Updated with correction
Maurice and Carlton Turner grew up in Raymond surrounded by the sound of jazz greats and the sight of their parents passionately working to improve the lives of young people at the Leake & Watts Foster Home for Boys. Now that they are adults, they play music, own a studio production company and work as community activists. One of their goals through their music is to create a more positive cultural space for today's young people to enjoy music that is both hip and wholesome. Their third album, a cross-genre mix of hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, soul and R&B, will be released in early 2008.
Another of their upcoming projects is the State of the Nation Arts and Performance Festival, a collaboration with many others started in 2004 as a space for people to talk about elections and civic participation issues. The festival alternates between Mississippi and Louisiana. This year it will be held in Jackson, where all members of the Jackson metro community can come together to enjoy family-friendly music, performances, workshops and town-hall discussions. Through this festival, the Turner brothers and their partners hope to emphasize "that we're all dealing with the same issues," Maurice Turner said. The Turners have not determined the price for festival passes, but Carlton Turner says that it will be affordable. "Nobody will be turned away because of economic reasons."
The underyling message of the State of the Nation Arts and Performance Festival is the importance of community involvement and grassroots actions. As Maurice Turner says: "People's perception of how to make change is usually systemized and institutionalized, but this goes against the nature of change. The only way we can make change is to band together and change the way we think."
When Maurice and Carlton Turner release their new album, you can purchase it at BeBop Records and through their Web site.
Correction: Maurice and Carlton Turner were raised in Raymond, Miss., not Harlem, NY.
Sorry Freelance, we grew up in Raymond, Mississippi not Harlem, NY. We were born in Mount Vernon, NY and then moved to Raymond when we were 3 and 4 years old.
Carlton, we'll correct it in the paper as well. Thanks for telling us, and we apologize for the error.