Wynton Marsalis: I would play the Trump inauguration, if asked

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Wynton Marsalis. - SCOTT SALTZMAN
  • SCOTT SALTZMAN
  • Wynton Marsalis.

Last week we noted that the Donald Trump inaugural entertainment lineup had no New Orleans musicians (though it doesn't appear any were asked). Yesterday Wynton Marsalis wrote a thoughtful Facebook post explaining that, yes, he would have performed for Trump if asked:
Yesterday, while fellowshipping with a number of college-aged youngsters, both my willingness to perform, and my interest in joining a protest were called into question. "Would I perform, if asked?" "Yes," I said. "Would you protest the accepted outcome of the election?" "No," I said, and quickly followed up with, "I'll at least wait for him (or them) to actually do something that I feel should be protested against.”
Marsalis cast his decision through the lens of history:
It got me thinking about my great uncle, born in 1883 in rural Louisiana. He was known for going to vote on every Election Day, in spite of being turned away. He was said to be so persistent that after some absurdly large number of years, he was finally allowed to cast his vote. When I asked why he would return year after year to face that humiliation, he told me, "Make people cheat you to your face, son."
It's a really thoughtful essay in a time when those are in short supply. Read it.




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