We’ve been hearing that artists are “intimidated” from speaking out against the war and the Bush administration. Besides just being factually incorrect (it is far easier to count the handful of artists who are in favor of the war and who support Bush, with perhaps the exception of the country music field), it can be argued that the anti-war position is in fact the showbiz orthodoxy.
Jazz singer Kurt Elling is, in fact, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention:
- Critically acclaimed Blue Note jazz vocalist and seven-time GRAMMY nominee Kurt Elling is set to attend the 2004 Democratic National Convention as a delegate from Illinois. The Convention will be held at the FleetCenter in Boston from July 26-29.
Elling states: “I am proud of this opportunity to stand up for intelligence, good sense and real morality in government. It is a decisive time in the history of our planet politically, environmentally, economically and sociologically. This is no time for demagogues or fearful children to lead America. It is time to put an adult back in the White House. It is time to elect John Kerry.”
The Democratic National Convention Committee has confirmed that almost 40 percent of the delegates participating in the Convention this year are minorities, making the 2004 Convention the most diverse in Party history. More African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, and Hispanics will attend the Convention than ever before.
And at least one jazz singer.
- In addition, 2,163 of this year’s delegates – approximately 50 percent - are women.
35,000 people are expected to attend, including 5,000 delegates from 56 state parties (including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Democrats abroad), 15,000 members of the domestic and foreign press, as well as dignitaries and foreign honored guests. Other attendees of note include: Earvin Magic Johnson from California, as a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform committee; Art Alexakis, former lead singer of the band Everclear, a delegate from Oregon
Art has been nominated as most tattooed delegate.
- John Glenn, former astronaut and senator and his wife Annie, delegates from Ohio; and Cam and Diana Kerry (brother and sister of John Kerry) both delegates from MA.
…. Delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention are selected over several months by various methods outlined in each state’s delegate selection plan. In most states, the selection process begins with the state’s presidential primary or caucus and concludes in late spring at state party meetings and conventions. The certification of all 5,672 delegates, alternates, standing committee members, and pages is managed by the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee.
Each state has several types of delegates based on both how the delegate is selected and whether that delegate is pledged or unpledged. The number of delegates allocated to each state, the District of Columbia, and the territories is based on a formula that incorporates the state¹s population and Democratic voting strength.
And here is a short bio of Elling:
- Kurt Elling has released six albums of self-produced music for the infamous Blue Note label. Every one of his recordings has been nominated for a GRAMMY, including his most recent release, Man In The Air. In the category of “Best Male Singer,” Mr. Elling has won the Downbeat and the JazzTimes critics’ polls four years running, the most recent Downbeat readers’ poll, two Jazz Journalists Awards and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. For the last 10 years, Elling has performed on the road with his own quartet. He created and directed the vocal quartet “Four Brothers,” featuring fellow singers Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy and Kevin Mahogany and has had occasion to play with diverse musicians like Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Bob Mintzer, Billy Corgan, David Amram, Buddy Guy, Charlie Hunter and Oscar Brown, Jr. He has been commissioned to write, direct and star in more broadly based, multi-discipline creations for the City of Chicago and the Steppenwolf Theater. Elling is Vice Chair of the Recording Academy, the 17,000-member service organization that produces the annual GRAMMY Awards.
Kind of a Ronald Reagan (who began a New Deal Democrat) for the ’00s – not sure if I can see him as governor or president, though.