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Non-stop jazz raises US cash

A non-stop 24-hour jazz concert has been played by musicians from Chichester in aid of US schoolchildren living in deprived areas of Los Angeles.


The day and night performance, hosted at the University of Chichester, helped raise money for Nevin Avenue Elementary, which has some of the lowest test scores in America.


More than 50 university students and staff joined musicians from the city’s community orchestra for the concert, which was live-streamed online.


Professor Laura Ritchie and head of jazz Nick Reynolds, from the university’s department of music, organised the event as part of an ongoing collaboration with the school to raise aspirations.


“Nevin Avenue have some wonderfully-gifted students but is situated in a tough area of Los Angeles, and they don’t have a lot of opportunities,” said Prof Ritchie, who herself had played for more than four hours.


“We’re still accepting donations – we hope to raise money to develop a multimedia room at the school to give students a chance to integrate music into learning in ways they’ve never before experienced.”


Music across the 24-hour showcase was entirely improvised by the performers, but was based around the key riff of Herbie Hancock’s famed Chameleon composition.


Drummer Will Moore, a first-year music student at the University, started at 8am and played on-and-off for more than six hours.


He said: “This was a fantastic open event, and it was great to jam with other musicians of all levels, whether students, lecturers, or people from our community.


“We improvised over the top of Herbie Hancock but every 30 minutes one of us would do their own solo, which we all played around – hopefully we’ll raise lots of money.”


The charity concert was the first of its kind to be recorded live online using the university’s lecture-capture software.


Chichester resident David Dorning plays saxophone with the city’s community orchestra, which is also led by Prof Ritchie.


He said: “It’s great that Chichester has come together to do a good thing.


“It’s not often that we get the chance to play alongside the students, which itself was really rewarding, and it was interesting to see their interpretations of jazz.”


Donations are still being accepted and can be made at:

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