Jazz Mandolin Project
Why is it important to vote?
By Tony Stack
Well, there's that old cliché "Don't complain if you don't vote." In our democracy there are plenty of things one can do to get involved, but the only thing that is really asked of us, is to vote. That seems like an easy thing to do.
Is this election any different than elections past?
Yes, this election is a major crossroads. We've been presented with four years in one direction and it should be pretty clear to us by now what that looks like. This election will solidify to the rest of the world what our global sentiments and intentions are as a nation. I think it's very important to consider how you are perceived by your neighbors. I fear that a lot of Americans are not aware of our current global status.
Do politics have a place in music?
Why or why not?
Particularly with JMP's music being all instrumental, I would prefer no politics or interpretation of any type. It's nice to just present our music and let everyone absorb it in their own way. However, on stage during this last election wave I have tried to encourage people to vote, that, in itself is bipartisan, so I see it as OK. Unfortunately with our fan base I think people need to be convinced sometimes that something is cool before they get involved. I want to let them know that I think this is really important. I've been a big Howard Dean supporter as he was my governor for 11 years. During the democratic race I encouraged people to simply vote in the primary but I did have a Dean sticker on my amp, and we did organize with Dean organizations all over the country to come to our gigs and register people to vote. During that time there were great moments of coming together that I really thought were significant. I felt satisfied in that I had done just about everything I could to help point the country in what I thought was the right direction.
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JamBase | San Francisco
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Editor's note: While we did not set out with a particular political agenda we do realize that these responses have all been leaning Democratic, if there are any artists who can represent a Republican point of view we would love to hear from you.