Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Musician to Bring Unity to the Community Through Love+UnityFest 2017

34bf19ade1712bab23b0_Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_2.13.06_AM.jpg
West Orange's Carl Brister presents the second annual Love+UnityFest
34bf19ade1712bab23b0_Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_2.13.06_AM.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The many cultures and backgrounds represented within the West Orange community are invited to come together in “love and unity” on Sept. 9 at the “Love+UnityFest 2017,” a free live concert founded by local inspirational R&B artist Carl Brister.

Founded last year in response to the series of racial shootings and police brutality incidents that occurred throughout the country, Love+UnityFest will be held at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature live performances from pop, rock, Latin, jazz/blues, hip-hop, R&B, soul and reggae artists. In addition, the event will also feature bouncy houses, food trucks, vendors and cultural displays set up by the many diverse groups in town.

“Music is the one unifier that can bring people together and we can just leave our cares behind,” said Brister, who is best known in the community for writing inspirational lyrics. “That’s what I wanted for this fest. It was amazing last year and I think this year’s going to be even greater because we’ve added more components for family involvement.”

Sign Up for E-News

As the father of two young boys, Brister said he was immediately disturbed by the possibility of one of these violent incidents occurring within his own community. Since he personally translates everything through music, Brister said his first instinct was to bring all the different cultures together through music as well.

“Even though West Orange is really diverse and a great place to live, I wanted to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “I felt like what was happening in a lot of cases—in the conversations on social media and in the actions that took place—was a disregard or lack of love for one another as human beings. I felt that if we were going to have any kind of a conversation about moving forward or making it better here, it had to start with love and valuing each other as human beings before anything.”

The Love+UnityFest comes at the heels of the filming of Brister’s first music video for his popular single, “Turning Point,” off his upcoming album “Love+Life=.” The video, directed by fellow West Orange resident Ricardo Robinson, was shot in part at West Orange’s Eagle Rock Park and highlights West Orange business "Pink Cupcakes," featuring a cameo appearance by owner Natalie Dominique. The song also features Bart+Tricia, a singer/songwriter duo made up of two worship leaders at the Life Christian Church in West Orange.

Brister, who was raised around music because his father was a soul funk and R&B musician, said he loved all genres of music from the start, but quickly became passionate about gospel and Christian music. He eventually combined his passion with his talent for writing music to create an inspirational R&B soul genre.

“I just combine all the elements of the music that I enjoy—from pop to R&B and jazz—and combine it with uplifting lyrics to try and reach as many people as I can,” he said. “I try to write things that impact their lives and make their day better.”

Brister said his single “Turning Point” is a song he wrote when he was faced with the decision to follow his dream of being a musician or to let it go.

“That was my ‘turning point’ and I realized what made me happiest was doing what I loved, so I continued to go forward with it,” he said. “That’s really what the song is about. It’s about getting to whatever your happy is and pushing past the obstacles and striving for your dreams.”

He said the story behind the music video is about people discovering their passions. It also features elements of a live performance Brister gave at Maplewoodstock Music & Art Festival in July, where he said he was thrilled to see the crowd singing along to his music.

“The greatest compliment for me as a songwriter is when people say, ‘Your song encouraged me to do this,’ or, ‘I didn’t give up because of this,’ or, ‘I play your song every morning to get me going,’” said Brister. “Those are the stories that energize me. And when I sing it live, everybody’s singing the chorus back and it’s this experience that’s so incredible you can’t even describe it.”

Brister said he is looking forward to performing live again at Love+UnityFest 2017 while “inspiring unity in the community through music.” In keeping with the theme of unity and “oneness,” Brister added that it is fitting that the fest is being held on the weekend of the anniversary of 9/11.

“There’s no better time to come together because that’s when we actually came together as a nation and I think this is fitting,” he said. “It reminds us that we need to embrace one another and not fall into hysteria because of the rhetoric.”

Those interested in having their culture reflected at the Love+UnityFest should contact Brister at carlbristerinfo@.gmail.com. Brister said he is also hoping to attract some representation from the LGBTQ community.

“We’re all here—and the more information, the more you know, the more you’re able to embrace one another,” he said. “Whatever kind of music you love, it will be represented. It’s just going to be a great time of music, fun and enjoyment for everybody.”

Brister’s single “Turning Point” is currently available online and on http://www.carlbrister.com. Listen now by clicking HERE.

The release of the single was preceded by a four-part web series entitled "Turning Point: The Story You Haven't Heard." See below for a sneak peak at the first episode.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Free Class at CylcleBar Livingston to Support Sustainability

June 22, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Join us at CycleBar Livingston for Uplift Humanity's first charity event! In addition to getting your sweat on for FREE, you can learn about about how we are using a sustainability-first approach to solve poverty in developing countries around the world. Meet our Board and Founder and get information on volunteer opportunities.

We've partnered with ...

Deegan Dental Implant Special!

WEST ORANGE, NJ - OUR NEW DENTAL IMPLANT SPECIAL OFFER WILL GIVE YOU REASON TO SMILE!

Deegan Dental is happy to announce our New Dental Implant Special Offer that will give you a reason to smile! Our New Special Offer, that expires 11/30/2018, covers a single Complete Tooth Replacement (including the Implant, Stock Abutment and E-max Crown) for only $2,200 per Implant; a Great Value ...

Former Jefferson School (Maplewood) Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Tue, June 26, 8:15 AM

Whole Foods market, West Orange

JBN Presents: Women's Networking in West Orange

Business & Finance

Wed, June 27, 11:00 AM

United Way of Northern New Jersey, Montclair

Volunteer Advocate Info Session

Giving Back Law & Justice

Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation Donates New Scoreboard to the West Orange PAL Baseball Field

On Sunday, April 15, the West Orange PAL baseball teams began their opening ceremonies of the spring season with a heartfelt dedication of a new scoreboard, donated by the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation.  The foundation was created to honor the life of Michael, a lifelong West Orange resident, who tragically died in a car accident on the day after his 19th birthday, Aug.

Mt. Olive Memorial Weekend Tournament: Bringing Baseball Back to West Orange!

“I’ve got to find the right spot”

“Two out rally!”

“Protect the ball”

“You fired up? I’m fired up! I can’t hear you!”

“Breathe!” “Deep breath, reset”

“Whoa..where are you going?? You can’t move”

Just a few of the statements you may have heard this past weekend at the ...

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Schedules Family Nights and Zoo-vies This Summer

June 21, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will have Family Nights with extended evening hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, with the last admission to the zoo at 8 p.m.

In addition, on Wednesday evenings during July and August, Zoo-vies, featuring animal-related movies, will be shown on the top floor of the Turtle Back Zoo Parking ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  

 

My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  

 

Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...