Peter Bacon reports:
This press release received this evening:
“Today, more than 5000 people turned out for the world-famous Jazz Club Ronnie Scott’s 60th anniversary street party, which took place on Frith Street, Soho. The party provided opportunity for the legendary club to say thank you to its’ thousands of loyal members and customers over the years; and of course what better way to celebrate the landmark birthday than to have 5000 people on your doorstep having fun and listening to live, al-fresco jazz!
“Crowds flocked to see outstanding performances from the likes of Pee Wee Ellis and South Bank Sky Arts Award winner Nubya Garcia who gave a stand-out performance for the audience, who were packed right up to Soho Square.
“Party-goers were treated to a Hopper’s bar, a Moet Bar, and an Aperol Spritz bar. Revellers also took advantage of a number of street food stalls. There was fun for everybody as children’s entertainers delighted young party-goers with gigantic bubbles and face-paints.
“Spirits were high because the party also coincided with the third Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty. The amnesty calls upon celebrities and local people to donate unused and unwanted instruments to the club, who then distribute the instruments to schools and youth projects in an attempt to make music accessible for all.
“As soon as the doors opened, donors started arriving, dropping off instruments and accessories big and small: digital pianos, violins, saxophones, guitars and so forth. James McVey, the lead guitarist from the Vamps also donated a Fender Strat complete with a ‘The Vamps’ stencilled flight case. It has been estimated that more than 300 instruments have been donated so far, and these will go all over the UK and even as far as Nepal.
“Fatine Boumaaz, Head of Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation, said: ‘Owning your own instrument is vital to becoming an accomplished musician; unfortunately, this is not a cost all families can afford. Even schools today struggle to provide descent music tuition because of the lack of instrument provision. Our initiative help tackle this issue.’
“2019 beneficiaries are set to include The Nucleo Project in North Kensington, a music programme that uses musical excellence as a way of enriching the lives of young people; Music in Detention, which brings together immigrant detainees with professional musicians to create and enjoy music; Mount Merrion Music Academy in Belfast, which offers accessible and affordable music tuition to the local community; and Parkwood Primary School in West Yorkshire.
“International beneficiaries for 2019 will also include BrassForAfrica in Uganda and Music Art Society in Nepal, which provide musical tuition to disadvantaged children, alongside DCMA in Zanzibar, which is the only music school in the region.”