Jazz concerts in Highgate Wood raise funds for struggling musicians

Jazz concerts at Highgate Wood cafe have raised thousands of pounds for the Musicians Benevolent Fund

Jazz concerts at Highgate Wood cafe have raised thousands of pounds for the Musicians Benevolent Fund - Credit: Archant

Customers serenaded at outdoor concerts at the Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park cafes have donated hundreds of pounds to Help Musicians

Jazz concerts at Highgate Wood cafe have raised thousands of pounds for the Musicians Benevolent Fund

Jazz concerts at Highgate Wood cafe have raised thousands of pounds for the Musicians Benevolent Fund - Credit: Archant

Customers at Highgate Wood cafe have donated hundreds of pounds for struggling musicians after enjoying outdoor jazz concerts.

Music events have been running for several years at the cafe, but were re-purposed in June to raise funds for musicians benevolent fund Help Musicians.

Jazz musicians are paid to play weekend lunchtime concerts at 1pm, with customers encouraged to donate via a dedicated cash machine.

Patrick Matthews, who is running similar events at the cafe in Queen’s Park - also managed by the Corporation of London - says they have raised £2,500 so far.


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“I was at a children’s party and the father of another child was a fundraiser for Help Musicians,” he said. “We wanted to restart the concerts as soon as we could after the first lockdown, but (jazz saxophonist) Christian Brewer who was running them has sadly been unwell. So we’ve introduced other jazz musicians including a guitarist and a klezmer player and it’s been really successful.”

The Kentish Town resident also operates the Parliament Hill Lido cafe under his business Hoxton Beach, which during the first lockdown ran home deliveries to NHS staff, and supplied eggs, flour and bread to locals struggling to get hold of them.

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“The pandemic has not been bad for us. We are much busier than we would usually be at this time of year because people have nowhere else to go except to their local park,” he adds. “We have this captive audience and rather than just being lazy we wanted to do something positive. It’s struck a chord. People love hearing live music and like that there is a connection with helping musicians who have been hit hard by the pandemic.”

www.helpmusicians.org.uk/

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