DrMyers’s Blog

April 25, 2017

DC Celebrates International Jazz Day with the DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards 



Washington, DC, April 25, 2017 –  The DC Jazz Lobby, a subset of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, will celebrate International Jazz Day, Sunday April 30th, by honoring 6 individuals with a program held at Busboys and Poets, Takoma location, from 6pm – 8pm.  The DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards will annually recognize individuals within the DC jazz Community who have worked to promote, support, and uplift members of the DC Jazz scene.

“Establishing an event that not only recognizes individuals that have worked to further the reach of Jazz in our community, but to help promote Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day is essential”, said Aaron Myers, organizer with the DC Jazz Lobby and board chairman of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.  “With DC playing such a pivotal role in Jazz, I feel this is very appropriate.”
Jazz Appreciation Month was created in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, PhD, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  Last year, DC City Council-member Laruby May introduced a resolution recognizing DC’s involvement in Jazz as well as the influence of Women in Jazz.  This year, a resolution was introduced by Council-member Robert White recognizing Jazz Appreciation Month, International Jazz Day while also recognizing the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald.  “I introduced the Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day Ceremonial Recognition Resolution of 2017 to recognize the local musicians who have made great contributions to the art form.” said At-Large Council-member Robert White.   “It’s important to acknowledge the impact music and the arts have on our communities and on the molding of our young people.”
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30th as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the Globe.  Last year, Washington DC was the host city for International Jazz Day with over 100 artists attending an event at the White House hosted by former President, Barack Obama.  With the creation of the DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards, DC will annually have an annual set event that will be added to the roster of International Jazz Day activities worldwide.
This year, honorees will include: Nasar Abadey, Judith Korey, Dick Smith, Ellen Williams Carter, Dave Yarobough, and Sandra Butler Truesdale, with a ceremonial resolution being presented by Council-member Robert White. “I want to thank the DC Jazz Lobby and it founding members, as I am truly honored and privileged to receive this recognition at this point in my life.” said drummer and educator Nasar Abadey, who is a staple on the Jazz scene and mentor to many musicians.   “It also gives me great pleasure to share this acknowledgement with such a stellar group of Jazz Musicians, Aficionados and Activists who celebrate the legacy of this great music.  This commendation also coincides with my 70th Birthday this year, and 50+ years of paying tribute to this exceptional American Art form, as a professional performing artist.”
Over the last year, there has been an up tic in activism from members of the creative community in DC as performers and presenters work with the District Government to ensure spaces remain open and that contributions from creatives are included in the creative economy.  Both last year and this year, legislation has been introduced to address and remedy concerns identified by these efforts.
“The DC Jazz Community owes a great deal of gratitude to these awardees for their service.” said Herbert Scott, Jazz saxophonist and Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation.  “This event demonstrates the storied legacy of the men and women that are working to keep the DC Jazz Scene vibrant.”
 (DC Jazz Leadership & Service Awards/ Sunday April 30th / 6pm – 8pm / Busboys and Poets – Takoma is located at 235 Carrol St NW, Washington, DC 20012.  This event is free admission and open to the public.)

November 13, 2008

Will Americans take care of Business?

Eight days have now passed since the historic election between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.  Through the course of twenty-one months, Americans seemed to become more aware of their rights, and the responsibilities of their government.  Those who felt that their voices could not be heard were vindicated on election night by one Senator, and to those who felt their voices were ignored listened to the concession speech of the opposing Senator.  Tears of joy rolled down the cheeks of many Americans, and the world appeared to take a sigh of relief as the final tallies came in. 

Now, eight days later, the media is flooded with reports of transition teams, bailouts that have received makeovers, and two parties not sure where to go from here.  Yet, the American people have gone back to their lives, turning off CNN & Fox News Stations as they pass by the newsstands in the mornings, focusing their attentions on what their lives were “Pre-Election”.  Meanwhile local governments are having their city council meetings, county commissioners meetings and playing again to pre-election crowds…empty houses.

I pose this question:  Will Americans take care of business, and take back an active role in their local governments. 

As I worked through the election, I met so many people who had never voted before, did not know who their local Representatives were, and at times were not even aware what precincts they lived in.  One might wonder, are all the mishandling in Washington only the faults of the Representatives their, or is the constituents who have neglected their responsibilities of staying informed & staying involved.  With the wide use of the Internet, and information fingertips away, it is brought to my attention that over the last eight years, the American people have purposely neglected their responsibility of staying abreast of the actions regarding the local governments they elect.  As a result, the local leaders have no way of accurately representing their constituents, thus you have a massive amount of neglect within several sectors of the cities accross America.

Consequently, this creates a trickle-up effect, of misrepresentation.  Those elected to the county, state, and federal positions, only speak for those who have allowed their voices to be heard through their votes.  With the battle-cry of “Change” coming from both sides of the isles, it was difficult to understand the change that was promised.  Whereas “Change” taking place in Washington, I am a staunch believer that “Change” must take place in the City Halls and Soup Kitchens all across America.  Whereas people once questioned the purpose of the Electoral College, we saw in this election, that if the constituents play an active role in being informed and involved that the Electoral College correlates with the voice of the American People. 

So, now that the anticipation of election night is gone, will Americans go back to the complacency of yesteryear which has consequently landed us in the worst shape this country has seen in decades, or will Americans take care of business, and hold up to their responsibilities of being informed and involved?  You be the answer!

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