Friday, October 06, 2006

More Jazz GOTV

Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval are outstanding jazz musicians and defectors from the Castro police state currently imposed on Cuba. Recently, I have advocated voting for them in national jazz magazine readers’ polls, and voting is now open for the Jazz Times poll here.

While the NEA Jazz Master title is the highest award in jazz, the magazine poll winners are much more coveted than traditional recording industry accolades, like the Grammy’s, and can lead to more marketing support from labels.

D’Rivera defected in 1980 and has become a beloved figure on the world jazz scene, while remaining a staunch critic of the Castro regime. He has often critized to those in the entertainment industry, like Carlos Santana, who have celebrated the revolutionary executioner Che. He is certainly worthy of votes in the clarinet and alto categories. Also, his beautiful album Jazz Chamber Trio was released within the October 16, 2004 to October 15, 2005 eligibility window.

Arturo Sandoval was the subject of HBO For Love or Country starring Andy Garcia. He was one of the last real protégés of Dizzy Gillespie, who helped facilitate his defection. Sandoval is also an entrepreneur, having recently opened a club in the Miami area. No jazz fan would begrudge him votes in the trumpet category.

As always you should vote your conscience, but I would also suggest votes for Steve Wiest in the trombone category, and the fine British Sepia Records in the best label category, both of whose work has been enthusiastically reviewed here.

Unlike other magazines, Jazz Times has internet voting, so there are no cards to fill-out or ballots to print. Take advantage of a chance to easily do something they cannot currently do in the Cuba D’Rivera and Sandoval were forced to leave—cast a free and fair vote.