New York Policy Forum Looks at Jazz and Democracy

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Artists T.S. Monk and Helen Sung, Author and Radio Host Sheila Anderson, and Producer Todd Barkin to Discuss the Role of Jazz in America’s Politics and Culture

The New York Policy Forum will hold a panel discussion of preeminent jazz artists and experts on the relationship of jazz to our politics and culture. The event will take place December 8, 2011, 4-6 pm at the Helen Mills Theater in New York City.

Jazz has a unique relationship to our national, political, and cultural life. Both the US Senate and House of Representatives have resolved that jazz is our national treasure and represents a unifying force in our diverse society (H Res 57). President George W. Bush declared that jazz expressed the best of America's character, and President Bill Clinton observed that the world likes us better when they see us through the eyes of jazz. At the same time, critics routinely announce its demise and question its popularity.

What is it about jazz that shares a heritage and a future with our politics and way of life? Is jazz a reflection of our democracy? What is jazz in America today? Who plays it? What inspires it? And who and what does it inspire?

NYPF co-founder John Giardino will moderate a panel that includes jazz artists T.S. Monk and Helen Sung, writer and WBGO late night jazz host Sheila Anderson, and renowned producer Todd Barkin.

John Giardino said, “Coltrane called jazz ‘the mirror in which we must look to get at the truth of who we are.’ Our forum will explore the intersection of jazz and our political culture and celebrate this uniquely American art form. We think it’s a great way to start the holiday season.”


The New York Policy Forum (NYPF) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded by Jonathan Cohen and John Giardino. Its mission is to promote discussion on timely and important topics of general interest. NYPF’s public forums feature expert panels and speakers on a wide range of issues spanning public policy, human rights, education, and the arts. NYPF is not aligned with any party, movement or advocacy group. Visit our website to read articles and to access transcripts and videos of our events at


To attend the event, contact Emily Carlino, ecarlino(dot)nypf(at)gmail(dot)com, (646) 430-9250

For press inquiries, contact Jonathan Cohen, jcohen(dot)nypf(at)gmail(dot)com, (203) 722-1858


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