Tennessee United for Human Rights held a Peace Day Concert on the United Nations’ International Day of Peace with many artists and community leaders joining forces to create the event. It was spearheaded by Emmy Award-winning songwriter, Melanie, who recently signed on as President of the Tennessee United for Human Rights chapter.
Peace Day was a half-day festival at the Pavilion East in East Nashville with children’s activities, music and volunteers asking for signatures on a petition to make human rights education mandatory in Tennessee. In total, 185 signatures were garnered that day.
The show began with Nashville-based Americana singer/songwriter Jon Statham and his band. He was followed by Emmy-nominated songwriter Bianca Moon with guitarist Kent Wells. Joseph Bell of the Who’s Bad Michael Jackson Tribute Tour performed next. Dove Award nominee and inspirational pop/R&B artist T-Ran Gilbert delivered a powerful show and invited rap artist Canteen to the stage for a surprise performance.
In the evening, there was an all-denominational prayer for peace which involved representatives of several faiths including Sikhism, Hinduism, Scientology, Christianity, and the Nation of Islam. Internationally revered fashion designer Manuel Cuevas attended the event and participated on stage in the prayer for peace.
Melanie concluded the show. Her passion for peace was exemplified as she reminisced about the day she performed at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. She was accompanied by her son and virtuoso Beau Jarred Schekeryk. RoyEl Wooten from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, performed on percussion. Celebrity accordion player Kristian Rusbjerg from Denmark came to the stage for two songs as a guest performer and Kevin Riley performed on bass.
During her performance, Melanie brought a poster-size version of the petition for human rights on stage, saying, ”I support a movement to make human rights education mandatory in Tennessee,” then signed the petition and asked everyone in the audience to join her.
While she performed her hit song “Lay Down Candles in the Rain,” candles were lit and distributed to the audience as a symbol of a wish for peace.
More than 250 people participated in the celebration concert on Peace Day and plans have already begun for Peace Day 2016. If you would like tickets to Melanie's Peace Day concert 2016, please go to peacedayconcert.org. For more information about United for Human Rights, go to www.humanrights.com.