SGI-USA Musicians Perform for Evacuees
SGI-USA volunteers have continued to engage in relief activities following Hurricane Katrina that hit the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, causing the most destruction in New Orleans where the levy system collapsed and submerged much of the city under water. On September 9, International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) jazz artists, bassist Buster Williams, flutist Nestor Torres, saxophonist Bennie Maupin and others, gave an impromptu concert at the Dallas Convention Center to boost the morale of hurricane evacuees taking refuge there.
Buster Williams performed an original piece, "Beyond the Ninth Wave," and encouraged hurricane victims to tap their inner strength and overcome the trials and tribulations they encounter with the sun of hope that radiates from within. Among the victims were those suffering trauma and shock from having lost their homes and estranged from loved ones who were still missing. Following the concert, many regained their smiles as they returned to their shelter.
The ICAP band also performed a charity concert on September 10 at a Dallas hotel.
The SGI-USA youth are continuing in their toy and children's book drive for the younger hurricane victims. To date, over 2,500 toys and books have been delivered to shelters. SGI-USA leaders in hardest hit New Orleans have been helping to locate members and assess damages, while also encouraging residents who remained in the city.