Buskers On Ice!

Antarctic Minkes go out to play for Musequality

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Left to right: bass guitarists Tony McLaughlan (station electrician) and Riet van de Velde (chef), saxophonist Paul Craske (generator mechanic) and bass guitarist Danny Edmunds (boating officer).

Photo ©British Antarctic Survey

Chiswick Musicians of All Ages Urged to Take To The Streets - And help set busking record by donating earnings to Musequality

Bedford Park Festival 2009


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The Antarctic Minkes, a group of three bass guitarists and one saxophonist working at the British Antarctic Survey Rothera Research Station in Antarctica, will take part in the first ever Musequality World Busk which runs from Monday, 8th to Sunday, 14th June. They will entertain passers by on the ice – their team members in the small crew of 20 people based at Rothera during the Antarctic winter.

“We’re thrilled that the Antarctic Minkes will be busking for us. They are definitely the coolest buskers on the planet,” said David Juritz who founded Musequality in June 2007, kickstarting its funding by busking round the world.

“We’ve now got buskers – people from all walks of life – signed up on six of the seven continents. We’re just waiting for our first busker in Australia or New Zealand to confirm they’ll be taking part and we’ll have buskers on all seven,” he commented.

The Musequality World Busk starts on Monday, 8th June and finishes on Sunday, 14th June when young buskers are particularly welcome to join in, helping Musequality achieve its aim of the biggest coordinated busk around the world.

The aim is to raise funds to support Musequality’s existing communal music-making projects, and set up new projects, for disadvantaged children in the developing world, giving them the skills and qualities they need to turn their lives around. The charity already supports five projects – two in Kampala, Uganda, two in South Africa, and one in northern Thailand. It is actively fundraising to start a new project for street children in Goa, India.

It takes its inspiration from El Sistema, Venezuela’s national youth music programme which took London by storm in April, Buskaid in South Africa, and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
 founded by Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim.

“The money buskers raise will help us expand our existing projects – one, the M-Lisada Brass Band in Kampala, rehearses under a tree and badly needs a rehearsal and performance space – and start new ones – we are working to start a project for street children in Goa, India,” David Juritz explained.

“We want buskers outside the UK to busk to raise money for a local music project. In Rio de Janeiro, for example, busking proceeds will go straight to a school for disadvantaged children in Catete favela. And in Africa, two of the projects we support – the Hout Bay Strings Project in Cape Town and the Tender Talents Choral Project in Kampala will busk to raise money for themselves.

Musicians can sign up for the Musequality World Busk at www.worldbusk.org where they will find tips and guidance for a safe, hassle-free and enjoyable busk as well as an interactive map showing theirs and other busks around the world.

Donations are welcome on: www.justgiving.com/antarctic_minkes and www.justgiving.com/worldbusk.

June 6, 2009