Colombian musician Juanés and “Glory” singer John Legend came together to draw more eyes to immigration and mass incarceration issues. Both singers put on an impromptu show outside a jail in Eloy, Arizona, 60 miles outside of Phoenix. As advocacy groups and relatives of detainees protested, Juanés played the guitar and Legend rocked the piano on a flatbed, pick-up truck across the street from the Eloy Detention Center.
“The reason why we’re here, one, is because we want to bear witness to what’s happening so we could tell the world about it,” Legend said to a cheering crowd.
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The Grammy winners performed Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” together and performed two of their own songs while the crowd chanted phrases nearby like “Si se puede” and “Not one more deportation.” Before their performance, Legend and Juanés got to take a tour of the detention center and spoke to detainees, to which Juanés described as “heartbreaking.”
El encarcelamiento en todas sus formas es una práctica inhumana. #FREEAMERICA @johnlegend pic.twitter.com/7pTZJ47HFX
— JUANES (@juanes) January 20, 2016
“It’s very hard to understand that someone is deprived of their freedom unjustly,” said Juanés, according to ABC. “And that’s why we’re here with our music, with our culture, which is the strongest tool to bring attention and give a voice to those who don’t have one.”
Camera crews filmed their performances for an upcoming documentary, as ABC’s Good Morning America streamed the show live. Both Legend and Juanés documented their visit on social media using the hashtag #FREEAMERICA.
Watch their performance below:
#JuanesLegend singing together for the liberation of our communities #ChantDownTheWallsEloy #EndAllDetention pic.twitter.com/hS9yZhqPGC
— NDLON (@ndlon) January 20, 2016