Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, is delighted to announce that Nile Rodgers and Chic will now headline its annual fundraising Christmas Carol Service at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea on Tuesday 13th December, with support from fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Richie Sambora.

Sadly, The Who will no longer be performing due to unforeseen circumstances. They have been incredible supporters and champions of Nordoff Robbins for almost 50 years and the charity looks forward to doing something special with them next year.

Nile Rodgers joins the line-up fresh from receiving the Lifetime Achievement award at last week’s MOBO Awards. The legendary songwriter, producer, arranger and guitarist has been making waves in music since co-founding Chic in the 1970s and his music has been an inspiration to generations that have followed. Over more than 50 years in the music industry, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists from David Bowie and Madonna to Daft Punk. Nile and Chic will perform a selection of their classic hits.

Richie Sambora, songwriter, vocalist and the gifted lead guitarist of multi-million selling Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Bon Jovi also joins the star-studded line up, in the stunning and intimate church setting.

The stars’ musical performances will be interspersed with a choir leading traditional Christmas carols, and festive readings from celebrities, including Josette Simon OBE, whose career spans the recent Netflix hit Anatomy of a Scandal through to BBC’s Small Axe, Broadchurch and The Split, with starring film roles in The Witches, Red Lights, Wonder Woman and Cry Freedom. She was the first black Leading Actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company and also at the Royal National Theatre, later winning many awards, including the Evening Standard Best Actress award at the Royal National Theatre.

Sponsored by Hipgnosis Songs, the money raised from The Nordoff Robbins Carol Service will help Nordoff Robbins’ dedicated music therapists to support those who need it most, continuing to break down barriers with the power of music therapy – often the only way some of the UK’s most vulnerable people can express themselves and experience real connection in society. Nordoff Robbins’ trained music therapists will be performing outside the church to entertain the audience and raise additional funds. More information and donations at nordoff-robbins.org.uk/carols.

Nordoff Robbins’ trained music therapists work with children and adults with extreme life challenges, including injuries, disabilities and terminal illness. In 2021, Nordoff Robbins music therapists reached 8,713 individuals throughout the year, holding 35,500 therapy sessions. The charity also worked with 318 partner organisations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide much needed music therapy.

Nile Rodgers said: “I was sorry to hear that my friends The Who would not be able to play, but I’m delighted to step in out of my high regard for Pete and Roger and most especially Nordoff Robbins and the important work they do. We are family and we will dance and bring the Christmas joy on December 13th at St Luke’s Church.”

Richie Sambora said: “I’m looking forward to rocking the church at this year’s Nordoff Robbins Carol Service alongside Nile for what I know is going to be an awesome event. I’m a long-standing supporter of Nordoff Robbins, as its music therapists really can help people to break through barriers and connect with others – music speaks on a level that words sometimes can’t. Music is so powerful and this charity knows just how to harness that power for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins said: "Music and the festive season go hand in hand, and here at Nordoff Robbins, people and music are at the heart of everything we do. Thanks to the money raised through this wonderful annual concert, we can deliver music therapy to more clients across the UK, including some of the most vulnerable people in society. We believe that music is a superpower. Imagine if music was the only way you were able to communicate. Now imagine a world with no music – it’s unthinkable. Music can offer people true inclusion and belonging, and access to it must be a human right.

That’s why we’re so thankful to Nile, Richie, Josette and all the artists involved, and to our sponsor, Merck Mercuriadis and Hipgnosis Songs, who are helping us to celebrate the festive season with an incredible opportunity to join such a shining line up of stars in a spectacular setting."

Nordoff Robbins is delighted to have Hipgnosis Songs as a sponsor for the third year. Hipgnosis Songs is the first UK investment company offering investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights. Its focus is building a diversified portfolio, acquiring catalogues that are built around proven hit songs of cultural importance by some of the most talented and important songwriters globally.

The charity is grateful for The Who’s lifelong support and understand that ticketholders may wish to request a refund. Refunds can be obtained via the Universe ticketing dashboard, or alternatively please contact tickets@nordoff-robbins.org.uk. Watch this space for an announcement of The Who’s continued support of Nordoff Robbins in 2023.

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