You don’t have to leave your house to watch Jam the Vote, one of the best nights in music history. The free live stream, hosted by non-partisan music festival voting organization HeadCount, was free to anyone that made a pledge to vote on Tuesday. The Capitol Theatre, the beautifully restored passion project of Brooklyn Bowl creator Peter Shapiro, brought a big taste of New Orleans to mobilize voters.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, along with guitarists Sam Cohen and Joey Williams, served as the house band for over twenty guest artists covering an array of inspirational tunes. The show kicked off with a dubbed out cover of Bob Marley’s “Crazy Baldheads” by Matisyahu, Eric Krasno and Marc Brownstein. The show kicked into high gear for a powerful Funk throw down of “People Say” when Pres Hall’s horns joined forces with George Porter Jr, Eric Krasno, Joe Russo, DJ Logic, AND Ivan Neville all at once! As Pres Hall bass player and the event’s Musical Director Ben Jaffe said, “it’s like Jazz Fest up in here!”


Several impressive women had standout cameos, including the Queen of Soul Irma Thomas, who delivered her classic “It’s Raining” followed by “B Flat Boogie”. The lovely Valerie June sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”, a sweet song quieting the massive crowd, only to have it shaken up by The Blind Boys of Alabama’s performance of “If I Had A Hammer” and their signature version of “Amazing Grace” set to the melody of “House of the Rising Sun.” The beautiful Nicole Atkins rewrote an election version “When They Go Low, We Go High,” which really made the brass section wail out some old school jazz.

After Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros frontman Alex Ebert performed his seminal 2010 hit “Home”, there wasn’t a dry eye as Ben Jaffe explained to the audience how, back when the Hall opened 55 years ago, equal rights weren’t the law of the land. He implored the crowd, “all the musicians on this stage give our lives to you, we are here to make history and its up to all of us to go vote!”


After a whirlwind three hours, the show reached a powerful crescendo of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler delivering a moving version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in The USA” as he played grand piano and thanked all immigrants for making this country what it is. The show ended with the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn belting out Elvis Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” followed by the full ensemble returning for a rousing Robert Randolph slide guitar infused “America the Beautiful.”

You too can make history by pledging to vote when you watch the stream below. Get out there and jam the vote! You don’t have to leave your house to watch one of the best nights in music history. Go on! Click! Vote!

Check out a full gallery from Jam The Vote, courtesy of Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography.