue to fight for our rights.
I will say that we are devastated and disappointed about the judge’s decision and I strongly feel that it was incorrect and unjust for several reasons.
Experience Hendrix only seeks to disenfranchise Jimi Hendrix’s next of kin from participating in his legacy at all costs, for no other purpose than corporate greed and to spread public misinformation that only they are Jimi’s family in reality they are not.
Our small charity could not afford attorney representation during time when the pandemic has pushed us to the brink. I had to act pro se on behalf of our charity. Having legal counsel is critical to any successful legal battle. This battle is not about money but the right to use my own family birth given name for charitable purposes.
This is more about free speech and our rights are being violated by this order and the order preceding this case which was a default judgment against my father.
I am astonished that the courts have sided with Experience Hendrix and stripped us from our rights to use our own family surname after a lifetime of doing so. This is a rare occurrence.
The plaintiff gained the Hendrix name by virtue of adoption and has used it ever since, only to exploit millions of dollars off of Jimi Hendrix’s music, while using the proceeds to eliminate Jimi’s biological family members one by one, starting with Jimi’s own son, then Jimi’s brother and now his niece.
I have never made one dollar off of my uncle while running a free music school for kids. I only seek to educate kids about Jimi and use his name for non-profit purposes.
My grandfather gave us that right in 1988. Everything that we received from Jimi's fans went to the students and their families. We have proudly served many needy families in honor of Jimi over the past decade.
This work has never interfered with Experience Hendrix’s business or profits, it only interfered with their lies.
We are desperately seeking pro Bono legal advice at this time and we intend to fight this until the end.
We are and always have been known as the Hendrix Family since my father was born in 1948. Why should we be silenced and prevented from telling our family’s history when we are the only ones who could ever tell it? This is an example of how history is re-written to accommodate ones lies based upon greed and to spread misinformation as fact.
Thank you for supporting the Hendrix Music Academy. We need donations today!
Tina Hendrix, the niece of Jimi Hendrix and founder of the Hendrix Music Academy.
- robert Mitchell
- Anthony Valdez
- Suzie Stewart
- Jeff Campbell
- Cindy Bender-Loyd
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