Shimabukuro Raising Funds for Japan

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Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is raising funds for quake and tsunami victims in Japan.

After participating in the Honolulu Festival’s parade on Saturday, Shimabukuro performed with Manoa DNA at the Waikiki Beach Walk. The show was streamed live on www.honolulufestival.com.

In a message posted Monday on his website, http://jakeshimabukuro.com, Shimabukuro, who has performed throughout Japan, wrote:

“Thank you so much to everyone who made last night’s benefit concert for Japan possible. Though the main purpose of the event was to bring people together to support and comfort our Japanese visitors who were unable to return home, the generous donations received that night was an unexpected $17,000.

“On behalf of my team, we’d like to send a special thank you to the Honolulu Festival and its many volunteers, Japan Airlines, JTB, the Waikiki Beach Walk, all of the Hawaii and Japanese media for helping to promote the event at such short notice, Manoa DNA and Dai Hirai for their wonderful music, the entire production crew, Milan Bertosa, and the hundreds of supporters who attended and gave generously.

“There was an overwhelming sense of love and aloha in the air that night. Though many tears had fallen, everyone had a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. But by the end of night, there were hundreds of smiles and a feeling of hope that everything will be all right.

“But let’s all remember that this is just the beginning. There will be many unexpected challenges up ahead for Japan and Hawaii. We must work together and support each other in every way possible.

Gambatte, Japan. Please remember that you are family to the people of Hawaii and we will always be here to support you.”

Shimabukuro is scheduled to perform on March 19 at Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului; March 23 at Anthology in San Diego; March 24 at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa; March 25 at The Canyon in Agoura Hills; March 26 at the San Franciscco Jazz Festival; March 27 at Harlow’s Restaurant and Night Club in Sacramento; and March 29 and 30 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle. For details, visit his website.

Also in Hawaii, the cast of the CBS show “Hawaii Five-0” did a public service announcement asking for donations to the Red Cross. It can be seen on YouTube.

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