musicians | Justice Through Music - Part 3

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Musicians, Crime, and the Justice System

August 5, 2013 – Musicians have been caught up in crime just like any other group of people, and they have it worse because of their fame and notoriety, so we thought we would post some of the best "Top Musician Criminal" lists people have posted on the Internet. Let us know who you think should have been on this list, or not on this list, and your thoughts on our JTMP Facebook Page.

Rockers In Jail:
http://oldies.about.com/od/oldieshistory/a/rockrollprison.htm
Top 5 Rock Star Criminals:
http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/crossfade/2010/10/top_10_rock_star_criminals.php
Top Ten Rock and Roll Criminals:
http://alancross.squarespace.com/a-journal-of-musical-things/2013/5/10/top-ten-rock-n-roll-criminals.html

Also, there is the "music" category on MugShots.com.  (photo credit: MugShots.com)

More Musicians Join Boycott of Florida Over “Stand Your Ground” Law

UPDATE JULY 26, 2012 – Earlier reports of Jay-Z, Rihanna and Justine Timberlake may be incorrect. Even though April Ryan is sticking by her sources, all 3 musicians have now said they are not boycotting Florida.

 

July 23, 2013 – More musicians have joined the boycott of Florida that was started by Stevie Wonder, as they call for the repeal of the "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida and other states. The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Jay Z, Young Jeezy, Wale, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Rihanna, R. Kelly and Alicia Keys have all joined the boycott. Many musicians have also expressed support for Stevie Wonder's stance, such as Bruce Springsteen, who dedicated a song "to justice for Trayvon Martin" at a recent concert in Ireland. Beyonce and Jay Z met with Trayvon's parents recently at a rally in New York City. Read more on The Hill website here. What do you think? Start or join a conversation on our Facebook Page.

What's hilarious, is the website Breitbart.com put up a post that Stevie Wonder's call for other musicians to join his boycott was an "Epic Fail" and that "Musicians Ignore Wonder's Florida Boycott". No, your post and your hateful website is an EPIC FAIL.  (photo credit: Antonio Cruz/CC)

Gospel Duo Mary Mary Joins Stevie Wonder, JTMP in Florida Boycott

July 19, 2013 – The gospel duo Mary Mary has joined the boycott of Florida that was started by Stevie Wonder in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, calling for "Stand Your Ground" laws to be abolished. JTMP joined the boycott immediately, and calls for more entertainers to join also; we have had self-defense laws on the books for over 200 years that suited us fine. We don't need armed citizen vigilantes standing over dead bodies giving only their version of the "altercation" and walking away scott-free. Email your favorite entertainer and ask them to Boycott Florida until "Stand Your "Ground" laws are gone! Also, a Change.org petition to repeal the "Stand Your Ground Laws" as a result of the Trayvon Martin shooting has been started by Asia Lamb Cole HERE, so make sure you sign it! Below is the Tweet by Erica and Tina.  (photo credit: Krisanne Johnson/Public Domain)

Musicians Tweet Out Support For Boston

APR 22, 2013 – Many musicians have showed their support for Boston following the tragedy there. Many musicians Tweeted out their support such as Miley Cyrus Tweeting, "Sending peace and many blessings to Boston", or Pink Tweeting, "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the explosions in Boston" and Kelsie Kimberlin also joined in the support and Tweeted, "Catching up. My heart goes out to Boston and all those affected. Peace and love are the answer." The Dropkick Murphys Tweeted, "Boston your in our prayers in California…be safe everyone! Unbelievable.", and one of my favorite bands that are from Boston the Pixies Tweeted, "BOSTON, we are with you." Read more Tweets from musicians supporting Boston after the tragedy there on MTV.com here, and also on Rolling Stone here.

Kid Rock, Pit Bull, Dave Matthews and Stevie Wonder Help Out Nominees

NOV 4, 2012 – Several musicians are helping out the Presidential nominees, from Kid Rock in everywhere for Romney, to Stevie Wonder in Ohio, Dave Matthews everywhere, and Pit Bull in Florida for Obama. Musicians tend to draw a few more people out, provide music to the crowd and help energize the base. Katy Perry has been using her concerts to rally support for Obama, even wearing skin tight ballots and "Forward" signs.

Mary Bridget Davies Talks About Janis Joplin’s Contribution to the 60s Social Revolution

OCT 28, 2012 – Mary Bridget Davies is currently singing as Janis Joplin in the "One Night With Janis Joplin" show, and JTMP caught up with her for an interview about Janis and the show. We wanted to get her feeling on Janis Joplin, and how she played a part in the culture of music and social revolution of the 1960s, and her activism, the interview is below.

JTMP asked Mary how she felt about Janis Joplin's influence on the 1960s social culture and revolution and she told us, "[Janis] definitely was one of the front runners, accidentally, for change and revolution. She was not super politically motivated, she wasn't out and rallying or anything like that but she was ingrained with mutual respect and equality. She grew up in Texas in a very, very strict oil refinery town, and there was racism everywhere; but she just wouldn't tolerate it. She was always preaching the message of equality and freedom in the arts. In Kris Kristofferson's song she literally sings about freedom. She was just a good human being and a good humanitarian, she wanted everyone to be equal, and she wanted everyone to express themselves." She added, "I really do think if she had lived longer and gotten more mature, because she was a very intellectual person, maybe she would have become a stronger voice. Not even just for women, but race issues were very important to her, she was very much about equality. With the music, the way she respected and revered all those other artists and strove to be like them, she wanted them to be just as equally treated as the males."

FOR MORE OF THE INTERVIEW CLICK READ MORE.

Conservative musicians come out in support of Mitt Romney

OCT 13, 2012 – In an attempt to show balance here at JTMP, I wanted to list the conservative musicians that have come out in support of Mitt Romney, although it seems very short to when compared to Obama. On Romney's site, he starts out with "Lynyrd Skynyrd's Frontman" endorsing him, that being Ronnie's little brother Johnny Van Zandt; but the rest of the musicians in Lynyrd Skynyrd are Obama supporters (and some think Ronnie would be supporting Obama if still alive). Gene Simmons of Kiss has come out vocally in support of Romney, and Kid Rock played at a rally, and one of his songs is used at Romney rallies frequently. Trace Adkins, who is frequently very active in issues and politics, has thrown his support behind Governor Romney; and of course the crazy nutbag Ted Nugent has "endorsed" Romney. 

That's about it, I could only find 5. There may be lesser-known musicians who have come out in support, but as for anybody recognizable I can find only a handful while the list of Obama musician supporters probably number in the hundreds. To read the entire "celebrity list" that endorse Mitt Romney, visit Romney's campaign website here.

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/

Pussy Riot Plays From the Rooftops of Russia


(Photo credit: pussy-riot.livejournal.com)

FEB 27, 2012 – Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk musical activist band who stages illegal concerts and protests, often from rooftops, protesting issues such as women's rights in Russia and most recently the policies and re-election campaign of Prime Minister Putin. Wearing skimpy outfits even in cold weather and stylish balaclavas, they release Internet videos of their illegal concerts in public places. Recently they managed to stage a concert in strictly guarded Red Square, and were arrested. After being held for 5 hours, they were fined 500 rubles (about $17 US) and released. On their website they say, “We Believe That the Soviet Union's Aggressive Imperial Politics are Similar in many Ways to Putin's course. The way the State treats its Citizens hasn't changed much since the times of the USSR; there is still paternalist supervision and police control over people.” They add, “Some of us are anarchists, leftist Have some Liberal Positions. We would like horizontal political activity, self-organization and the capability to be aware of oneself as an equal participant in civil politics, to understand one's rights and fight for them to develop. Russian Society lacks tolerance and lenience.”

If you have Google Chrome, you can use the translator to check out their site here, where you can see pics of them staging one of their public protest concerts at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral which ruffled a lot of feathers. Check out one of their videos below.

Occupy This Album: More Artists Join On

JAN 23, 2012 – Occupy This Album, an album to be released this spring to help support the movement, has a growing list of musicians. Third Eye Blind, Willie Nelson and Jackson Browne were a few of the artists signing up early on, and now the list has grown to over 40 bands and musicians. JTMP was at Occupy DC and caught the band Junkyard Empire, and posted videos of the activist band's performance on our YouTube Channel HERE. They will be one of the bands contributing to the album; along with Tom Morello, the Guthrie Family, Yoko Ono, Lucinda Williams, Immortal Technique, Crosby/Nash and more. Check out the full list here.

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