AMERICA’S PARTY POSTPONED
GOOD MORNING AMERICA, HOW ARE YOU?
Steve Goodman asks this question in his great song City of New Orleans .
America is in a snit.
America is in a reflective mood. We have a lot of time to think about things. We are looking at our past with a new awareness that we have a lot of work to do to live up to our promise. Some of the country feels threatened by change and some feel threatened by our inability to change. We are in a moment when we are coming to grips with serious failings that this pandemic has exposed. Some are turning their heads away to avoid losing their image of America as an exceptional nation. We will never be an exceptional people until we acknowledge our mistakes and address our history of inexcusable racism,bigotry,inequality and violence. I believe that there are more Americans that love their country so much that they can accept and start to heal its warts than there are toadish denyers. America was founded on the idea that there is a better way to live. We still have to work out the promise that should include everyone.
The United States of America is a young country and is a work in progress. Its full story is yet to be told. It is too early to give America a final grade. Jazz and its birthplace have a lot in common. It is always exciting to be part of something that is trying to figure out what it’s going to be. We are a nation that started out with a pretty good manual on how to proceed, and we have improvised on our original theme ever since. Like a good jazz band we continue to honor our past but seek a new and better direction. We are a country with lots of good people who will figure out where we should be going.
A lot of the country will be closed this year because of the coronavirus and many birthday parties have been canceled. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate the goodness of America and the grit of its people next year.
I miss all my friends at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe who always showed me the way things should work. I miss being around Detroit jazz musicians who exemplified what the country will look like when we figure out how to live up to our creed.
MUSIC IN AMERICA continues to follow the examples of our brilliant founders, who asked us to be:
THOUGHTFUL, SHARING, SUPPORTIVE, EXPANSIVE, INQUISITIVE, ALWAYS SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS, GOOD LISTENERS, STRIVING TO DO OUR BEST, INVESTING IN THE FUTURE, RESPECTING OUR PAST AND ALWAYS UNDERSTANDING THAT OUR STRENGTH IS OUR GOODNESS, RATHER THAN OUR POWER.
LETS CELEBRATE OUR BIRTHDAY WITH MUSIC
” Jazz is a very democratic musical form. It comes out of a communal experience. We take our respective instrument and collectively create a thing of beauty.” Max Roach
Louis Armstrong always claimed he was born on the Fourth of July and celebrated his birthday on the holiday.
Here he is with the national anthem.
Wynton Marsalis ” As long as there is democracy, there will be people wanting to play jazz because nothing else will ever so perfectly capture the democratic process in sound. Jazz means working things out musically with other people. You have to listen to other musicians and play with them even if you don’t agree with what they’re playing. It teaches you that the world is big enough to accommodate us all.”
Here is Wynton’s brother saxophonist Branford Marsalis
Have a safe 4th of July., then show your love for America by opening up your heart to all its citizens and visitors.
Please stay safe,