By Emily Kitagawa
More than a dozen local musicians performed at a drum circle and open mic night on Friday to raise money for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Yoko Irisawa and Hiromi Yoro, volunteers with the Japanese Society of Halifax, were stationed at the door with a donation box to collect money for the Japanese Red Cross. The event raised close to $200.
While the evening began with only a few drummers and audience members, the cafe filled up quickly with people eager to participate. Drums, maracas, rain sticks, tambourines and xylophones were available for audience members to join in with the drummers.
This is the first fundraiser Humani-T Cafe has held. Store owner Sharooz Sobhani hopes to hold more fundraisers in the future.
“People are becoming very conscious of what is happening in other parts of the world and especially in Japan,” says Sobhani. “What I see here tonight makes me very happy.”
In the fall, Humani-T cafe began holding weekly open mic nights. “I always wanted to have something for the neighbourhood and for the community to get together,” says Sobhani. He hoped the open mic nights would foster a sense of unity and friendship within the community. “The players were playing solo by themselves and now … they are playing together.”
Some musicians, who met at Humani-T cafe, formed a a musical group. Kelly Boutilier, a member of the band, says it was inspired to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross after hearing about the devastating events in Japan.
Stacy Meisner, another band member, says, “I think it’s important for everybody just to get together and help support any cause where people lost their homes and lost special people in their lives. It’s important for the world to get together and try to bring some ease to troubled situations.”
Upcoming fundraising events for Japan:
April 9, 6-10 pm
Japanese Society of Halifax presents music from USHIO (local Japanese music collective). Free refreshments. Also selling paper cranes and other items. All profits go to the Japanese Red Cross.
April 24, 9:00 pm
Artist: The Light Brights
April 29 at 6 pm
Maritime Hall in the Halifax Forum
$5 Advance or $7 at the door.
Profits go to the Japanese Red Cross
If you would like to become part of a community drum circle, contact Kelly Boutilier at firstname.lastname@example.org.