Sold-Out Benefit Concert at Miller Theatre Raises Over $34,000 for Japan Earthquake Relief

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Yoko Ono

Headliners Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Sonic Youth, Cibo Matto, and Mike Patton, as well as Mephista, Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and host John Zorn’s Aleph Trio performed at Miller Theatre’s Concert to Benefit Japan Earthquake Relief on March 27, which raised over $34,000 in ticket sales, 100% of which will be contributed to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund. The 688-seat theater was sold to capacity for the event.

Announced just five days after the earthquake, the concert was put together with notable speed. Composer and saxophonist John Zorn, a longtime member of New York’s new music scene, reached out to friends and colleagues to build the roster. “The calls were pretty easy,” Zorn told reporter Seth Colter Walls, writing for The Awl. “Everyone agreed immediately! ... So many wanted to participate.”

“John emailed me on Monday night, and within 48 hours the concert was planned, announced, and sold out,” says Miller Theatre Director Melissa Smey. “It’s been a remarkable team effort. The theater, the artists, the university—everyone offered to donate their services without hesitation, to maximize the amount we are able to contribute to the relief effort.”

“Events of this kind do more than raise money, they bring people together and help us to heal,” Zorn added in a statement.

The Japan Society’s fund was selected as the recipient organization in consultation with the artists. Over the years, Japan Society has partnered with several Japanese and American non-profits working on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery. The organization is currently investigating and vetting organizations that can make the maximum impact, both in terms of immediate relief needs as well as the longer-term recovery process. Japan Society will announce fund recipient organizations on its website ( as soon as possible.

New York Times coverage of the concert
Rolling Stone coverage


All photos: © 2011 Shawn Brackbill

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