Drumming for Japan

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. The event was hosted by Humani-T Cafe, a coffee shop and gelato bar near the Hydrostone Market.

By Emily Kitagawa

Musicians participate in a drum circle at Humani-T cafe to raise money for the Japense Red Cross (Emily Kitagawa photo).

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.

The event was hosted by Humani-T Cafe, a coffee shop and gelato bar near the Hydrostone Market.

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.

Guests and volunteers (from left) Colin Rennie, Hiromi Yoro, Yoko Irisawa and Zac Chartier fold paper cranes at the donation table. (Emily Kitagawa photo)

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.”

An audience member listens to a group of drummers. (Emily Kitagawa)

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:

Fundraiser for Japan

April 9, 6-10 pm

Khyber ICA

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.

Aid In Japan Fundraiser

April 24, 9:00 pm

The Seahorse Tavern

Artist: The Light Brights

Jammin’ for Japan: Jpop Dance Party

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

Watch Omni Haley, an audience member at the event, dance in the centre of the drum circle.

If you would like to become part of a community drum circle, contact Kelly Boutilier at kelly@rhythmseekers.org.