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Music for a Cause: Jam for Justice’s Battle of the Bands

Nonprofit music organization at McGill raises money for charity

Jam for Justice is busy preparing for its largest event of the year: Battle of the Bands. Jam for Justice uses music to support local charities and non-profit organizations, working to create a sense of community amongst local artists, charities, and students. Battle of the Bands embodies this mission. On April 4 from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m., the organization will welcome McGill students and local bands to La Sala Rossa to raise funds for The Open Door, a local charity that provides social services to unhoused and low-income people in downtown Montreal.

The Daily spoke with Holly, First-Year Representative for Jam for Justice, about the details of the event. She explained that Jam for Justice is extremely excited to be working with The Open Door: “we have been wanting to collaborate [with them] for a long time.” The Open Door describes itself as “a beacon of light and hope to many of its visitors,” and Jam for Justice hopes to replicate this sense of warmth and inclusivity through its events. As Holly stated, “music is meant to be shared with others, and Jam for Justice fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment.” She added, “whether you are a musician or you simply like to listen to music – all are welcome!”

Battle of the Bands is a unique event. Unlike Jam for Justice’s previous coffee house and open mic night events, Battle of the Bands is an opportunity to vote on your music preferences, buy in-house designed T-shirts, and watch student bands perform live. Holly told the Daily that audience members can expect “a line up of five different bands, all of whom are students at McGill,” with music ranging from “pop, punk, rock, funk, and jazz.”

The bands include: The Longest Year, Nautical Twilight, The Peterman Experience, Something at the Bottom of the Lake, and Merekat. After every band performs, audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite performance. Holly encourages McGill students to “stay to the end” to participate in the voting process, which adds a lighthearted competitive edge to the event.

Not only does Jam for Justice support local charities, it also uplifts musicians with smaller platforms. In an age of an overwhelming breadth of online music streaming, Holly emphasized the importance of seeing live music performances. When musicians perform live, “it is the most raw version of that music. Getting to share [their music] face-to-face with their audience instead of through a screen” is special, she told the Daily.

Holly said that “at the heart of music is a sense of community; community and music go hand in hand.” Battle of the Bands is the perfect opportunity to experience and support this community.

To find out more about the event, visit Jam for Justice’s Instagram page, @jam_for_justice. To learn about the bands who will be performing, visit their Instagram pages: @the.peterman.experience; @somethingatthebottomofthelake; @longest.year; @natuticaltwilight_music; and