Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Jack Layton dies

I would like to extend my condolences to Jack Layton family for the loss of a great leader of the NDP party. He had great ideals, great ideas and fought for the people. Politics aside, Jack Layton was a great supporter of music. I first heard about this when he showed up at the Comox Folk Festival in Vancouver Island when I was playing about ten years back. He was known for singing songs and playing guitar at meetings... using music to unite people. Frankly this is what we need to grow musically as a nation!

As soon as I started writing this I thought of Charles Mingus, who was a very outspoken jazz bassist, not afraid to speak his mind and play for what he believed in. By many a jazz fans and musicians, it is sometimes easier to let vocalists, folk singers and other genres do the work of protest. A great example is Pete Seeger. Seeger devoted his career to speaking out for what he believed and he used music for that purpose. Here is a great song "Bring Em Home" he wrote during the Vietnam War.

Why should jazz not touch our way of life? Why should it not comment on what's going on in the world? Is Jazz not a part of what is going on? I believe it is and we should fight for our rights. Mingus fought hard:

There are musicians today fighting, people like Dave Douglas come to mind, fight for all that we believe in.

Here is to the good fight!

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