Champaign City Council declares April as ‘Jazz Appreciation Month’

By Eric Heisig

Music and politics may not always have had a good working relationship. However, the month of April has been declared “Jazz Appreciation Month” in the city of Champaign.

The proclamation, read during the Champaign City Council meeting Tuesday night by Michael La Due, District 2 council member filling in for absent Mayor Gerald Schweighart, stressed the importance of jazz and other arts in the United States.

“Jazz has produced some of America’s leading artists,” La Due said. “We need to stress the importance of arts education and the appreciation of all of the American art forms.”

Before the meeting, a jazz combo from Champaign Central High School performed standards in the lobby for council members, audience members and other city officials.

John Currey, director of bands at Champaign Central High School, accepted a certificate from La Due during the meeting and talked about some of the performances coming up, including a trip to New York.

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Currey said the band will be playing at the Lincoln Center, participating in the Duke Ellington competition at the Lincoln Center.

The band will also be one of only two bands in the world performing at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in front of 1,500 people.

The Council also declared Tuesday, April 8 “Save Abandoned Babies Day.” Programs associated with the day include one designed to create safe-haven areas where infants can be left safely and mothers do not have to worry about recourse, said Deborah Feinen, council member at-large.

Feinen said the program is going to be statewide, and the day will include press conferences, including one at the John Street fire station in Champaign.

Champaign City Council holds its meetings Tuesday nights at 7:00.

Other items discussed

The Council elected to defer voting on a bill that would give more powers to the liquor commissioner for issuing emergency orders. The Council will vote on the issue at the April 15 City Council meeting.

The Champaign Township voted today to defer voting on putting a referendum on the November election ballot to increase taxes for the General Assistance fund until the May 6 meeting.