Here at Revive we celebrate jazz as a rich art form deeply rooted in African American tradition and culture. We also understand jazz as a community and like many across this nation, we have been outraged about the continued injustice and police brutality due to systematic racism and intentional targeting of Black lives in communities nation wide. In the words of Duke Ellington, “There is no art without intention.” In that spirit, we share this video with you from Brandon Bain and our friends over at Capsulocity.com with the intention of solidarity.
Capsulocity.com gathered members of the New York City Jazz community to peacefully protest injustice and police brutality using the words “We Can’t Breath.” The sign and words have become synonymous with “I Can’t Breath.” Which were the last words spoken by Eric Garner before he was killed using a chokehold by police in Staten Island on July 17, 2014. The controversial death was recorded on video and has spurred demonstrations around the world as well as artistic statements.
Featured in this video is trumpeter and 2014 Monk Competition Marquis Hill along with several members of the New York City Jazz community and commentary from vocalist Renee Neufville. Nuefville shares:
“I remember coming up in a time where our role models were political activists. They were social activists as well.
We are definitely witnessing a movement. The least we can do is to use our art to help and heal. We can use our art to shed light on social injustice. We can use our platform to make a difference. Now we’re living in a time where we need to be courageous and I think that this time more than ever, it is important for each and every one of us to think about what it is that we can do to say something.
To do something. Because a lot of us are not breathing and it’s time. It’s time to do something about it.”
We are clear that there is still much work to do in the fight against racial injustice and inequality and we will continue to take a stand through art and activism in our communities in true solidarity. #BlackLivesMatter