Jazz Musicians Raise Money for Victims of Earthquake and Tsunami

John Zorn, ELEW and Yoshi's hosting benefit concerts and events taking place in New York City and San Francisco

Numerous jazz artists and organizations are stepping up to host benefits and fundraisers for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. We will try to alert readers to as many as we hear about. Here are three we’ve heard about recently, presented in chronological order.

John Zorn, who has always had close ties to Japan, has organized a benefit concert for Sunday, March 27 at the Miller Theatre in New York City. “The tragedy and devastation is really overwhelming,” said Zorn, in a press release received at JT. “I’ve always felt a strong personal connection to Japan, and I’m just glad to be able to do my part to help. It should be an amazing night.” The lineup includes feature performances by musician and artist Yoko Ono, along with her son Sean Lennon; Japanese-American indie duo Cibo Matto; and rock band Sonic Youth. Vocalist Mike Patton will appear as a special guest, and Mephista (with Susie Ibarra on drums, Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Ikue Mori on electronics), Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and John Zorn’s Aleph Trio (with Zorn on saxophones, Trevor Dunn on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums) will also play short sets. According to the press release, both the performers and the theater are donating their services, so that 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund. For more information, you can visit the Miller Theatre website.

Self-described “Rockjazz” pianist ELEW is holding a benefit on Thursday, March 31 at the Gramercy Theater in New York City, in cooperation with Live Nation and Party With Purpose with proceeds going to the relief efforts of humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders and Save The Children. The event will include performances by ELEW, singer Cassandra Wilson and a special spoken word performance by actor Forest Whitaker. The event will also feature Great Big Planes and the dance company Complexions Contemporary Ballet, who will perform their dance piece “Rise,” set to the music of U2. Tickets are $100 for regular admission and $150 for VIP seating and pre-party. Tickets are available at the Party With Purpose website.

On Saturday, April 9, the jazz club Yoshi's San Francisco will host thirteen chefs from celebrated Bay Area restaurants for an afternoon of food, wine and sake, along with music by Anthony Brown's Asian American Jazz Orchestra. 100% of proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. For the complete list of chefs and more information, you can visit the Yoshi’s website.

Please let us know in the Comments section below about any other jazz-related benefits for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.


  • Mar 24, 2011 at 11:21AM savejapanbenefits

    #SaveJPBenefits - for additional information regarding concerts John Zorn is organizing please visit us @ www.savejapanbenefits.org

  • Mar 28, 2011 at 10:19AM Lee Mergner

    Here is information about another benefit event, coming up in Los Angeles:

    Vitellos’s Jazz Club in Studio City in association with the Los Angeles Jazz Society asks the Los Angeles jazz-loving community to come out and support the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Musicians and fans will be coming together on Saturday, April 9 for an all day / all night concert event that will raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross.

    Music will be provided by Los Angeles’ finest, including the Yellowjackets featuring Russ Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Bob Mintzer and Will Kennedy; the Grammy-nominated trio of Alan Pasqua and Peter Erskine with Darek Oles; the Wayne Bergerson Big Band; the POEM Quartet comprised of Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles, Peter Erskine and Bob Mintzer. Grammy-nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli will also be performing, as will the Vitello’s All Stars featuring Bob Sheppard, Larry Koonse, Tom Warrington and Joe La Barbara. Attendees will also be treated to “Jazzcomedian” Franklyn Ajaye; Japanese vocalist Takako Uemura; THE TRIO with pianist Terry Trotter and bassist Chuck Berghofer; cajon master & percussionist Alex Acuña; pianist David Arnay; guitarist Mitchell Long; bassists Larry Steen and Kevin Axt; drummers Aaron Serfaty and Ray Brinker; plus the top combo and big band from USC’s Thornton School of Music. More names are being added as this announcement goes to press.

    Performances will begin at 11:30am and continue until 11:00pm in the evening and those attending will enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine of Vitello’s. There will also be a silent auction featuring an array of items donated by music celebrities as well as by various musical instrument and electronics manufacturers, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross.

    While the earthquake and tsunami disasters have left us all speechless, the gift and power of music has inspired these talented artists to donate their time, their talent and their voices to this relief effort.

    Saturday April 9, 2011
    11:00 am - 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm - 11:00pm, Silent Auction remains open between shows
    Tickets available at TicketWeb http://tktwb.tw/ticketsjazz4japan or www.vitellosrestaurant.com
    General admission is $25, reserved seating for $50 and VIP seating for $100
    (per show)
    Donation-only options are available at: http://tktwb.tw/donationsjazz4japan
    For more information contact [email protected]

  • Mar 28, 2011 at 11:47AM Lee Mergner

    And another benefit, provided to us by Jim Eigo:

    A benefit for Disaster Relief in Japan
    Featuring - solo performance by Hiromi
    Wednesday March 30th
    At The Falcon
    1348 Rte 9w
    Marlboro, NY 12542
    (845) 236-7970

    Suggested donation $50

    All proceeds from the benefit will go to the Japan Civic Force & the Japanese Red Cross.Doors will open at 6:00 pm for dinner - reservations suggested (call 845-236-7970)

    Opening the show will be a set of music by the soulful Akie Bermiss at 7:00 pm
    Hiromi will perform at 8:00 pm

  • Mar 28, 2011 at 01:10PM Dora Szeli

    Jazz pianists Peter Sarik (Hungary) and Makoto Kuriya (Japan) have decided, after their successful Budapest concert last year, that they will continue their collaboration with a Hungary-UK tour. The kickoff concert of this tour will take place in the Budapest Jazz Club on the 9th of April, 2011, starting at 21:00.

    The whole income of the evening will be dedicated to the aiding of tsunami- and earthquake-struck families. The delivery of the donated sums will be done by the Hungarian-Maltan Relief Organization.

    This evening will unify the musical worlds of the two distant continents, in the approach of Kuriya Makoto and Peter Sarik. We will be the witnesses of the encounter of two exceptionally talented musicians, living similar lives 9000 kilometers from each other, who will grant insight into their musical thoughts and inspiration. Translation won't be needed: they talk the world-language of Jazz.

    The two artist will then fly to the United Kingdom to play together at the Steinway Festival in London.

  • Mar 28, 2011 at 07:37PM Lee Mergner

    Publicist Don Lucoff sent us this notice today:

    On Monday, April 4, 2011, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and the Village Vanguard will host a benefit to raise funds for the Japanese jazz community. The event will take place at the Village Vanguard, and consist of three sets of music at 8:00 PM, 9:45 PM and 11:30 PM.

    All ticket fees will be donated to musicians and students who have been affected by the recent, tragic events in Japan. The benefit will also include a live broadcast via the internet here on ustream.

    Thank You Japan is a show of support from the American Jazz Community to fans, colleagues, students and educators of the Japanese jazz community who have been loyal supporters of this music for many decades.

    For a complete list of guest artists who will be joining the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra for the evening please visit us on line at: www.vanguardjazzorchestra.com or email us at: [email protected]

    Tickets can be purchased online at: www.villagevanguard.com

    For additional information contact:
    Douglas Purviance
    [email protected]

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