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Local Okinawa bands link up for Tsunami Aid Concert

Date Posted: 2005-02-11

Okinawa musicians are tuning their instruments for a public charity concert benefiting victims of the December tsunami in southeast Asia.

They’ll be joining their American brethren next Saturday on Camp Foster to raise money for the Red Cross International Response Fund. The February 19th marathon concert runs seven hours, from 2 ~ 9pm.

Tickets are $10 and are available at all Okinawa USO offices, Kadena High School’s National Honor Society and Kubasaki High School’s JROTC office. Organizers want to sell 500 tickets in advance, then open sales of the remainder to the Okinawa general public.

The concert will be held in the Camp Foster Community Center. Base officials say Chatan Gate #4 accessed by Highway 130, and Kitamae Gate #5 on Highway 58 will be open to the general public from noon until 10pm the day of the concert.

The concert features performances by popular local bands: Murasaki, David Ralston, 8-Ball, Katchan Band, Stormwatch, Handsome Stranger, Bogey’s Company, Tenebrous Portrait, John Carter and others. All of the musicians, and several local companies including Sound Package, are donating their time and equipment to raise money for the Red Cross’ international disaster relief fund.

The concert was created by the desire to help those in need. Okinawans have a saying, “Ichada bichode,” which means, “We are all brothers and sisters”. Event planners say the concert brings together the Okinawan and American communities to “send our goodwill to the people affected by the tsunami.”

Many Americans were vacationing in Thailand during the Christmas holiday when the tsunami hit them. They all returned safely, but some were affected by the traumatic experience. One teacher’s family was separated for a day, and a military family escaped to the roof of a three-story building when they saw the tsunami wave coming. KMS student Owen Caisson salvaged his wet guitar and played music to calm the other people on the roof.

Organizers say the proceeds will go directly to disaster relief supplies, including tents and health supplies, food and supplied identified by the American Red Cross. For its part, the American Red Cross will pick up the tab for administrative costs incurred with the concert.

Organizers emphasize this is a community and family event. No alcohol will be sold, or allowed to be consumed, at the concert site.

For more information, please call the event planner Jack Davies at 936-1940.

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