Monthly Archives: May, 2012

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JTMP Meets With International Visitors through State Department International Visitor Leadership Program

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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.

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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/

Jay-Z and Budweiser to Hold 2-Day Music Festival to Benefit United Way

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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.

Robin Gibb passes away at age 62

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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".

Tom Morello Walks Out Into Audience When Sound System Goes Out in Chicago

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MAY 21, 2012 - The top activist musician today, Tom Morello, was out in Chicago amongst the activists who were protesting NATO bombing and unnecessary wars, and was playing a concert when the sound system had a problem and cut out. No problem for Tom, just like the Guitarmy in New York last week he walked out like a troubadour and played in the audience with everyone helping him sing along. He also had a few guitarists from the audience helping him out, adding to the Guitarmy atmosphere. Iraq Veterans Against the War were also there, along with activists calling for NATO to stop bombing and creating wars such as Afghanistan, and ending the Afghanistan War which has dragged on for over ten years now. Watch the video of Tom playing in the audience below.

Mick Jagger Gets to Say “Shit” on TV and Sing About Mitt Romney

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MAY 21, 2012 - Mick Jagger was on SNL the other night, and is creating a buzz for not only hosting and acting well in hilarious skits, but also ending out the show with the man who can make a guitar talk, Jeff Beck and his band. Playing without a pick, Jeff Beck played an awesome 12-bar blues number and had Sir Jagger almost ad libbing it seemed on vocals, and not only did Mick get away with singing "shit" in one of the verse (I guess the censor didn't hear it?) but also at one point in the song took somewhat of a jab at Mitt Romney:

Mr. Romney, you know, he's a match, but he always plays a straight affair.
Mr. Romney is a hard workin' man, and he always says his prayers.
But there's one thing about him, don't ever let him cut your hair!

Below is the NBC Video.  (Photo credit: Dina Regine/Wiki)

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