Last fall, Musicorp, a distributor of musical equipment, announced a special partnership with ChazzFest in which they provided volunteers and donated a white, hollow-body Arbor Jazz Guitar for the first festival. It was autographed by blues legend and 2006 ChazzFest co-headliner Buddy Guy and raffled off throughout the festival to raise over $1,200 for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which has provided more than $34 million worth of musical instruments since 1997 to over 1,400 schools. ChazzFest donated a portion of its proceeds to VH1 Save the Music, International African American Museum, and American College of the Building Arts.

This year, Musicorp steps back into the festival with new partner Remo (the world’s largest drum company and a leading maker of drum heads) and a grand invitation to anyone with a hint of rhythm. Together, they’ll give the general public a chance to become actively engaged in the music festival as they present the two-part ChazzFest Community Drum Circle. A private session will be held on Fri. Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. (for Charleston middle-school students) and a larger one open to the public is set for Sat. Sept. 22 at 2:15 p.m. on the Roots Stage. A limited number of hand drums will be given away to participants as souvenirs to commemorate their experience.

In support of VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Musicorp, this year’s impressive list of donations includes a Sierra “Sunrise” Acoustic-Electric Auditorium guitar, an Arbor Double-Cutway electric guitar, a Barcus-Berry “Vibrato AE” acoustic-electric violin, and a five-piece Percussion-Plus drum kit to be raffled off during the festival. Various ChazzFest performers will autograph the instruments, which will be on display in a Musicorp booth. Raffle tickets will be sold in the booth, and winners will be announced at Center Court stage in the evening. —T. Ballard Lesemann