LA-based New Zealander Jeremy Hammond was shocked and horrified when he heard news of the tragic killing of 50 people in a terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attacks “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
Hammond, who lived in Windsor Square for two decades but recently moved to Los Feliz, told the Buzz he began to think about what he could do to help the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. He contacted a fellow Kiwi, Angus Vail, who lives in New York, and they decided to organize two benefit concerts, one in Los Angeles at the Ebell Theatre, and one in Jersey City. Artists from across the world, including a number of prominent New Zealand performers, will come together in Jersey City on Wednesday, April 17, and Los Angeles on Thursday, April 18 for two concerts to benefit those affected by the tragedy in Christchurch.
“I was shocked and horrified by what happened in my native New Zealand,” says Hammond, who produced the LA show, “and wanted to do something positive to help the families of the victims. I hope through these concerts in Los Angeles and Jersey City, we can help the Muslim community in Christchurch on the long road to healing. Our hearts are broken.”
“As a Kiwi living on the East Coast of the U.S., I was utterly devastated by the terrible news of the attacks in Christchurch, and it made me recall how we felt here after experiencing the 9/11 attack: shock, dismay and disbelief,” said Vail, the producer of the Jersey City concert. “As the news sunk in, the U.S.-based Kiwis here were all talking about the attacks – and what a long and uphill battle the victims, their families and the community will have to tread – now, in two years, five years… even ten years and beyond. So a few of us in the music business thought let’s do something, to help raise some money and help us connect to other Kiwis here and in New Zealand, and help express how we feel about it as well.”
Called YOU ARE US, the concerts in Jersey City and Los Angeles continue the spirit of the two YOU ARE US concerts taking place in New Zealand: April 13 at the Spark Arena in Auckland, and April 17 at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
All proceeds from the concerts will benefit the Our People, Our City fund which was set up by the Christchurch Foundation helping those affected by the terror attacks.
The Los Angeles concert will take place the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and will feature New Zealand performers Brooke Fraser, Gin Wigmore, The Naked and Famous and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, amongst others. Both shows will feature Ngā Ānahera Māori performing the Haka and a Karakia in the opening ceremony.
Tickets for both concerts can be purchased at the YOU ARE US website www.youareus.us, for more details of the two concerts, including artists performing are: Brooke Fraser, Chelsea Jade, Eden Iris, Gin Wigmore, Jackie Bristow, Marla Kavanaugh, Ngā Ānahera Māori Performance Group, The Naked & Famous, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, MC Jake Johannsen, House band lead by Nick Gaffaney.