The countdown to “Reggae 4 Japan” has officially started. Just days away, “Reggae 4 Japan” has struck a strong humanitarian sense among the Reggae music industry — namely of the many artists who are dedicating their time and effort to perform in support of Japan on Sunday, June 5, 2011 at York College Performing Arts Center in Queens, New York. Profits from “Reggae 4 Japan” will be donated to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief effort of the American Red Cross.
“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. A number of top artists are confirmed to perform at “Reggae 4 Japan,” including Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Maxi Priest, Freddie McGregor and the Big Ship family, Capleton, Tarrus Riley, Mr. Vegas, Gramps Morgan, Peter Morgan, Duane Stevenson, Alaine, Tanya Stephens, Etana and New Kingston band. There will also likely be some surprise guests.
As “Reggae 4 Japan” quickly approaches, the excitement surrounding the benefit concert is blossoming. Many Reggae music fans are buying tickets to the event and expressing a desire to support Japan relief efforts in any way possible. Meanwhile, “Reggae 4 Japan’s” fanfare has attracted a wealth of attention from national and international media, who are confirmed to cover the highly anticipated benefit concert. Over the past few months, many Reggae artists and industry professionals have expressed a sincere commitment to aiding Japan. The overwhelming support of the Reggae industry is visible by “Reggae 4 Japan’s” extensive line up — so much so that the concert’s producers Mighty Crown and Irish and Chin had to get creative with fitting so many artists into a 4-hour concert. However, there were no complaints on behalf of Mighty Crown and Irish and Chin, who are overjoyed by the huge response.
The interest of the Reggae music industry expands beyond Japan, as it reflects an overall dedication to humanitarian issues. While the mission of “Reggae 4 Japan” is to support relief efforts in Japan, it will also shed a positive light on Reggae music, which has been ill-characterized at times. “Reggae 4 Japan” boldly shows that Reggae artists can come together under on accord to support their brothers and sisters in Japan. And it shows that now more than ever before — Reggae music is a universal music and force that brings all people together.
Newly confirmed singer and songwriter Duane Stephenson (VP Records) is anxious for his performance at “Reggae 4 Japan.” In fact, Stephenson’s interest in “Reggae 4 Japan” is directly alligned with his ongoing humanitarian efforts. “I am an advocate for the United Nations World Food Programme, not only do they feed millions of people, they are involved on the ground in disaster stricken areas to provide logistical support to organizations such as the Red Cross,” Stephenson says. “Its an honor for me to participate in ‘Reggae 4 Japan’ which will directly benefit the victims of this disaster and give back to those in need.”
Reggae singer Tanya Stephens says “The disaster which hit Japan geographically affects all of us socially…..the Jamaican music industry has benefited enormously from the patronage of the Japanese reggae community, and we are too intertwined for the recent events to not be seen as a shared experience to grow from.” “I am proud to be a part of this re-growth as the affected areas regain their footing and Japan becomes an even greater nation than before,” Stephens adds with enthusiasm.
Following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, Japan suffered great devastation. Japan’s recovery from this catastrophe will take years. International support is critical to Japan’s recovery efforts. The American Red Cross will continue to direct funds to help meet the survivors’ unprecedented and evolving needs by making another $30 million donation to the Japanese Red Cross, bringing its contributions to date to more than $160 million. The Japanese Red Cross announced a $350 million long-term recovery plan support by donations from its international partners, including the American Red Cross.
Many of the donations that Japanese Red Cross has received from the American Red Cross and other international partners are being utilized to improve the living conditions for people in evacuation centers and temporary homes being constructed by the government. The Japanese Red Cross is supplying water, shower and kitchen facilities in evacuation centers. Donations are also being used to outfit the 72,000 pre-fabricated houses with six electrical appliances each, which will help help an estimated 280,000 people resume normal activities and jump start their recovery. The Japanese Red Cross has many efforts planned including support for social welfare programs for the elderly and children; improvements to the Japanese Red Cross disaster response capacity; emergency healthcare, psychological counseling and emotional support services; and procurement and distribution of relief items, such as blankets and clothes.
“I have been to the beautiful country of Japan – it’s one of my most memorable tours with Morgan Heritage, and when my long time friend ‘Chin’ called and asked me if I was available I was naturally inclined to participate in this benefit concert…I believe it is critical that we as entertainers give when we can give, whether it is our time, money or talent,” says singer Gramps Morgan. “I am looking forward to working with all the great Artists on the ‘Reggae 4 Japan’ event to raise funds that will go towards assisting Japan in its rebuilding efforts.”
“Reggae 4 Japan” will be an unparalleled event, which will shine on Japan as a topic of great importance. Although it has been nearly three month’s since the eartquake and tsunami, Japan has continued needs during this critical recovery period. It is a pleasure to see members of the Reggae music fraternity and fans stand tall to support Japan in a monumental away. Reggae music fans and anyone that wants to come out to enjoy great music, while supporting an important cause, can still purchase tickets online (http://www.irishandchin.com) and at select retail outlets.
For more information about the American Red Cross in Greater New York, please call 212-875-2617 or visit them online at www.nyredcross.org.
The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, individual or political position.