Monday, May 22, 2006

May 22, 2006

Cultural importers: Musicians cross borders—luckily

Whatever the economic and regulatory reasons to revise immigration laws, you know there has to be a fair amount of xenophobia lurking about. At the very least, parts of the establishment are threatened by ethnic minorities' being not so minor these days, their numbers now mighty enough to propose a Spanish-language "Star Spangled Banner." The irony is that immigrants - whether Latino or, for example, Chinese - are hardly limited to service-industry jobs (as suggested by public demonstrations earlier this month). They are vital artistic influences in the belly of the beast, at cultural palaces like New York City's Lincoln Center and Washington's Kennedy Center.