Regardless the stage, I end all of my performances with the same rousing crowd chant: Peace, Love and Soul. I encourage every audience member to join in. It is one of the most emotional experiences, according to most whom have participated. Often, I hold back tears, though my cracking voice exposes my emotionality. Suddenly, strangers are hugging one another, crying, and most so, encouraged. As a gentlemen from Ohio told me this past Sunday at the conclusion of a Ecirb Müller’s Twisted Dixie show, “Man, that was the most powerful musical experience I’ve ever had. I just called my wife crying, telling her how much I love her.” We hugged. That’s what my Peace, Love and Soul movement is all about—togetherness.
Music is my greatest voice and my most sincere (personal) therapy. Music is my way of sharing my love for humanity with total strangers. Music is my way of breaking down barriers of indifference. My music is life, and I see it as my duty to serve as a vessel of love, that’s my blessing. And I say that to say, right now, in this very moment, as you read this, our America needs love and compassion. America needs Peace, Love and Soul.
As a academic professional, band leader, and social entrepreneur, I have been blessed to teach thousands of students, work with hundreds of diverse colleagues, perform on stages the world over, celebrating life and happiness with thousands of strangers, and in academic settings, develop initiatives that bring people together. It’s my life and its ongoing. Now more than ever, collectively, we must amp up the power of positivity and love, through the power of music.
Louis Armstrong once said, “What we play is life.”
Wether we’re touring around the globe as ambassadors of the State Department, performing at a corporate event, or cramped on a small stage at a Frenchmen Street music club, we musicians have always been America’s greatest political voices and agents of change. We must both understand and utilize our privileges, the access to influence people’s minds and change their hearts. As musicians, we have the power to create true, positive change.
What the world and America needs now is Peace, Love and Soul. I am here to carry the torch of positivity and inclusion in any ways needed for me to serve best. My working with each of you in my varied capacities have allowed me to do what I do best, and I am always dedicated to continuing the use my blessed talents to be a agent of change. Together, we can bring love to all.
In closing, Louis Armstrong was an international ambassador of humanity. Though know one ever answered his question: “What did I do to be so black and blue?,” he used his platform to evoke positive change until he took his last breath. In 1968 he released the song “Hello Brother.” That song has become my anthem. We all want the same basic things in life. Here is our version of “Hello Brother” from the 2017 Satchmo Summerfest. The lyrics are just as relevant in 2017 as they were in 1968.
Peace, Love and Soul,
Dr. Brice Miller, CEO and Artistic Director, The New Orleans Music Company