Event Preview: Grassroots Unite Earthquake Fundraisers (London; Saturday, 25th of February to Sunday, 19th of March 2023)

Despite the catastrophic events unfolding in Turkey and Syria, a glimmer of hope and relief is given by the eagerness of people, maybe living thousand miles away from where the earthquakes are crushing the ground, to help and support those affected.

Among those good eggs, we can count dozens and dozens of London-based musicians and DJs who, throughout the next three weeks, will join and bring to life a call to action launched by Turkish singer, performer, event organiser, promoter and good old friend of Rhythm Passport, Dila Vardar.

On the 25th of February, 5th, 18th and 19th of March, Dila has rallied the London music scene community to organise four evenings of good vibes and solidarity aimed at raising funding for the Turkey Mozaik Foundation, an association playing an essential role “as a bridge between donors and the civil society of Turkey”, and UK-based charity Choose Love which provides humanitarian aid to refugees in Turkey and Syria.

It goes without saying that we were pretty delighted, when browsing the four different line-ups going on stage at four London grassroots venues, to read the names of so many musicians who enriched the Rhythm Passport’s webpages, playlists and events. So, to join the call and spread the word about it was the bare minimum we could do.

As anticipated, everything will start this Saturday at 7PM at the brand-new and glowing Jamboree (Kings Cross). The music menu of the night includes the spicy rhythms from Southern Italy and the Mediterranean showcased by Amaraterra, “a multi-national ensemble that was established in 2011 by a group of passionate expats from Salento”; followed by a free-wheeling set by two music wizards, guitarist Mr Morski and percussionist Jabbaristan; then the powerful storytelling and alternative pop sonorities by The Burning Glass Duo, an acoustic group known for their far-ranging lyrics “able to move people to dance, and sometimes bring tears to their eyes”. To close the night, the smooth and funky roots reggae by Planetman, a London music “institution” and founding member of the iconic London venue Passing Clouds.

The line-up is still a work in progress so expect more acts and musician friends joining and jumping on stage over the night.

One week later, on Sunday the 5th of March, the solidarity music caravan will reach Jam in a Jar in Tottenham for an evening focussed on inspired songwriting featuring Barbara Pugliese (voice and band leader of gypsy-punk Barbarella’s Bang Bang); Daisy Beau and her free-spirited folk “influenced by nomadic punks, folk activists and fishermen”; Tsvey Kipperim (two sixth of the glorious “psychedelic Mediterranean and Eastern Europe disco funk” ensemble Don Kipper); singer/songwriter, bass player and Cykada bandleader Jamie Benzies; the soulful and smooth artistry of Costance Dalrymple, and again many more…

While, on the 18th of March, it’s going to be the turn of the Harrison Pub, back in Kings Cross, with Balamuc and their Balkan and Gypsy drive, followed by an improvised and jazzy set by the duo composed of Polish violinist Alice Zawadzki and bass player Misha Mullov-Abbado, and the organic, inclusive and rootsy jam session led by the Floatsam Sessions family.

Finally, the last appointment of the series will travel South of the River, reach Battersea and stop over at the Magic Garden. There, on Sunday 19th of March, the DJ-deck will welcome no less than house music highnesses The Egg, followed by the eccentric selection of The World’s Tallest DJ. Speaking of “out-of-the-ordinary” sounds, on stage, it will follow suit with an unpredictable set by an unpredictable duo of buskers, The Cash Cows and brilliant and up-and-coming singer/songwriter and guitarist Eva Scott.

Not that you’d need any particular spur or encouragement to take part in and donate to a fundraiser event supporting Turkish and Syrian people affected by the earthquakes. However, head to the Jamboree, Jam in a Jar, The Harrison and the Magic Garden over the next three weekends and you will still find dozens of additional reasons to do so in music!