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Japan: "The Roots of Music" concert: international collaboration through gospel and jazz music

A charity salon concert was hosted for the benefit of aid activities in South Africa on January 30.

Performing gospel songs were Duduzile Nkabinde and Selina Muraba, who had been invited to Japan from South Africa by the Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)*, an international NGO. Appearing as jazz pianist was Michiko Ogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group at Corporate Communications Division. Both performances attracted more than the official capacity of 30 people at the Maestrora Music Academy salon that served as the venue for this event, making for a fervent atmosphere that contrasted sharply with the cold of winter outside. The concert was opened with an introduction by JVC staff to the activities currently being conducted by the NGO in South Africa. Ogawa's jazz piano performance was accompanied by adlib vocals in a style resembling the two visitors from South Africa. The performance of gospel music by Nkabinde and Muraba then included both traditional songs and an original song about testing for HIV. The climax of the event then came with a session by all three performers. The audience was blown away by the beauty of their rendition of "Amazing Grace," before bursting into applause at the conclusion of "We Shall Overcome."

The total proceedings of 130,000 yen from this concert have been donated in their entirety toward the activities of JVC. The money will allow 26 persons who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive to undergo training for AIDS treatment.  One of the gospel singers at the concert, Selina Muraba commented, "I am truly happy to have been able to meet Japanese people who believe in transcending the boundaries between those giving and those receiving aid in order to make our society better."

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*The specified non-profit organization, Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC), is an international NGO working in nine different countries across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Established in 1980, the center is now a beneficiary of the Panasonic Heartful Club. For details, see http://www.ngo-jvc.net


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