The benefit called, “Love for Japan,“ will take place at En Japanese Brasserie in the West Village on Wednesday night. The menu for the evening features sake, beer and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the most affected regions: Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
Marsalis said the images in Japan reminded him of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans native helped his hometown rise up; he said he wanted to do the same for the people of Japan.
“We want to be sad, we want to have that feeling, so we cleanse our emotion but we always want to end up in the position of optimism because that's what allows us to get up the next morning,“ said Marsalis.
Celebrities have donated items for the benefit’s silent auction. Actor George Clooney donated a plate with his self-portrait. Former Yankee star Hideki Matsui pitched in two signed baseballs. The owner of En Japanese Brasserie, Reika Yo, said that even Madonna's personal assistant called to promise a donation of "something fabulous."
“At first I was crying because I was so sad. Then my tears changed to happy tears …people helping me and people really trying hard to help us and that makes me cry also,” said Yo, a native of Tokyo.
“Every action no matter how small is important,” said Marsalis.
All of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund and the Japanese Red Cross. The fundraiser is officially sold out; 200+ tickets at $250 a piece.
If you would like to donate stop by the restaurant for dinner and state the amount of your donation on the bill. En Japanese Brasserie is located at 435 Hudson St. in New York City. www.enjb.com