Successfully Supporting Japan’s Recovery Through Music
MONKEY MAJIK - KIZUNA Ambassadors (Ambassadors of RESILIENCE) Special Acoustic LIVE in Toronto received an extraordinarily positive reception when it was presented on Feb. 19 by the Consulate-General of Japan. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. for their invaluable support.
It is well-known in Japan that the activities of MONKEY MAJIK stem from their headquarters in Sendai. When the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck northeastern Honshu on March 11 last year, the four members of MONKEY MAJIK disregarded their own losses, put their engagements as professional musicians on hold and undertook laborious volunteer activities in the disaster affected areas. Even after resuming their musical activities, they continued to give encouragement and strength to the disaster victims through such initiatives as the “SendLOVE” project and charity concerts.
We at the Consulate-General of Japan were pleasantly surprised by MONKEY MAJIK’s immense popularity and fan base here in Toronto. Along with the wonderful musicality of their songs, countless fans seemed clearly drawn by their compassionate personality that moves them to help those in need.
The four members of the band during the concert performed one song after another – some of them brand new – that resonated among the audience. They also recounted their experiences as volunteers and as musicians after the earthquake, and expressed their determination as KIZUNA Ambassadors (Ambassadors of Resilience) to convey the strength and resilience of Japan to Canada and the world. Maynard also expressed his appreciation for all of the encouragement he received through various social media after the earthquake. Blaise also recounted how much they had looked forward to coming to Toronto. Their music is certain to have empowered their fans in Toronto to overcome whatever difficulties they might encounter in their own lives.
One year after the earthquake, on the one hand Japan’s recovery is progressing efficiently. On the other hand, it is also a reality that countless people are still living under difficult conditions. The Consulate-General of Japan would like once again to express its sincere appreciation to the many Canadians who extended support to Japan through fundraising and other activities. Like MONKEY MAJIK, we also pledge to continue to strengthen ties between the affected areas and Japan. Your support toward this end would be very much appreciated.
MONKEY MAJIK is a hybrid band consisting of Canadian brothers Maynard and Blaise (vocals and guitars) along with the Japanese rhythm team tax (drums) and DICK (bass). Formed in 2000, the group is still headquartered in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. In January 2006, they debuted with their first single “fly” released through binyl records. They received extensive play on 33 FM stations across the country. In Feburary 2006 they released “Around The World”, the opening theme of the Fuji Television drama Saiyuki (Journey to the West), which became an explosive hit in Japan. Their collaborations have brought them together with such artists as BENNIE K, m-flo, SEAMO and the Yoshida Brothers.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, they established the SendLOVE project and have been engaging in relief activities. They held an immensely successful outdoor charity concert in Osaka on July 3 and a charity live concert in Sendai on Oct. 16. On Oct. 16, they released the new single “Headlight” in support of recovery efforts. Their latest single, “HERO”, released January 2012, is the Campaign Song for “Japanese Red Cross – Blood Donation at the Age of 20”campaign, intended to inspire the courage to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
This concert in Toronto was made possible under the auspices of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their designation as KIZUNA Ambassadors (Ambassadors of RESILIENCE).