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MAY 29, 2012 - Tim McGraw, who is always active in service work with his wife Faith Hill, has announced that along with launching a major US summer tour, he will be partnering with Operation Homefront and getting 25 wounded and needy service members into mortgage-free homes. He told Chris Talbott of AP, "It's going to be a great opportunity to set a family on track that's done so much for us and my family. So I can't imagine a better thing to do on tour. It's going to be fun - I mean every tour date we're going to be out there." He added, "I think in my position to be able to do something like that is probably the ultimate thing. So to be able to go on tour and provide sort of a stable foundation for a veteran and their family is something I really look forward to."
Operation Homefront is a non-profit with a mission to help military families and veterans with emergency food and shelter, home repairs, and even housing. Our military families are struggling daily, and they need more support at home, and a check of their website shows companies donating furniture and other acts that help out a wounded or needy service member.
Operation Homefront has partnered with Chase bank, and have launched the "Homes on the Homefront" campaign, and have pledged to get 100 wounded or needy service members and their families into mortgage-free homes, and you can see some of their success stories here. (photo credit: Guety/Wiki)
MAY 25, 2012 - Max Ehrlich was a cabaret star in Germany through the 1930s, and was stopped and censored by the rigthwing Nazi brownshirts, and fled Germany. He returned, but then left again after the "Kristallnacht". He fled to Holland, but like many of the people in the arts, he was imprisoned by the Nazis in Westerbork concentration camp. While he was imprisoned there he formed the "Camp Westerbork Theatre Group", which brought some life to an otherwise horrible existence for camp prisoners. Unfortunately in 1944 he was sent Auschwitz and died there. Listen to a recording of him below in a video from jonjamg on YouTube. You can check out Max Ehrlich's legacy on the Max Ehrlich Association, and read more about this extraordinary individual at Wikpedia. (Photo credit: The Max Ehrlich Association)
MAY 25, 2012 - We came upon this nugget from one of the greatest American folk legends, Woody Guthrie. The "Dust Bowl Troubadour" was also one of the first musician activists speaking out about labor conditions for migrant workers. Listen to an early radio broadcast with Woody and friends singing, "All You Fascists 'Bound to Lose". (photo credit: Al Aumuller/Wiki)
JTMP Meets With International Visitors through State Department International Visitor Leadership Program
MAY 24, 2012 - JTMP has been a participant in the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program for 3 years now, where citizens from around the world involved in the arts get to come to America and visit to learn about the role of arts in the US. This year we had visitors that came from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to see how Justice Through Music Project uses art to raise awareness on issues, and to bring about social change. This year's contingent had musicians, playwrights, and people involved in art production. We gave them a presentation and showed them many of our musical art videos that deal with politics and issues, while we spoke about how we operate and produce our art videos. We then showed them how we use this art on our website and YouTube channel to raise awareness on an issue to help bring about positive social change.
The program also hopes to spur and support cross-cultural dialogue, and we experienced a great debate and discussion with the group. We even had one person ask us if the US government interfered with our free speech, which of course we explained as long as its peaceful and legal, a free society must have the free flow of thoughts and ideas, and no restrictions on expressions of art. We even had a great discussion on the role of the US interfering or getting involved in foreign countries, which there were many different opinions, but that was good. We showed them how a free society respects different opinions and solves things peacefully. We talked about how JTMP thinks the best way to bring about peace and social change in a country is for those citizens to be educated and informed, and have a free flow of opinions and dialogue, and be free to set up peaceful democracies. We explained how we feel art plays a big role in democracies, as they are the canaries in the coal mine, and can speak out about issues in unique way and sometimes see or sense problems such as civil rights issues in society before others do.
We chatted after our presentation, and answered many questions, as they were all curious about life in America, our freedoms, and how art plays a role. All of them come from emerging democracies, and most were from the Arab Spring countries setting up democracies for the first time and holding their first free elections, such as Egypt did today. We took photos, and even had the Tunisian guitarist play a few jazz riffs, and promised to stay in touch and continue to network using the Internet and work together on our shared social, political, and cultural goals.
For more information on the US State Department's International Visitor Leadership program, go to: http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp/
MAY 23, 2012 - Jay-Z has teamed up with Budweiser, and will be holding the 2-day "Made In America" music festival in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1/2), and this event will benefit the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The United Way is hard at work in our communities addressing the cause of the problems in our neighborhoods when it comes to education, income and health. The United Way is out there making sure kids get a good education, graduate, and our communities can be self-empowered to lift themselves up. They help people with housing, finances and savings. They are also out there making sure kids are educated about nutrition and health, and have access to health care in their communities. Check out their great work on their main website by going here.
There will be many acts at the Made In America music festival, Pearl Jam just joined on, and there will be Passion Pit, Skrillex, and more. Check out the festival's site here, and their Facebook site is here. Watch a press conference below with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Jill Michaels from United Way, Budweiser spokesperson Paul Chibes, and Jay-Z announcing the charitable event.
MAY 21, 2012 - One of the world's best known and in my opinion one of the best singers and songwriters in the world, Robin Gibb, passed away yesterday at the age of 62 from cancer. He was of course known as the 3rd voice in the Bee Gees, a musical group that spanned decades and had hits on the charts not heard of since The Beatles. (photo credit: RobinReigns/Wiki)
Robin was born on the Isle of Man, then moved with his family to Manchester, England, then settled in Brisbane, Australia. He was a rival to his brother Barry, as both of them wanted to sing lead vocals in the band, and at one time he left the group, but later returned. They went on to record 21 studio albums, and had 60 songs on the charts, with 9 of them reaching number 1.
He and his brothers went on to pen such classics as, "Massachusetts", "I Just Got get a Message to You", and "To Love Somebody". They also wrote many songs for other artists such as Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and more. They were known as the chameleon band, and would change with each decade to try and stay relevant, and played a huge role in the 1970s when disco came out when they recorded the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and later paid a price for it; they were unfairly labeled as giving birth to the disco sound. "The movie that should be burned", the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band movie with Frampton, didn't help. But they did continue to tour for years and were successful, until brother Maurice died in 2003.
Robin is survived by his wife Dwina, and his children Melissa, Spencer and R.J., his brother Barry, his sister Lesley and his mother, Barbara. Watch the Brothers Gibb harmonizing like only brothers can do below, with Robin taking the lead on "Massachusetts".
MAY 16, 2012 - I came across this video this morning, a young couple in Lawrence Kansas was walking with Jacob, their blind and autistic 8-year old son, and encountered a street musician playing "Midnight Special" and the most amazing thing happened. Jacob started to go up to the guitar and touch and feel the music. Watch the video below.
MAY 15, 2012 - In an interview with CNN, Jay-Z has come out and praised Obama for coming out in support of gay marriage saying, "it was the right thing to do." He added, "I've always thought it as something that was still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination pure and simple." Watch the interview below.
MAY 14, 2012 - More of The Nightwatchman and the Guitarmy from cool clips I found on the Internet.The first one is from NewYorkRawVideos with a montage of May Day.
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MAY 14, 2012 - Tom Morello led a Guitarmy through the streets of New York, with everyone singing "This Land is Your Land" in support of the 99% and Artisan News Service has a great video including an interview and him leading the troops to battle with their songs. Check out the video below.