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 all-star collaboration MoTown GetDown, a collaborative tribute to the pioneering Motown Records, which produced countless hits and successful artists and played a pivotal role in the racial integration of popular music in the U.S. by repeatedly achieving crossover, mainstream success.
Led by Casey Russell (Magic Beans) this follow-up to the popular Purple Party: A Tribute To Prince that closed out Quarantine Comes Alive in May featured Kim Dawson (Pimps of Joytime, Matador! Soul Sounds), Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Isaac Teel (TAUK), Thomas Jennings (Mama Magnolia), Will Trask (Great American Taxi), Steve Swatkins (Allen Stone, The Postive Agenda), and a handful of The Soul Rebels horns in Erion Williams, Paul Robertson, and Julian Gosin.
The group’s 13-minute set opens with Dawson taking vocal duties on Stevie Wonder‘s “You Haven’t Done Nothin'”, featuring lyrics that have sadly remained relevant since the song’s release in 1974. This smoothly rolls into “Living For The City”, where the musicians give the song the kind of instrumental breakdown it deserves. Before long, Divinsky enters the picture to take on Marvin Gaye‘s “Inner City Blues”, joined by The Soul Rebels horns. The session then ends on a somber note with a snippet of Gaye’s “Whats Going On”, leaving viewers to ruminate on the all-too-real implications of the query.
Relive the MoTown GetDown performance 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.
MoTown GetDown – “You Haven’t Done Nothin'” (Stevie Wonder), “Living For The City” (Stevie Wonder), “Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye), “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye) – 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.