By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Hello to all my friends - just to let you know that I have been so actively involved in things community, I have not posted upcoming events in recent months because I tend to be right in the middle of them in some form or fashion - whether covering them, or helping in some other manner.
But the upcoming fund raiser for Japan, which takes place TOMORROW, APRIL 19, 2011 at AARON DAVIS HALL on the Campus of The City College of New York 133rd & Convent Avenue 6:30 PM -- is one that I must make sure I get before the community.
We want this turn out to be humungous - stupendous. Why? Because Japan was one of the first major contributors to Haiti in their time of need - and continues to be so, despite what they're going through.
Also because so many of our friends and associates here in the US from Japan have families are now facing serious perils. And because we, as Black people, are loving, generous, giving, sharing beings, who don't want to see others in peril without reaching out a hand of support and a heart of concern.
My own personal friends from Seicho No Ie, a Japanese/Christian worship center here in New York; as well as my friend, vocalist Tomoko Fukuda of Far East Soul, and jazz keyboardist, Yoichi Uzeki, have all been doing our parts, individually and collectively, to help families in distress.
My friend Voza Rivers, of the Harlem Arts Alliance, has been working tirelessly, along with so many other major community based and global organizations, including -The City College of New York, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Community Works, Dwyer Cultural Center, International Artists for Peace and World Harmony,
Council Member Inez E. Dickens, State Assemblyman Keith Wright, Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group, and Katsuya Abe - to put this wonderful event together.
Now we must do our part by showing up, enjoying the performances (free) and contributing generously to helping the Japanese victims of this horrible earth quake and the devastating tsunami that followed.
Among the stellar artists who are gathering to give their time and talent to this event are: R&B Star Alyson Williams, NAACP Image Award Nominee Jazz Pianist & Composer Onaje Allan Gumbs; Rhythm and Blues legend and Grammy nominee Chuck Jackson, International artists Yuichiro Oda, Yuko Darjeeling, and Toya, Soh Daiko, nationally renowned Japanese Taiko drummers, The New York African Chorus Ensemble, National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Band, Oscar and Grammy nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre, jazz trumpeter Joey Morant, saxophonist Lonnie "the Prince of Harlem" Youngblood, 15 year old guitarist Solomon Hicks, Harlem vocalists: Claude Jay, Janice Marie Robinson, Lady Cantrese, Annette St. John, Lee Olive Tucker, and Queen Esther, winner of the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, organist Matthew Whitaker, Harlemwood Records recording artist Lainie Cooke, Choreographer Obediah Wright and the Balance Dance Company, the Manhattan School of Music, the New Amsterdam Musical Association, and Keith "The Captain" Gamble and the list is still in formation as I write this.
While there is FREE ADMISSION Any and all donations accepted at the door - we're hoping that you will give generously.
Below is a letter from Voza Rivers in reference to the importance of this upcoming event:
Dear friends and supporters,
Since 1987 Japanese producer Kats Abe and I have created a partnership, presenting cultural exchanges between Japan and Harlem. For more than twenty years these exchanges, produced by Mr. Abe and myself, have included performances by renowned artists Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, James Brown, Mary J. Blige, Count Basie Orchestra, Ben E. King, Boy George, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, as well as many other Harlem based artists and beyond. These performers graced the stages of Japan's largest arenas including the Nagoya Dome, Osaka Dome, and the Tokyo Dome with capacities from forty to fifty-five thousand.
We have also presented on Harlem stages the Japanese orchestras of Waseda University Big Band with the Count Basie Orchestra and the Tocho Big Beats All Star Orchestra with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Orchestra under our Jazz for Peace, East Meets West series. These presentations contributed greatly to New Heritage's international and ever expanding global exchanges between Harlem and Japan.
Today, Japan has experienced a series of horrific natural disasters and needs our aid. We are requesting all of our communities and all New Yorkers to come out and support this initiative, enjoy a great evening of music, and share your appreciation and concern for Japan and its people.
Checks can be made payable to any one of the three organizations: The Japan Chamber of Commerce (J.C.C.); The Japan Society; The Consulate General of Japan. Or you can go online and make your contribution via this website: www.newheritagetheatre.org
All funds received go directly to supporting Japan's recovery. For information and to RSVP please call 212 926-2550.
New Heritage Theatre Group
So make Tuesday, April 19, 2011, the night you show up for Japan.
See you there
Stay Blessed &