NBC Universal will stage "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" on Friday (Sept. 2) to raise funds for those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Country superstar Tim McGraw, jazz trumpeter Wynton M
NBC Universal will stage "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" on Friday (Sept. 2) to raise funds for those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Country superstar Tim McGraw, jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and contemporary jazz pianist/singer Harry Connick Jr., all of whom have ties to the Gulf Coast area hardest hit by Monday's storm, are confirmed to perform.
"Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer will host, with actor Leonardo DeCaprio also confirmed to appear during the hour-long event at NBC's New York studios. The telethon will be broadcast live in high-definition on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC at 8 p.m. ET and tape-delayed for West Coast airing. Additional celebrities are expected to sign on.
Throughout the broadcast, viewers will be encouraged to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund (RedCross.org or 800-HELP NOW).
Marsalis and Connick are both New Orleans natives, while McGraw was born in Delhi, La., about 200 miles north of the Big Easy.
On his official Web site, McGraw, who is a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, appeals to his fans to donate to the relief efforts. "Over the last 24 hours, Hurricane Katrina ripped apart thousands of lives and left many homeless," he writes in a message posted today (Aug. 31). "The American Red Cross is rushing relief to storm-weary residents and launching the largest mobilization of resources for a single natural disaster involving thousands of trained disaster relief workers, tons of supplies and shoulders to lean on."
In January, NBC hosted a similar telethon to raise funds for victims of the December 2004 tsunami that devastated areas of Southern Asia.