A fundraising effort to help WITNESS ( www.witness.org) alert the world to human rights abuses around the globe will take place on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. at Simon Kitchen and Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Artists who participate in WITNESS’ fundraising efforts include Alan Parsons, Annie Lennox, Barry Gibb, Billy Gibbons, Boris Blank, David Gilmour, David Hirschfelder, Hans Zimmer, Herbie Hancock, Ivar Davies, Jan Hammer, Jean Michel Jarre, JJ Jeczalik/Art of Noise, John Paul Jones, Kate Bush, Keith Emerson, Laurie Anderson, Lindsey Buckingham, Midge Ure, Mike Oldfield, Mike Rutherford, Nick Rhodes, Steve Winwood, Stewart Copeland, Thomas Dolby, Todd Rundgren, Trevor Horn, Brian Eno, Bono, Howard Jones, Roland Orzabal, Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo, Elvis Costello, Sir George Martin, Brian Wilson, Mark Knoplfer and Joni Mitchell, as well as digital mixer manufacturer Fairlight.
Each artist has signed one of 43 keys of a vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard that will be auctioned later this year in aid of the charity. The completed keyboard with special messages of hope and encouragement from the artists will be on display at a unique showing at a special reception Fairlight will host at the upcoming NAB show in April.
Chaired by Peter Gabriel and supported by pro audio and music industry members, WITNESS brings often unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to the attention of key decision makers, the media, and the general public. Current projects where WITNESS is making considerable progress include: internal displacement and forced labor in Burma, challenging the use of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, assistance for landmine victims in Senegal, truth and reconciliation in Sierra Leone and mental disability rights in Paraguay.
John Lancken, CEO of Fairlight, has been encouraged by the high level of interest among the artist community and looks forward to similar excitement from potential buyers of the autographed CMI. “For those of us whose human rights are never impinged, it’s easy to ignore the human rights abuses and suffering that take place around the world,” Lancken said. “Witness helps ensures that the world is made aware of these abuses, that the perpetrators of abuse are held accountable and that the victims get relief. We are honored to join with the pro audio and music communities in supporting this worthy cause and we look forward to a very successful auction later this year.”
Witness is embarking on new initiatives in Mexico, Burma, Brazil, Uganda, Darfur and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.