DrMyers’s Blog

April 25, 2017

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

image1-4

 

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.)
Advertisements

April 29, 2009

Personal or Political: Specter Jumps Ship!

 

Democratic Senator: Arlen Specter

Democratic Senator: Arlen Specter

It was an exciting time as the crowd grew at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.  A steady stream of loyal followers flowed from the Chicago Coliseum to the Auditorium Theatre, waiting for their leader and former President to take the stage.  Republican Primaries have posed challenges for Republican Candidates since its inception in 1912.  Theodore Roosevelt, feeling like the more qualified candidate and best spokesperson for the party, beat both of his challengers 9-2 out right in the primaries of 1912, and naturally felt as if he would be undergoing the best exercise of his life; Running For Office!

Amazingly Roosevelt’s run for office did not go as he originally planned, and as he dawned the stage to address those delegates he found so faithful, these precious words articulated the true task he felt was forgotten by the Republican Party, “To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliances between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”  After this platform was adopted, he went out on the campaign trail, and even after a “would be” assassin’s bullet, struck and lodged in his chest, Teddy Roosevelt stated, “I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” 

As Arlen Specter stood addressing the cameras, the 29year Senator spoke with the same vigor as a wounded politician of old.   “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.” Specter stated, and not a moment too soon!  As he left his office to dawn the capitol, constituents met the Republican Senator not with torches and pitchforks outside his office, but with warm greetings, cheers and applause.  Specter had found his audience…the people he was sent to represent!

Changing parties in the United States Senate is not a new phenomenon, nor is it an explainable action.  One must believe, that the Senator who’s made his choice, has spent long hours in deep deliberation with his own being, before jumping off of the Titanic and onto the Carpathia

If you watched any news station today, you would have thought that this was the first time a Senator left the Republican Party.  Playing it down, most Republican Pundits and Strategists stated, “They saw it coming” and that “He was doing this to save his own political career”.  Regardless of his reasoning, the Republican Party has had a strong history of its elected members parting ways.  Below is a list of Senators who have taken the same leap of faith that Arlen Specter took today:

  • Miles Poindexter of Washington. Republican to Progressive in 1913 and back to Republican in 1915.
  • Robert M. La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin. Republican, ran as Progressive for President in 1924.
  • Robert M. La Follette, Jr. of Wisconsin. Republican to Progressive in 1935.
  • George W. Norris of Nebraska. Republican to Independent in 1937.
  • Henrik Shipstead of Minnesota. Farmer-Labor to Republican in 1941.
  • Wayne Morse of Oregon. Republican to Independent in 1953 and to Democrat in 1955.
  • Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Independent Democrat to Democrat in 1956 and then to Republican in 1964.
  • Harry F. Byrd, Jr. of Virginia. Democrat to Independent in 1971.
  • Richard Shelby of Alabama. Democrat to Republican in 1994.
  • Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado. Democrat to Republican in 1995.
  • Bob Smith of New Hampshire. Republican to Independent in 1999, and back to Republican in 1999.
  • James Jeffords of Vermont. Republican to Independent in 2001.

Out of 12 Senators that have switched parties within the last 100 years, 7 of them (at some point) left the Republican Party.  This pattern points toward two factors that both Republicans and Democrats should be aware of.  

a. The Republican Party is capable of driving away its members and delegates!

Since 1938, only 10 identifiable years could Republican’s (versus 27 years for Democrats) boast that they controlled a majority of the States Legislatures in the US.  This is a clear reflection of the Republican Party’s inability to articulate its strengths and/or beliefs to the constituents back home in their states and districts.  Because of this weakness, former Representatives (in both the House and the Senate) have had to switch their party affiliations to correlate with the mindset of the people they represent.  One must remember, Washingtonians do not elect Senators, only states and districts have that power; and an elected official is only a reflection of those he represents in those districts and states.  

b. Republicans have a way of bouncing back!

We must remember that the last time Democrats were in a position to have a “Filibuster Proof” Senate; the political atmosphere was very similar to the one we are living in now.  Ford had just lost the election to the Fresh, Un-Tarnished, Governor who had not been corrupted by Washington Politics…Jimmy Carter!  Over those next few years, bipartisan efforts ceased to exist, inflaming the Right!  It was during this period the “Moral Majority” saw its emergence on the scene, and Reagan Democrats were born, costing Democrats the Majority.  

Regardless of whether Specter just wanted to secure, in his mind, a viable race for the Senate seat he’s held for 29 years, or if the Republican party has moved so far right, it pushed Specter off the boat, the fact remains that partisan politics distracted the American people and its leaders from tackling problems such as:  Affordable Health Care, Lowering Poverty Levels, Equal Rights for Women in the Workplace, and lastly…pushing legislation through that would properly fund research to cure AIDS and Cancer.  

Maybe our Founding Father had an accurate foresight of political parties, a warning that we might want to heed:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

George Washington: No Party Affiliation

George Washington: No Party Affiliation

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796

Blog at WordPress.com.