July 27, 2011
By Gretsch News
GRAMMY-Winning Concert for Bangladesh Album Makes its Digital Debut on iTunes for the 40th Anniversary of Legendary Show; Sales Benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF
|Download the album now on iTunes.|
On the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking Concert for Bangladesh, the first major music benefit for a humanitarian cause, the music community is coming together yet again for UNICEF, this time to help provide emergency relief for children in famine and drought-affected regions in the Horn of Africa. UNICEF is calling the situation in the Horn of Africa the “worst humanitarian emergency in the world” with Somalia being the epicenter of the crisis.
To pay tribute to the Concert for Bangladesh, and its organizers George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, this August has been designated as the “Month of Giving.” During the Month of Giving all donations to the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF will benefit UNICEF’s life-saving programs for children in the Horn of Africa. To jump start this fundraising initiative, the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, which was founded by Olivia Harrison, wife of the late George Harrison, is immediately releasing $1 million to UNICEF for emergency efforts in the Horn of Africa.
As part of the Month of Giving, musicians and performing artists across the world will engage with fans throughout August, including by tweeting and posting content on their Facebook pages. These artists include the original Concert for Bangladesh performers Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Leon Russell, as well as Arcade Fire, Monty Python, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Doors, Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, Brian Wilson, My Morning Jacket, Nas, Jackson Browne, Jewel, and more. To see a full list of participating artists, visit theconcertforbangladesh.com.
“It’s deeply heartening to see how the compassion of musicians is handed down from generation to generation,” said Olivia Harrison. “In 1971 the crisis was in Bangladesh, today it’s the Horn of Africa. My thanks goes out to all the musicians who have pledged their support.”
The digital album of The Concert for Bangladesh debuts on iTunes Wednesday, July 27. In honor of the altruistic sprit which gave birth to the Concert for Bangladesh, each download will benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. iTunes, Apple Records Inc. and all artists, songwriters and publishers associated with the concert, will keep no income from album sales and have waived all fees.
In a worldwide, 72-hour online event, The Concert for Bangladesh feature film will be available from Saturday, July 30 through Monday, August 1 for free video streaming in its entirety on iTunes, georgeharrison.com and theconcertforbangladesh.com.
In 1971, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar staged two concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden, underwritten by The Beatles’ Apple Corps., that brought together a star-studded cast of musicians to alert the world to the plight of the Bangladeshi people, victims of simultaneous floods, famine and civil war. The Concert for Bangladesh, which supported UNICEF’s programs in the country, pioneered the all-star concert benefit model, which continues to move hearts and raise money today. In the tradition established by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF continues to support UNICEF programs in Bangladesh and has expanded its reach to other countries where children are at risk.
Today the Horn of Africa is facing what is being called the worst drought in 60 years, and famine has been declared by the United Nations in two regions of southern Somalia. More than 2 million children are acutely malnourished, including half a million children who are at imminent risk of death if they do not receive immediate lifesaving assistance.
“Forty years ago this August, the friendship between George Harrison and Ravi Shankar forever changed music and the lives of countless Bangladeshi children,” said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. “Today millions of children in the Horn of Africa desperately need our help. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from the music community led by Olivia Harrison, Apple Records and our friends at iTunes.”