"NOTES 4 VOTES" Featuring Terence Blanchard, Vijay Iyer, Carla Bley, Dr. Cornel West, Arturo O'Farrill, and Many Others

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Thursday, October 15, 2020

Nonprofit the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) teams up with today's foremost jazz, classical, and global artists alongside preeminent speakers for a "get out the vote" initiative, Notes 4 Votes, to be broadcasted on ALJA's Facebook page facebook.com/afrolatinjazzalliance on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 8:30pm EST. The one-time gathering captures the spirit of the creative music community and the urgency of this moment -- when voters head to the polls for what will be the most consequential election of our lifetime, with democracy itself is at risk. Notes 4 Votes features a diverse roster of stars from the jazz community and beyond, and will be emceed by multi-GRAMMY Award winner Arturo O'Farrill, journalist and critic Larry Blumenfeld, and Tracy Hyter-Suffern, Executive Director of The National Jazz Museum of Harlem.

Notes 4 Votes will spotlight performances and/or speeches by a distinguished lineup of special guests, including Terence Blanchard, Vijay Iyer, Carla Bley, Dr. Cornel West, Oscar Hernandez, Simone Dinnerstein, Steve Swallow, Dr. Shana Redmond, Matt Shipp, The Villalobos Brothers, William Parker, Kikirikí Biquéy, Ayodele Casel, Akua Dixon, Jen Shyu, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Crystal Joseph, Tiffany Austin, Mimi Jones, Caridad "La Bruja" De La Luz, Luis Perdomo, and more!

Arturo O'Farrill comments, "Nothing, nothing, nothing is more important than getting your vote in and on time. Too many of us slept on this moment four years ago and we cannot afford to let the process for change given to us by our framers, go unused. Musicians from every genre and aesthetic are lining up to show us that we must likewise unite. Let nothing stand in the way of showing the nation and the world that we can take back our destiny as a people governed by sanity and the fair application of governance that is the basis of the social contract and the foundation of the American 'experiment!'"

Larry Blumenfeld, who writes for The Wall Street Journal and Daily Beast and hosts the "Jazz and Social Justice" series at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, states, "It all started when Arturo O'Farrill and I took the same flight home from a jazz festival in Havana shortly after Donald Trump was elected. We decided we needed to gather musicians and thinkers from our cultural community to make music, talk about ideas and issues, and showcase the connections between art and enlightened citizenship. We spent three hours on the stage of Symphony Space doing just that. Now, nearly four years later, we can't gather in a theater but we still need to commune. We want to demonstrate solidarity, share exalted sounds and urgent thoughts and, above all else, get out the vote: We all must, should, will vote. We're going to promote, aid and celebrate that act with Notes 4 Votes."

Tracy Hyter-Suffern, the Executive Director of The National Jazz Museum of Harlem, adds, "I have personally harangued every member of my family and all of my friends with reminders to vote. Emails, texts, postcards, one-eyebrow raised stares. I want every one of them to see me coming and race to register and race to the polls just to avoid me. That's my mission. I'm happy to be just that annoying. It's easy to forget every one of us stands on the shoulders of every person who never even imagined the possibility of me, of us, yet put themselves in harm's way to make sure we could all be here anyway. Be responsible for people who you can't even imagine will exist. Be your brothers' and sisters' keeper. Show up and vote."

Vijay Iyer comments, "This is the election of a lifetime. Everything we value is on the ballot. As an artist whenever I have the chance to draw an audience's attention to something important, I take that chance. I'm honored to take part in this effort to encourage everyone to exercise your right to vote, on or before November 3rd, in the safest and most reliable way you can."

Terence Blanchard adds, "Jazz has always been the perfect example of democracy. Everyone having an input on the direction of a musical statement. The key thing is, everyone having to be involved for it to work. So, let's all get involved and make our statement in November."

Dr. Cornel West says, "We are living in an unprecedented time, catastrophic times, we must heed the anthem of a great black people that says Lift Every Voice, Not echo, Lift Every voice and when you vote you lift your voice to help shape your destiny."

To access Notes 4 Votes, please visit: facebook.com/afrolatinjazzalliance.