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'Concert for Ukraine' in London March 13

 Alina Bzhezhinska and HipHarp
courtesy of the artist
Alina Bzhezhinska and HipHarp

Ukrainian jazz harpist Alina Bzhezhinska has gathered a stunning collection of UK musicians for a fundraising concert to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Jazz musicians and artists are coming together in London to raise money to help the people of Ukraine, currently under invasion by Russia.

Hosted by The Cockpit Theatre’s long-standing music night, Jazz in the Round, "Concert for Ukraine — Make Music Not War" is the brainchild of international jazz harpist and Jazz FM Award nominee Alina Bzhezhinska.

Ukrainian-born Bzhezhinska was able to put together the lineup of musicians and artists for the event in just 12 hours.

All proceeds from "Concert for Ukraine" will go to Come Back Alive, the Ukrainian charity founded in 2014 in response to the Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula, and directly to musicians and their families in Ukraine.

“My country is burning," says Bzhezhinska. "As a native Ukrainian and a human being, I can not be silent. I wish I could go and fight alongside my family who are all in the resistance, but I have to stay where I am and use my music as my weapon. My mother told me I have to be strong for all Ukrainians and play my music for them to show solidarity and give my people some comfort and love. This concert is important for all of us as peace is so fragile at the moment and the world needs this — peace — the most.”

Bzhezhinska, a jazz harpist, composer, bandleader and educator, was inspired by the music of Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. She's the founder of the digital platform HipHarpCollective, an initiative that brings together contemporary artists, professional music makers, producers and harp lovers to collaborate, collect and exchange information on contemporary harp development, and promote the harp with meetings, concerts and recordings.

THSH: Alina Bzhezhinska

Also performing on March 13 will be award-winning British jazz multi-instrumentalist Tony Kofi; vocalist Vimala Rowe; actor, composer and vocalist Cleveland Watkiss; singer-songwriter Niki King; rapper Tom Theythem; vocalist Jo Harrop; bassist Neil Charles; and Ukrainian/Russian-born concert pianist and composer GéNIA.

Find more information about the venue, the concert and the artists here.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.