Three-time Grammy Award-Winning artist Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley has officially joined the line-up of “Reggae 4 Japan,” a benefit concert to support the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort of the American Red Cross on June 5, 2011 at the York College Performing Arts Center in Queens, New York. The addition of this world-renowned Reggae artist further solidifies the commitment of the Reggae music industry to aid Japan. “Reggae 4 Japan” is produced by Japanese sound system and ambassador of Reggae music Mighty Crown and their management team Irish and Chin with executive sponsorship from VP Records. Additional sponsorship for the concert is being provided by Irie Jam Radio (official media sponsor), Scion, Rocker’s Island, 24×7 Records, Woofin’, NRL, Far East Connection, Nesta Brand, Bennett Limo, Riddim Driven and Conkur Printing.
“Japan has always had a great amount of fans support Reggae music and culture through out the years,” says Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. “It’s only right that we give forward to lend some support to Japan in this much needed time.”
Popular Reggae artist Mr. Vegas is also new to the line-up. The singjay’s involvement in “Reggae 4 Japan” injects a Dancehall element. In addition, “Reggae 4 Japan” has a roster heavy-hitting Reggae artists, who boast exceptional catalogues of music, including Freddie McGregor and the Big Ship Family (Stephen Di Genius, Chino and Laden), Maxi Priest, Tarrus Riley, Capleton, Fire Ball (Japan’s #1 Dancehall/Reggae group), Tanya Stephens, Alaine, Gramps Morgan, Peter Morgan and Etana. Overall, Japan has played a strong role in the careers of most of the artists billed for the show. The artists deem their involvement with “Reggae 4 Japan” as a way of saying thanks and giving back.
The increased interest and support of “Reggae 4 Japan” by Reggae artists and industry professionals clearly displays that Japan is in the hearts and on the minds of the Reggae music industry. It brings Mighty Crown pleasure that the Reggae music industry boldly and swiftly responded to their heartfelt plea for help. “I am really happy to see so many artists participating in this charity event……….this increase of involvement shows the love toward Japan and Reggae music,” says Masta Simon, co-owner of Mighty Crown. “Respect to all artists who are supporting the event!”
“Irish and Chin has worked with Japan for well over a decade……a large part of our stronghold in the industry is due to our unique relationship with Japan’s Reggae market,” says Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin, co-producer of “Reggae 4 Japan” and Mighty Crown’s manager.
“Playing the role as producer for this benefit concert and lending my resources to this worthy cause is the least I can do to show my gratitude.”
“We are showing our care and appreciation for Japan and thank our artists for donating their time and talent for such a good cause,” says Chris Chin, owner of VP Records. “Ultimately, we would like to see large numbers of people come out to support this extremely important event.”
“Reggae 4 Japan” will be an intimate staging with limited seating (less than 1500 seats). This unprecedented and historical benefit concert will mark the first official stage show of the summer in the New York Tri-state area and one of the strongest line-ups that New York has witnessed in quite some time. While the benefit concert is a U.S. based fundraising effort for Japan, Mighty Crown and members of their family have been on the ground in Japan lending their time, energy, effort and resources to provide assistance to people in the affected areas in the form of food, water, toys and music/entertainment. The Japanese sound system recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Almost two months have passed and things are sill rough for the victims……lots of people are waiting for the government to build tentative houses, as things are moving slower than schedule,” says Masta Simon. “Furthermore, the newspaper states that it will take at least three years to clean up the heap of rubble caused by the earthquake and tsunami.”
“What the victims need is caring and love….this benefit concert will definitely be a relief for the victims in more ways than one….it shows a bond through Reggae music,” adds Masta Simon passionately.
Immediately following the event, Mighty Crown and Irish and Chin will donate profits from “Reggae 4 Japan” in the form of a check to the American Red Cross, specifically to their Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort. To date, the American Red Cross has supported their partners the Japanese Red Cross with $100 million. Additionally, the American Red Cross is funding half of the UN World Food Programme’s logistical operation in Japan for the delivery and storage of relief items at a cost of $500,000. The American Red Cross will continue to support their Japanese partners as they help survivors take an important step toward early recovery. Since March 11, the Japanese Red Cross has been providing tens of thousands of Japanese with emergency relief, medical services, emotional counseling and now it’s helping to equip 70,000 temporary homes with essential appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, rice cookers and microwave ovens. Additionally, the Japanese Red Cross, through local municipalities, will soon start to distribute cash grants to survivors.