Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Donation From 'Reggae 4 Japan'

Krista Henry, The Gleaner 

Reggae 4 Japan dug deep and raised US $25,000 (JA $2,136,249.92) for the American Red Cross' Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort. 

Held at the York College in Queens, New York, on June 5, Reggae 4 Japan is the charity show organised by Japanese Sound Mighty Crown, their management Irish and Chin, alongside VP Records. 

A month later, the numbers are in and a pleased team of organisers officially handed over US $25,000 to the Red Cross last Thursday at their headquarters in New York. The concert saw the Jamaican entertainment fraternity uniting to assist Japan after the earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated the country on March 11. Recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale, it was the most powerful quake ever to hit the country. 

The concert saw the likes of reggae's 'who's who' including Freddie McGregor with his sons Chino and Stephen McGregor, Maxi Priest, Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, Gramps and Peetah Morgan, Duane Stephenson, Mr Vegas, Capleton, and more. A total of 18 artistes performed, including three surprise acts such as the reclusive Shabba Ranks and rapper Nas. The show afforded fans with top-notch entertainment from each artiste involved and managed to fill to capacity the York College's auditorium which seats 1,200 persons. 

Elegant affair 

"I am proud that reggae artistes came together in such a valiant way to support their brothers and sisters in Japan, who suffered greatly because of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011," says Garfield 'Chin' Bourne of Irish and Chin. "Reggae 4 Japan was an elegant affair and a success on many fronts but the most significant was that of the reggae community, who unselfishly lent a hand to raise money and awareness for Japan during a time of need." 

VP's Patricia Chin was also pleased with the results of the show. She told The Gleaner, "I wasn't able to attend the show as I had previous engagements; however, my family attended and they were very satisfied with the outcome of the show. We want to thank everyone who got involved and poured out their hearts for this worthy cause. We sincerely give sympathy and love to the Japan people and hope that very soon they can smile again." 

Japan is one of the world's largest consumers of reggae music with many local artistes establishing connections with Japan and its people. Masta Simon, co-owner of Mighty Crown added, "The success of Reggae 4 Japan means so much to me and the country of Japan. The overwhelming support of Reggae 4 Japan by the artistes, their management teams and Reggae music fans almost left me with a shear loss for words on the night of the event. I am ever so thankful for what reggae music did for Japan financially and as a source of encouragement and motivation." 

According to the organisers, Reggae 4 Japan is one of many steps they will take during the course of the year to support Japan relief efforts. With Reggae 4 Japan now under their belts, they are anxious to identify future fund-raising opportunities.

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