Magazine article International Musician

In Troubled Times, Stand Up and Fight Back

Magazine article International Musician

In Troubled Times, Stand Up and Fight Back

Article excerpt

"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

-Leonard Bernstein's response to the assassination of John F Kennedy

We're in a pivotal time in the history of the United States. We can agree to disagree on many things, but as musicians, we have to acknowledge the great wealth that immigrants brought to our country. The music we make and listen to every day carries the voices of many cultures intertwined to create beauty in the moment. The idea of closing our borders and shutting out the artists of our future is simply not acceptable to me. Families being separated has undertones of ideas and behavior that cannot be allowed. We have to maintain a legal, ethical program allowing for immigration. Compassion should have a place in such decisions.

Leonard Bernstein was the son of Russian immigrants, Yo-Yo Ma of Local 802 (New York City) was born in France, Eddie Van Halen of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) emigrated with his family from the Netherlands, Wyclef Jean is from Haiti, Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) member Carlos Santana's family emigrated from Mexico. This is just a tiny cross section of people who have shaped our art form since JFK was assassinated. The blending of cultures influenced classical composers and created jazz. Something that I have always loved about the music community is our diversity. A great drummer is a great drummer!

Current events encompass everything from school shootings to families being torn apart at our southern border. The Supreme Court decision regarding Janus v. …

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