Ronnie Scott's instrument 'amnesty'

Ronnie Scott's has devised a music instrument amnesty for unwanted instruments to be held 11 July in support of aspiring young musicians

Organised in association with Sistema England and Music Fund, the "amnesty" will give people the chance to bring unwanted instruments to Ronnie Scott's Club. The instruments will be passed on to school-age youngsters so that they can develop their musical talents.

Sistema England, founded by Julian Lloyd Webber, is part of an international movement that originated with Venezuela's El Sistema. The organisation will use some of the donated instruments in its 14 schools projects, in towns and cities such as Norwich, Telford and Liverpool. Music Fund, based in Brussels, will provide instruments for music schools and projects in conflict zones and developing countries in the Middle East, Central America and Africa.

Simon Cooke, managing director at Ronnie Scott's, explained that the initiative was an important one for the Soho club. "We at Ronnie's are really pleased to lead this drive helping schools and education projects at home and around the help underprivileged kids. This is the first of a few new charitable initiatives that the club will be embarking upon."

Donations must be made at Ronnie Scott's, on Saturday 11 July. Donors must be aged 18 or more and the owners of the instruments. Prospective donors are asked to make an appointment by completing an application form, which can be found on the club's website, then bring their instrument or instruments to the club between 10.00am and 3.30pm on the day. The club will only be able to accept instruments "in reasonable condition." Large instruments such as pianos or Hammond organs cannot be accepted. All instruments will be inspected before being accepted: donors will be given tracking numbers so they can identify each donation's final destination. The club also offers donors the chance to "experience the iconic venue, perhaps rubbing shoulders with musicians who have graced the Ronnie's stage" as they wait for their instruments to be inspected.

After the amnesty day, Ronnie's will continue to work with Sistema England and Music Fund. The club has also promised to arrange jazz workshops, giving young players the chance to play alongside world class musicians at the club.

Further details of the Music Instrument Amnesty can be found at the Ronnie Scott's website. Enquiries can be made to

Bruce Lindsay

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