MIKE H

A special concert intriguingly called ‘A Little Jazzed Up’ is going to be staged at the Hastings Centre on The Ridge on Saturday February 4 at 7.30pm in aid of the Friends of Conquest Hospital £1 million appeal for a new MRI Scanner.

It will feature well known local jazz pianist and singer Mike Hatchard, who gained a lot of attention last year for his epic cycle ride from Land’s End to John O”Groats towing an electric piano, on which he played innumerable concerts along the way, all in aid of Children In Need.

Mike, who is often to be heard playing the baby grand in the foyer of the hospital – he’s been known to play for five hours straight – will be supported by virtuoso bass guitarist Chris Barrett and Hugh Alexander on drums.

They say their aim – reflecting the title – is to play some well known classical pieces by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Grieg, Ravel, Debussy and Schubert, but with an added jazz element. A bit like Jacques Loussier’s treatment of Bach in the ‘60s and ‘70s but across a wider range and with a distinctive feel.

It’s quite a challenge. Mike, who is also a composer and was trained as a classical pianist, says he is playing the piano ten hours a day to try to work it all out. You’ll have to buy tickets to see if it will be all right on the night.

The Friends of the Conquest are launching the appeal because the hospital’s current scanner is 13 years old and cannot meet demand or do everything that a state-of-the art machine can do.This means many patients have to endure the inconvenience and expense of travelling elsewhere, often to London, to get the scans they need.

The appeal also marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the hospital, which is now the acute site for trauma, orthopaedics, surgery and paediatrics for 400,000 people in the area. That’s why the appeal is called Conquest25 MRI Scanner Appeal.

It needs your support.

  • Tickets costs just £10 and are available from either the Hastings Centre (01424 753322) on The Ridge – just opposite the hospital – or from the `Friends of the Conquest shop in the foyer of the hospital.