Prince funds Portland school jazz band’s competition bid

The singer has paid for a Portland school band to get to New York

Prince has used the proceeds from a recent gig to fund a high school jazz band’s trip to New York to enter a competition.

The singer donated the proceeds from his April 21 gig at the Roseland in Portland, Oregon to the American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra. Speaking to NME, acclaimed jazz trumpeter and Artistic Director of the programme Thara Memory said: “The promoter [of Prince’s Portland gigs] is a longtime friend of mine and he told Prince about the programme. Prince was looking for something to give some money too anyway, and that’s how it came about.”

The students will now travel to the Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival, which will take place at New York’s Lincoln Centre between May 10 and 12. When asked if the students were excited about Prince’s intervention, Memory replied: “They get to meet a lot of great musicians because when people hear them they say that they want to come and hang out with them. So they’re not really starstruck about Prince. He is just one of the artists that they know about. I think they’d be more starstruck if he walked into a rehearsal and gave them some pointers. I think that would be the next level.”

Prince has been releasing a slew of new music recently by posting material on his clandestine 3rdeyegirl website. In December he released the track ‘Rock And Roll Love Affair’ and followed it up with ‘Screwdriver’ and another new song, ‘Breakfast Can Wait’, in February.