From the Associated Press:
"RALEIGH, N.C. — Jazz great and North Carolina resident Branford Marsalis wanted to lobby the state Legislature, but he couldn't stay out of the spotlight.
The Grammy-winning Durham resident said he visited the General Assembly on Thursday to lobby on behalf of the North Carolina Symphony. He is a member of the symphony's Board of Trustees.
Senate leaders invited Marsalis to join them on the legislative floor, where he was given a North Carolina flag and posed for photos with lawmakers.
Marsalis said he would have brought his saxophone to the Legislature if he'd known he would be in front of a microphone.
He also said he would have given senators copies of "American Spectrum," the symphony's first commercial recording on which Marsalis performs, but feared the gift would violate legislative ethics laws."
I hope Branford is successful in his lobbying, and it inspires our New Jersey jazzers to do some lobbying. Who knows what Frank Sinatra, Count Basie or Dizzie Gillespie could have gotten New Jersey legislators to do ... what if a contingent of our current jazzbo residents marched on Trenton? You'd have Phil Woods, Bucky Pizzarelli, Richie Cole, Keith Jarrett, George Benson, Clark Terry, Steve Turre ... there's too many. Maybe the rest of us should step up to the plate to lobby on behalf of the tremendous place New Jersey has in jazz history.