Last night thousands of New Zealanders were part of LiveJam, a performance showcase which linked over 200 young people with disabilities across four cities via a live internet stream and video conferencing.
LiveJam was the first of its kind event run by StarJam, a charity dedicated to empowering young people with disabilities.
The Live Aid-style show was held to mark StarJam’s 10th birthday.
The heart-warming two-hour show was hosted by TVNZ news anchor Simon Dallow and reporter Matt McLean with special guest performances by Ray Woolf, Adeaze, Shane Cortese, Megan Alatini and Ben Lummis.
Dame Susan Devoy, Silver Fern Irene Van Dyk and London 2012 Paralympics Gold medalist Mary Fisher also took to the stage during the inspirational event.
Held at the Auckland Museum Events Centre and the Wellington Town Hall, with satellite party areas run from JamZones for communities in Christchurch and Hamilton, LiveJam was a large-scale showcase of song, dance and instrumental performances.
StarJam founder and CEO Julie Bartlett says LiveJam was an unprecedented success with a sell-out performance in Auckland and a buzzing atmosphere in the Wellington Town Hall.
“LiveJam was the biggest show we’ve put on yet. The children, known as Jammers, and celebrities performed shoulder to shoulder, showing us how music can unite all. Simon Dallow and Matt McLean provided the perfect links between the cities, Jammers and the audience.”
LiveJam took a look back at 10 years of StarJam, which has seen more than 1000 young Kiwis with disabilities go through its performance workshop programmes. StarJam empowers its young performers, allowing them to gain confidence, respect and make new friends – all in a non-competitive and supportive environment.
Coinciding with LiveJam was the launch of StarJam’s first-ever text to donate facility, in which New Zealanders can donate funds to help get more young people into the programmes. Text ‘Jam’ to 3181 to make an instant donation.
With no government funding, StarJam relies entirely on grants and donations.
LiveJam is still available for viewing on www.starjam.org.