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Really nice to meet you and your wife at Churchill's tonight - and a real stroke of luck that you are the publisher of New Times. Thank you for offering to help us spread the word on the Peruvian project I outlined for you briefly.
I am the leader and front-man of the Miami-based Celtic rock band, The Three Jacks. There is a lot of information on our Peruvian project at www.thethreejacks.com. But, in brief, in August 2007, there was a huge earthquake in Southern Peru, around Pisco. There were hundreds of dead and thousands of injured. Thousands of buildings - houses, schools, churches, government agencies and hospitals - were destroyed or badly damaged. Electricity and drinking water were not restored for many, many months. Children were, and are, living in the ruins of their homes. It was and is a humanitarian nightmare.
We had many close friends touched by the disaster. Our penny-whistle player, Barbara, had only just then moved to Peru with her son and her husband, Jorge - who is a professional charitable fundraiser. Another friend, Trond Jensen, the Hon. Norwegian Consul General in Miami, has a major agribusiness in the disaster area and the families of 98 of his employees lost their homes. Trond sent many containers and truck-loads of relief supplies down himself. From talking to Barbara, Jorge and Trond, we, as a band, decided to see whether we could help, too, by playing shows to raise money to help build a clinic in the disaster area.
We started in August 2008, with a sold-out show at The Studio Theater at the Arscht Center, here in Miami, and were to leave on a tour of Peru immediately thereafter. The tour was derailed at the last minute by a very serious medical emergency in my own immediate family.
However, as we came into the New Year, the crisis was finally over, life had returned to normal, and we "re-loaded" for Peru.
After months of planning, we are leaving for Peru on Wednesday night, and will be playing a couple of 1,100-seat shows in Lima on May 15 and 16, 2009, with step dancers from the Florida-based Breffni Academy of Irish Dance. We are being accompanied by a video crew from the University of Miami, who are shooting a documentary on the project.
This is a 100% volunteer project. All costs have been covered and all proceeds from this point on will go towards building the clinic. Our U.S. sponsor is The Angels With A Mission Foundation. Our sponsoring agency in Lima, which is building the clinic, is The Rotary Club, Lima-Sunrise.
We have had a lot of support from local and international business and from diplomatic officers of various countries: most notably The Norwegian Consul General here in Miami and the Irish Consul in Lima.
Publicity is going well.
We recently had a half-page article with a big picture in Lima's top glossy magazine, "Caretas." (Captioned "Los Jacks en Lima").
Mabela Martinez, the host of the Lima TV show "Sonidos Del Mundo," and her producer, came to Miami two weeks ago and filmed a 30-minute segment at Miami Beach Recording Studios on the band and dancers. This will air for seven nights running, on Channel 7, on Lima prime-time, starting on Sunday, May 10, 2009.
We have also done a super deal for 20 donated billboards around Lima. (An example is on our home page at www.thethreejacks.com)
Everything seems to be on track for a successful conclusion to this phase of the project. (We will be returning for future shows).
But we need to sell 2,200 tickets for shows featuring Celtic music and dance - in a land where that art-form is a totally alien concept!
We can obviously do with all the help we can get in spreading the word and put "bums in seats." Whatever you can do to help us with this effort, Kevin, would be truly appreciated, both by us but, much more importantly, by the children and families of Pisco.
The Three Jacks