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Friday Morning Roundup


by Stephen Becker 16 Jan 2009

DIRECT TO D.C. FROM DENTON: Thursday, we talked about Dallas artist Frank Frazier’s commision to design the posters for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Presidential Inauguration Ball. And he’s not the only North Texas artist with a hand in the historic event. Brad Leali, director of the University of North Texas’ Three O’Clock Lab Band […]

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DIRECT TO D.C. FROM DENTON: Thursday, we talked about Dallas artist Frank Frazier’s commision to design the posters for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Presidential Inauguration Ball. And he’s not the only North Texas artist with a hand in the historic event.

Brad Leali, director of the University of North Texas’ Three O’Clock Lab Band and an assistant professor of jazz saxophone at the school, will perform in the backing band for the live “We are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” on Sunday. The performance will air on HBO at 7 p.m. and will have Leali sharing the stage with Beyonce, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder, as well as fellow UNT alum Lou “Blue Lou” Marini, one of the original members of the Saturday Night Live Band .

Pretty heady company, huh?

But it’s not the first time that Leali has taken part in a D.C. musical spectacular. He’s previously played as part of the house band of the Kennedy Center Honors.

On Monday, he’ll be back to work at UNT, auditioning students for jazz bands — no doubt with a few stories to tell.

MORE CHEAP TICKETS: If you missed the Dallas Theater Center’s 12/12/12 promotion on Monday, it’s not too late. Tickets will again be on sale for $12 today through Monday for the first week of performances for each of the Center’s remaining shows this season. A couple of dates have sold out at this point though (In the Beginning on Jan. 23 and Sarah Plain and Tall on April 24, 25 and 26). Details are the same as what we previously said.

A SECRETARY OF THE ARTS?: NPR has a story today about Quincy Jones’ push to have the government name a Secretary of the Arts. Jones says that the arts are just as important as the military to the country. Many countries have culture ministers, and the idea is that if we had one, too, there would be a centralized figure representing the arts’ interest in government. Detractors say that the arts benefit by not being controlled by the government.

Jones has an online petition that has already garnered more than 100,000 signatures; you can sign it here.

I’ll open it up to the gallery: What do we think about a cabinet-level arts position?

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  • Secretary of the Arts – As a musician, painter, writer and advocate for all the arts for decades I say… NO WAY! If the NEA is any indication, government knows little about the arts. And less about what arts should be funded.
    IF they want to support the arts – let the National Government, fund art centers for towns.Supply funding for the buildings, then go away. Let that community fill them up with local arts, music, plays, dances, performances, speakers, and anything else they want. That way the feds will foster all arts, not their too often trendy and misguided choices.