Tonari Gumi Coffee House – First Friday Forum Benefit Concert – Friday, March 6th

IMG_0664On Friday, March 6th, the Tonari Gumi Coffee House and the First Friday Forum together organized a benefit concert, featuring a number of excellent community-based musicians. The concert was intended to raise funds for singer-songwriter Janet Noade, a long-time performer at both venues. Over 50 people came to the concert and all net proceeds will be given to Janet for specialized medical treatments.
All of the musical performances were inspired and featured several musical genres. Performers, in order of appearance, included Tat Fukuda, Sharon McIntee-Birrell, Sean Gunn, Chika Buston and Martin Kobayakawa, Cary Heuchert and Ikuko May. IMG_0617The performers were backed by an excellent house band made up of Wayne Soon (drums), Tae Maeda (piano), Kenn Nakamine (stand-up bass) and Toshi Seito (bass guitar). While Janet Noade and her musical partner, Cary Grigg were not able to be at the event, they sent in a video performance that they recorded from their Nova Scotia home, which was shown at the concert.
Many people in the audience commented on how the concert had the feel and warmth of an old-time community event. IMG_0619By bringing together the talents of the Tonari Gumi Coffee House and the First Friday Forum, the event was able to attract a larger and more diverse audience than before, and points the way for more community-wide collaborations of this type in the future.IMG_0642IMG_0651