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 trumpeter/rapper/producer Maurice “MOBETTA” Brown, who brought viewers into a computer-generated, video game-style landscape for performances of a pair of original songs, “On My Way Home” and “Stand Up” with a backing band featuring Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax/vocals), Takahiro Izumikawa (keys), Parker McAllister (bass), and Joe Blaxx (drums). Brown showed off his wide range of skills with the two-song performance, from his virtuosic trumpet playing on “On My Way Home” to his laid-back rhymes on “Stand Up”.
Growing up in Chicago, Brown came into contact with greatness in the 8th grade when he met Wynton Marsalis at one of the jazz legend’s seminars. Brown’s promise was evident early on, as he was chosen to to participate in the National High School GRAMMY Band, where he was then recruited by Ramsey Lewis to play in his band.
Since then, Maurice Brown, otherwise known as “MOBETTA,” has become a renowned player in a multitude of stylistic spaces, working with prominent artists from the worlds of blues, rock, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and beyond including Aretha Franklin, CeeLo Green, De La Soul, Ellis Marsalis Jr., The Roots, Wyclef Jean, and Tedeschi Trucks Band (with whom he won a GRAMMY for Best Blues Album in 2011). Maurice is also something of a “Comes Alive” legend: At Brooklyn Comes Alive in 2017, Brown hustled back and forth between stages to tally sit-ins on seven different sets throughout the day.
Most recently, Brown has been playing sold-out arenas around the country as a featured touring member of Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals. He’s also developed a reputation for following-up the big arena shows with semi-secret late-nights at local jazz clubs billed as “Maurice Brown & Friends”—and often featuring the same players who had just performed with him at the arena down the road.
Relive the Maurice Brown 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.
You can also catch Maurice “MOBETTA” Brown tonight, Friday, July 24th, as the first performer on Blue Note NYC‘s Blue Note Streaming Live series. The pay-per-view show will see Brown and company perform for a streaming-only audience from the stage of the iconic jazz club. For more information, head here.
Maurice “MOBETTA” Brown – “On My Way Home”, “Stand Up” – 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.