A TAUNTON jazz quartet is set to host a concert at Vivary Park in aid of a charity working to help victims of the war in Ukraine on Easter Sunday.

Lazy River Jazz will be joined by guest vocalist Sharon Moore at the concert, which will take place in the park on Sunday, April 17 between 2pm and 4:30pm.

There is no charge to attend the concert, but the musicians hope attendees will donate money to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which aims to help the 18 million people it expects will be affected by the conflict.

Speaking about the concert, Tony Byrne, who plays the saxophone in the quartet, said: “We hope it will provide both a reminder of the Russian conflict together with a short relaxation and emotional escape from it.

“Our music – guitar, bass, drums and sax – is soft, swing jazz featuring the songs from the Great American Songbook such as Broadway shows, some Glenn Miller, some Sinatra, and some blues.

“We have played quite regularly in the Vivary summer concerts, so the music may sound familiar to the Sunday concert-goers.”

Tony has also raised money for the appeal and the Red Cross by busking in Taunton and the surrounding area.

Somerset County Gazette: A Rumwell shopper is encouraged to donate to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal after hearing Tony's music.A Rumwell shopper is encouraged to donate to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal after hearing Tony's music.

After donating to the appeal, he realised he could raise money for the people of Ukraine by busking – and he has since raised over £1,000.

Tony said: “It wakes me up at night thinking about their plight. It's like a nightmare or a horror film.

“When the charity message began to change to sending money rather than items of clothing or bedding, I sent a personal cheque to the Disaster Emergency Committee.

“And then it struck me I may be able to raise money through my music.”

 Read more: Taunton family opens its doors to Ukrainian refugees

Tony started busking for Ukraine in Comeytrowe, where he first stayed for around two hours and collected £76 from generous shoppers.

Somerset County Gazette: Newsquest is raising money for the Red Cross's Ukraine Crisis Appeal.Newsquest is raising money for the Red Cross's Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

He has busked twice more in Comeytrowe, once at Taunton’s Tesco supermarket, where he raised £320, and then at Rumwell Farm Shop, where donations reached £154.

“I was so moved by people's generosity I literally shed tears,” he said.

“I still well up thinking about it.”

Somerset County Gazette: Tony busks at the Comeytrowe Centre in Taunton.Tony busks at the Comeytrowe Centre in Taunton.

Tony added: “Then I negotiated with Somerset West and Taunton Council, and they allowed me, subject to certain conditions, to busk in Vivary Park.

“The weather has been on my side and, with the donations mounting, I set myself a target figure of £1,000.

“Amazingly, I met that after eight days of playing.

“I also met many kind, generous, and complimentary people, including young children from local nurseries and schools such as St Augustine's and Castle – some of the toddlers even stopped to dance!”

For more information about Lazy River Jazz and the quartet's Concert for Ukraine, visit www.facebook.com/LazyRiverSwing