This is a day to rejoice in our solidarity.

With all of us en conjunto, we will ultimately win because all sincere musics are rising in their appreciation around the world and NARAS and corporate junk is WANING!!!

NARAS is trying to save the old-school music industry, which is presently like the last hours of the Titanic, rapidly sinking, and we are already in the lifeboats, heading towards the shore in order to be on time for our next gig...and WE ARE NOT GOING TO GO AWAY!!!

If NARAS goes out of business because of their recent decision, their board members can get other jobs outside the world of music.

But we will NEVER go out of business, because we are all in this for LIFE!!! And the music we create has a shelf life that will be here long after we are gone!!

We all bear witness to all those who came before us who worked under wretched conditions, were abused and cheated and ignored by the record business and still created a foundation
for us to build upon, from the glorious roots which they preserved to enrich our lives. We owe it to them as well as to our own families to stand up for what is fair.

We are in some good company since all the OTHER CATEGORIES THEY WANT TO CUT OUT include new recordings of the works of Mozart, Bach, Brahms and even Beethoven's "A Minor String Quartet," because NARAS tells us that since chamber music also is now a NON-CATEGORY, this music is considered of no value to the record industry.

Cuchao's classic innovations, the trail-blazing work of Tipica 77, Irakare, the Ft. Apache Band, Ray Barreto and Cal Tjader opened doors for the young pioneers of today in Miami, Chicago and New York City.

Are we going to sit silently by as a new generation of musicians are told that what they are now creating is no longer relevant, since it is called Latin-Jazz?

I don't think so.

Millions of people know that the music of established giants like Eddie Palmieri, Machito, Mario Bauza, Arsenio Rodriguez, Mongo Santa Maria, Tito Puente, Paquito d'Rivera and hundreds of others have created music BUILT TO LAST and HERE TO STAY, WITH or WITHOUT NARAS!!

People from all over the world visit the USA and many come to hear Native American, Cajun, Zydeco, Hawaiian, traditional Blues and Mexican-American music.

Should they be told at the border that the country where we celebrate the artistic achievements of all cultures with respect and cherish liberty for all, is now trying to bury us all underneath a corporate carpet?

Does NARAS only want to acknowledge what by definition, is supposed to last for two weeks before hitting the dumpster to be replaced by more trash?

Our young people deserve a break!!

And we are all here to give them one.

If our precious first amendment rights allow freedom of expression, shouldn't that finally include FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHAT WE HEAR!!

On Dizzy Gillespie's 70th birthday celebration, when I was honored to be in a band which included Mongo Santa Maria, Candido, Dave Valentin, Steve Turre, Freddie Hubbard, Ignacio Berroa and Nicky Marrero. Dizzy told me after it was over.

"God put us here to play this music"

We all have a commitment and all of us will honor that commitment all our lives.

It takes a real man to admit a mistake.

We don't want or need an apology from NARAS.

We DO need for them to CHANGE THEIR POSITION!!

Many see the current NARAS position as a desire to commit cultural genocide.

Since we are compassionate people, we can offer NARAS the chance to reverse their position, and to help THEM from committing their OWN suicide!!

United we stand!!


David Amram

May 22nd at NuYorican Poets Cafe in a gathering to raise our voices for music and the cultures who create this music.