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Okinawa hosts Asian Youth Music Gala

Date Posted: 2009-10-15

An international music festival makes its debut in Okinawa next week at the hands of Sing-Out-Asia, a non-profit organization that uses music concerns and cultural exchanges to help solve problems across Asia.

Sing-Out-Asia is inviting Japanese youth as well as well known artists from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia to the October 21st festival here, a part of the organization’s efforts to draw attention to environmental destruction, drug abuse and the widening gap between the rich and poor in Asia. This marks the festival’s first appearance on Okinawa, where it will take place at Urasoe City’s Tedako Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the festival concert begins at 6:15 p.m.

Organized by NPO Sing-Out-Asia, The Asia South Pacific Music Festival Executive Committee, the Foundation MRA House, and JCC Inc., are co-sponsoring the event. JCC, the Laguna Garden Hotel and NPO International Resources Support Center in Okinawa are supporting the festival, while promoters are QAB, OTV, RBC, Ryukyu Shimpo, Okinawa Times, Typhoon FM, FM Okinawa and Radio Okinawa. Jim Rock label, Okinawa Is One, is also involved in the promotion.

Advance tickets are ¥2,500, while tickets at the door are ¥2,900. Tickets are available at all Family Mart convenience stores on Okinawa.

Sing-Out-Asia held its first musical event in June 2008 in Tokyo, mobilizing a large number of audiences en route to being dubbed the ‘Asia South Pacific Music Festival”. The Okinawa event is the 4th staged by the organization, which seeks to create a sense of nostalgia, tenderness and warmth of friendship while creating heart-to-heart communication through music. The secondary goal is creating opportunities to mull over environmental issues affecting Asia.

Japanese participation comes from the 15-member N’Jami which heads Japan’s Sing-Out-Asia. Singer-song writer Hidekatsu, who wrote the well-known Mirukumunari music piece, and Taiyofu Orchestra have been active both domestically and abroad, adapted Ryukyu drums in music. Hard rock singer Kenichi Shiroma and traditional folk singer Kosei Miyara will also participate. From abroad, 2008 Filipino Grammy Award winner and best artist award winner Julianna will be on hand, as will Indonesian-Filipino super artist Lala, Indonesian songbird Imel, Thai singer-song writer Art Thompya, and Laos’ Lang.

Sing-Out-Asia’s birth dates to 1969, when the Vietnam War was triggering peace movements all over the world and the Sing-Out-Asia group of about 150 young people from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand was organized with slogans of stopping wars and solving issues through dialogue. Starting at Tokyo’s Budokan, then spreading to major cities across Japan and Okinawa, the group ultimately found its way to 35 American cities for a three-month string of concerts.

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