As the dire reality of the COVD-19 pandemic began to take hold back in March and states began to rapidly shut down to stem the spread of the virus, keyboardist John Medeski, guitarist John Scofield, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Jesse Murphy, snuck into the studio at Woodstock, NY’s Applehead Recording to deliver a Woodstock Sessions live performance under the alias, BANDEMIC. The performance, which came just as the live music paradigm began its heavy shift toward live streams, racked up more than 300,000 streams across platforms. Soon after, however, the state of New York called for the closure of studios, and the highly-anticipated second running of BANDEMIC was thrown into question.
Now, as New York begins to reopen, BANDEMIC has confirmed their second performance from Woodstock. The quartet, comprised of 3/4 of lauded jazz-funk quartet Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, will return on Sunday, June 28th as part of Justice Comes Alive, a one-day, virtual festival harnessing the power of music to bring about collective change in response to racial inequality. The donation-based streaming event will generate funds for the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues, as well as a number of social justice-oriented causes via the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund. Justice Comes Alive is also proud to partner with HeadCount to further encourage voter participation.
Prepare for the return of BANDEMIC at Justice Comes Alive by revisiting the group’s pre-lockdown debut below:
BANDEMIC – Woodstock Sessions – 3/20/20 – Full Video
In addition to BANDEMIC, Justice Comes Alive will feature performances 50+ other artists including Antibalas, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Stanley Jordan, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Christone “KINGFISH” Ingram, Dumpstaphunk, Galactic, Lettuce, Nahko, The Soul Rebels, Tank and the Bangas, TAUK, Turkuaz, Umphrey’s McGee, and many more.
In between performances, Justice Comes Alive co-hosts Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power), Nigel Hall (Lettuce), James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band), and Robert Sput Searight (Ghost-Note), alongside Ari Fink of Sirius XM, will lead conversations with respected musicians about how we can heed the call of the moment to address and eliminate racial inequality on both a personal and a societal level. Featured speakers include Terence Blanchard, Oteil Burbridge, Christian McBride, Karl Denson, Patrice Rushen, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, and more.
Fans can secure a link to the full-day virtual festival by making a donation of any size to the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund via www.justicecomesalive.com.