What follows is my statement for this morning's press conference at Yoshi's (later today, May 11th). As I am unable to attend, Peter Williams has graciously offered to read it on my behalf:
"My dear colleagues and friends,
How wonderful that we all feel compelled to come together as a community regardless of these unfortunate circumstances, to “defend” our inclusion by an institution that has clearly lost sight of its purpose. If I could be here with you this morning I would share your disappointment, but I would also echo your voices in a call to action. Let’s use this moment to stay united and remain focused with positivity.
What we as a community do to right this and so many other wrongs will be the ultimate test of our solidarity for one another, and our respect for the creative spirit that is the Bay Area. Together we can – and should – nurture the next generation and help transform them from consumers of art to makers of art.
As artists it is our mission to continue on our creative path without seeking the validation of any institution; the most precious validation for me is seeing the growth of the next generation as we pass them the baton. In our hearts we know what is true and what is right, and it is high time that we stand together to celebrate all music without the acknowledgement of a self-congratulatory, profit-driven industry. What we do right now and in the future will be the reflection of our past, and as artists, educators, presenters and media professionals, we should forge a common vision that demonstrates our strength of character and our resolve. This is not about “Us versus them;” this is about all of us. I only hope that with all of our positive energy we can convince NARAS to revisit their decision and never again lose sight of the artists and community who have made them what they are."