Last of “Old School” Blues Players are Documented in Film and Photos JAN 14, 2015 – HuffPo has an amazing article up by Priscilla Frank about photographer Lou Bopp documenting the last vestiges of a great American culture, the “Old School” Delta Blues musicians that would fill the juke joints with their amazing and truly…
Okay, We Expected Miley Cyrus… DEC 11, 2014 – Mark Schiff on AXS.com has an article up on 15 activist-musicians that are or have advocated for legal cannabis use, and one did surprise me, the #1 spot. I won’t ruin it for you, but I will say one or two did surprise me. Check out…
SOCIAL MEDIA AND MUSIC CHANNEL ANGER AND ACTIVISM AUG 20, 2014 – Many musicians have come out in support for justice for Michael Brown using their music and social media. In St. Louis last Wednesday, Young Jeezy and Wiz Khalifa wore shirts on stage that said, “Don’t shoot” and “RIP Michael Brown”. Nelly has been…
MAR 23, 20134 – We all know that life for a struggling musician is hard when it comes to paying bills (and getting paid for a gig!!), and for decades it has been virtually impossible for them to afford health insurance. The Affordable Care Act is addressing that issue but JTMP has found that it is being hampered not by "Obamacare", but by Republican state lawmakers who, because of a US Supreme Court ruling, do not have to take the money…so they don't. Kathleen Sebilius of the Health and Human Services said in a statement, "Texas taxpayers are losing roughly $18 million a day while the state turns down federal dollars to expand Medicaid." They could take the Federal funds, and then struggling musicians like Christian from The Hates (pictured right) in Texas would be able to apply for Medicaid and get health insurance, but no. It is more important for the Republican lawmakers to take a stance against "Obamacare" than to help their constituents. Unbelievable. Read about the struggle of Texas musician Christian Arnheiter aka "Christian of The Hates" not only fighting disease and our decrepit SICK care system but also battling their elected representatives that are supposed to help them on the HoustonPress.com website. (photo credit: The Hate)
MusiCares, Musicians and GetCoveredAmerica Working To Get Every Musician Covered By Health Insurance
MAR 11, 2014 – MusiCares, an arm of the Grammy organization that is dedicated to helping musicians with financial problems and other issues, has teamed up with GetCoveredAmerica.org and their full scale campaign traveling the country to try and get every musician in America covered by health insurance. They are holding workshops and events from California to Florida to get musicians informed on what their options are, why they need health insurance, and most importantly how the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", makes the process easy and affordable.
MusiCares is in Florida with GetCoveredAmerica.org for a workshop on March 19, 2014 at Sweat Records to talk to musicians and get them educated and informed on what the new law is, what their options are, and even get them signed up. A local musician's federation, South Florida Musicians, even posted about it on their website. JTMP has found there are thousands of musician federations, musician unions, organizations, bands, musicians and individuals out there working at the grassroots level getting musicians signed up for health insurance, which has always been a problem for musicians to afford and obtain. Read more on Grammy.org's website and find events here, and watch musician Korby talk about how easy, affordable and necessary it was for him to get health insurance coverage under Obamacare in a YouTube video below.
JAN 13, 2014 – A campaign called "Sing Forward" to raise awareness about the Affordable Care Act has been launched out of Wisconsin by Musicians For Health, urging fellow musicians to enroll in a health insurance program at the HealthCare.gov website. One of the main musical-activists leading the way is Anna Vogelzang, and she is letting other musicians know one can get health insurance through the exchanges for as little as $25-$50 a month; a catastrophic plan can be as little as $10 a month. There is even a song they wrote for the campaign titled "Sing Forward!", and they have the lyric sheet and a video to sing along with. They have a REMIX contest where you can submit your remix of the song, and the prizes are cash, tickets and other cool stuff. I might submit one myself! Check out the video of "Sing Forward" below, and check out the Sing Forward! website here where you can even punch in your zip code and find an affordable health plan. If you ever drop your amp on your foot and break your toe you will need it.
DEC 3, 2013 – USA Today has an article out today about how the French government has charged Bob Dylan with the crime of "incitement to hatred" because Bob somewhat "compared Croatians to Nazis", and lumped them all together with the evil of the Confederacy slavery, KKK and the Nazis in a 2012 Rolling Stone interview. This is what Bob said, you be the judge:
"Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery — that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."
A Croatian group in France caught wind of the it eventually and filed a complaint against Dylan in French court. Bridgette Bardot has also faced many charges of "inciting hatred" in France for speaking her mind, and even though half my ancestry comes from France, I feel this goes too far and infringes on free speech. I am sure we will not see Bob in jail anytime soon though. Just like Bardot, Dylan will just be fined heavily. Bob has millions like Bardot and he will just pay the fine and move on. Comments? Start a conversation on our JTMP Facebook Page! (photo credit: Bob Dylan/CC)
NOV 19, 2013 – Musician and filmmaker Julie Sokolow saw firsthand the problem her and other musicians and artists in the Pittsburgh area having the same problem she had, trying to find an affordable health care insurance plan for a single person. So, she formed an organization called "Healthy Artists" to push for a single-payer health care system. After the ACA, or "Obamacare", was rolled out she started using the organization to help musicians and artists not only learn more about the Affordable Health Care Act, but also help it roll out more smoothly and be successful. Musicians and artists have a special stake in the successful roll out and implementation of the ACA, because many musicians are self-employed and have never even thought about health care and insurance. Read more about Julie in her work on PittNews.com here, and check out Healthy Artists website here. Watch musician-activist Matt Dull from the group Young Brokaw talk about getting a bill for $1200 because he had no health insurance after he slipped on the ice. He talks about the need for everyone to have health insurance, so please sign up if you do not have health insurance yet. In some states it is very low cost, and many people will get subsidies to help you pay for it. JTMP asks our musician supporters to sign up for health care insurance through the exchanges by December 14th, 2013 by going to the government's health care insurance exchange website here.
OCT 27, 2013 – Huge crowds turned out yesterday in cities across the world speaking out against excessive surveillance by the NSA and other agencies, demanding their civil rights of privacy be respected and protected. Many artists and musicians joined in the effort, such as the Flobots, YACHT, Ai WeiWei, Tom Morello, and JTMP's favorite, Anti-Flag, who are close friends and a huge part of JTMP's early days. Many groups, organizations and individuals from all political stripes came together in this massive street protest against what people firmly believe is a excessive intrusion into their daily lives, and people wonder if their phone calls and emails are being snooped on by the NSA and other agencies. It came out this morning that Germany's Chancellor Merkel has had her cell phone "tapped" and spied on by America's NSA since 2002! The crowd was also protesting the use of military drones, and the huge, bloated military and security apparatus by the American federal government and other countries, which had become huge, hostile, intrusive and unresponsive to the very people it is supposed to serve and protect. JTMP urges our supporters to contact their elected officials at all levels, and scream that you want your privacy back, and tell them to "Stop Watching Us"!
One of the leading organizations leading the protests is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and you can read more about them at EFF.org, and to read more about the various artists and musicians that were at a New York rally yesterday, check out BroadwayWorld.com. Watch an EFF YouTube video below of the scope of the chilling problem with our privacy, and if you want more check out the the rally's website at Rally.StopWatching.Us.
August 8, 2013 – Today.com has a cool article out on the "Ten Best Sesame Street Musical Guests", and lists musicians from Paul Simon to Yo Yo Ma. I grew up on Sesame Street, and remember many musicians coming on and helping guide kids with music to good values and bettering the community. JTMP urges our supporters to contact their elected officials and ask them to protect and even increase funding for the arts and public television. Even though he was never on Sesame Street, John Denver had a very close relationship with The Muppets on The Muppet Show, and was a great musician and musical activist. Watch John Denver sing "Grandma's Feather Bed" with The Muppets below from dteeps42 on YouTube, and check out the article with videos of the Sesame Street musical guests on Today.com here. (Photo credit: Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets by Alan Light/CC)