On Sunday, June 28th, over 50 artists and tens of thousands of fans came together for 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 generated $55,000 and counting in 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 PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund.
The 12-hour live-stream marathon featured new contributions by an array of amazing artists from around the world including the incredible live duo of Jennifer Hartswick and Nick Cassarino, who recruited renowned bassist Christian McBride for a performance of “Numb”. The Hartswick original initially appeared on her 2018 solo album, Nexus, which featured substantial contributions from both Cassarino and McBride.
Thanks to the trio’s collective connection to the material, deep collaborative roots, and immense individual talents, this captivating performance comes across like a lively conversation between old friends. You can see them trade knowing smiles and hollers throughout the performance as their counterparts tear off a smooth turnaround or an out-there chord voicing. Even Hartswick, who leaves her trumpet on the stage throughout the song, turns her collaborators’ heads with her improvised scatting and vocalizing. While this previously-unreleased clip was filmed prior to the shutdown, the inherent intimacy of this performance makes you feel like you could be in their home, swapping stories.
The Jennifer Hartswick, Nick Cassarino, and Christian McBride segment from Justice Comes Alive below. If you enjoyed the Justice Comes Alive performances and have the means, consider making a donation to Plus1 For Black Lives Fund via www.JusticeComesAlive.com.
Jennifer Hartswick, Nick Cassarino, & Christian McBride – “Numb” – Justice Comes Alive
Presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with PLUS1 and Nugs.TV, Justice Comes Alive was conceived as a way to harness the power of music to bring about collective change in response to racial inequality. All funds raised from Justice Comes Alive will be split evenly between the artists on the bill and the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund, which was developed to address and continue the fight against anti-Black racism and violence in the U.S.
Directly supporting organizations like Equal Justice Initiative, Impact Justice, and The Bail Project, the PLUS1 For Black Lives Fund focuses on empowering Black communities, movement building, keeping people out of the criminal justice system while dismantling it more broadly, and a collective, international narrative change toward the equitable treatment of Black people. 30% of the PLUS1 for Black Lives Fund is also committed to small grants for Black and Indigenous-led grassroots efforts combating racism. For more information on Justice Comes Alive, head here.