Charity Concert to Help the Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Cheer Them Up by Bossanova and Songs Praying for Tohoku

On Saturday, May 21st, 2011, the charity concert was held for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake at the Yawaragi Hall in Gakushuin Women’s College (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo). Thankfully, the hall was full of peoplenearly 400 people took part in this concert and it was a great success. The donation of 984,128 yen (as of June 7th) will be used to help the situation in the affected area: we can keep delivering relief supplies to the evacuees, providing mobile clinic, repairing the facilities for persons with disabilities and elderly people and so on. We deeply appreciate the support from the people who came and participated in the concert.

A harmonious sound of Bossanova. From left, Mr. Atsushi SUZUKI, Mr. Sanshiro and Mr. Jun Kimura from Sapatos.

Today’s guest, Sapatos (Guitar: Mr. Jun KIMURA, Sax: Mr. Sanshiro) has been playing together for 9 years. In a Jazz/Bossanova group, they have broad range of admirers, the young and the old. Fortunately for AAR JAPAN, they have frequently performed at our charity concerts.

Mr. KIMURA who used to be a business man changed his career, becoming a musician. Mr. Sanshiro has performed on the street. The audience was enraptured by their exquisite performance and the bouncy/warm piano played by Mr. Atsushi SUZUKI. Also, their talk show between songs made a lot of people laugh.

Sapatos and Mr.SUZUKI played “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder, “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon, and “The Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio Carlos Jobim and “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel. I believe that because everyone knows these songs and they are soft on the ear, the audience could relax and forget their busy days.

XUXU performing “Camilla” the song to cheer up the survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Also, as a special guest, XUXU, a cappella quartet, a Cultural Ambassador for Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, came to join us and sang “Camellia,” the song dedicated to Ofunato City's survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake. After the earthquake, XUXU visited Ofunato City to sing and cheer up the evacuees, and they presented their activities with pictures.

Ayumi YASUDA reported the situation after the earthquake. Right is the host, Taki KATO, Deputy Chairperson of AAR JAPAN.

The second stage started with the presentation of Ayumi YASUDA, part of AAR JAPAN staff, who delivered emergency relief supplies to Sendai City. She also reported on the current situation with pictures.
Here are some comments from the audience today.
l         The players were friendly and I could relax listening to their music. (woman in her 60’s)
l         I love the songs of Billy Joel. I am really happy that Sapatos and Mr. SUZUKI played his song. (woman in her 70’s)
l         I saw the activities of AAR JAPAN with the persons suffering from a hard life such as persons with disabilities and elderly people through the presentation and pictures. (woman in her 30’s)
This concert is co-sponsored with the class of Prof. Yukiko ITO at Gakushuin Women’s College and is supported by Sojo-Committee (Gakushuin Women’s College Alumni Association) to lend the Yawaragi Hall. We are thankful for their tremendous effort: the teachers, members of the Committee and the students at the college.

Worked at AAR JAPAN from December 2002 to July 2004 as a resident officer in Zambia and Angola. After getting married, stayed in China for about 5 years because of her husband’s work. After getting back in Japan, came back to work at AAR JAPAN again. A mother of an only child. Likes traveling. Born in Ibaraki.