On Saturday, May 30th, 70+ artists and many thousands of fans joined together for Quarantine Comes Alive, a virtual music festival benefiting musicians and a slew of charities via the comprehensive PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The 15-hour livestream marathon featured new contributions by artists around the world. It was a lot to take in and you surely missed at least a few of the many performers, so we’ll be rolling out the band’s segments over the next few weeks to highlight all the individual performances.
To close out the full-day virtual event, members of Ghost-Note, Magic Beans, The Motet, and more staged a remote edition of Purple Party: A Celebration of Prince, the all-star Prince tribute that has been a staple of Live For Live Music‘s Jazz Fest late-night series and events like Brooklyn Comes Alive for years.
Much like previous, in-person editions of the Purple Party, the Quarantine Comes Alive set was a family affair. Led by keyboardist/backup vocalist Casey Russell (Magic Beans), the band featured a pair of former Prince collaborators, bassist MonoNeon and saxophonist Sylvester Onyejiaka, who currently play in Ghost-Note. Ghost-Note co-bandleader Robert “Sput” Searight also got in on the set on both drums and keys, as did saxophonist Jonathan Mones (Ghost-Note), guitarist Peter Knudsen (Ghost-Note), saxophonist Jelani Brooks (Ghost-Note), guitarist Ryan Jalbert (The Motet), keyboardist Daniel Jones (Janet Jackson/Ghost-Note), trombonist Danny Wyantis (Ghost-Note), and more.
After a full day of music at Quarantine Comes Alive, Purple Party’s festival-closing set finally aired just before 5:00 a.m. ET. Over a thematically appropriate, swirling purple background, videos of the “house band” floated in and out of frame while featured vocalists rotated in for each song, including “Let’s Work” (featuring Megan Letts of Mama Magnolia on lead vocals), “Sexy Dancer” (featuring Letts and Corey Frye of The Main Squeeze on vocals), Baby I’m A Star (with vocals by Frye and Letts), and “Call My Name” (with Lyle Divinsky of The Motet singing lead and Frye and Letts adding harmonies on the final chorus).
While the set was streaming late Saturday night, people around the country took to the streets to protest racial inequality and police brutality in light of the wrongful killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. As Casey Russell, the musical director for Purple Party and a Minneapolis native, told Live For Live Music about the project’s remote Quarantine Comes Alive performance, “We find ourselves in some chaotic times. Things feel dark. We hope this music can bring a little bit of light into your day during this dark time. This is for the city of Minneapolis. This is for George Floyd. This is for justice, long overdue.”
Along with his comment on the set, Russell offered a line from Prince’s “Call My Name”, the last song of the segment, which rings particularly true in these turbulent times: “What’s the matter with the world today? Land of the free? Somebody lied.”
The ongoing turmoil made this tribute to Prince—a black man and arguably the state of Minnesota’s most famous export—all the more poignant. In light of the current protests, Russell also asks that those who enjoyed this tribute make a donation to the Minneapolis Freedom Fund.
Watch the full Purple Party: A Celebration of Prince set from Quarantine Comes Alive below:
Purple Party: A Celebration of Prince – Full Set – Quarantine Comes Alive
Setlist: Purple Party: A Celebration of Prince | Quarantine Comes Alive | 5/30/20
Let’s Work, Sexy Dancer, Baby I’m A Star, Call My Name
Presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with PLUS1 and Nugs.TV, Quarantine Comes Alive was conceived as a way to celebrate and support musicians, provide fans with unique musical experiences from the comfort of their couches, and raise money for comprehensive COVID-19 relief during this time of uncertainty. All funds raised from the donation-based event will be split evenly between the artists on the bill and the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, which works directly with leading non-profit organizations like Sweet Relief, MusiCares, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, World Central Kitchen, Partners In Health, Trans Lifeline, and Backline to provide aid where it’s needed most. You can still donate here or by texting “QCA” to 50155.