Customers serenaded at outdoor concerts in Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park cafes donated hundreds of pounds to Help Musicians
Highgate Wood Cafe patrons donated hundreds of pounds to struggling musicians after enjoying outdoor jazz concerts.
Music events have been going on at the cafe for several years, but were revamped in June to raise money for the Help Musicians charity fund.
Jazz musicians are paid to play concerts on weekends at 1 p.m., with customers encouraged to donate through a dedicated ticket machine.
Patrick Matthews, who runs similar events at the Queen’s Park cafe – also run by the Corporation of London – says they have so far raised £ 2,500.
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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 ran them unfortunately got sick. So we introduced other jazz musicians, including a guitarist and a klezmer player, and it was really a success.
The Kentish Town resident also operates Parliament Hill Lido cafe under his Hoxton Beach business, which during the first lockdown made home deliveries to NHS staff and provided eggs, flour and bread to locals who had a hard time getting them.
“The pandemic has not been bad for us. We’re a lot busier than we usually would be at this time of year because people have nowhere to go except in their local park, ”he adds. “We have this captive audience and rather than just being lazy we wanted to do something positive. It struck a chord. People love to listen to live music and like that, there is a link with helping musicians who have been hit hard by the pandemic. “