Expats playing musical gigs

This reader thought the editorial was a good start at pointing out some of the questions that may be asked regarding why some local musicians work and others do not.

We must also question why this has suddenly become front-page news – it could represent the reaction of an isolated but vocal minority of musicians in our community unwilling to face some rather uncomfortable facts regarding their own success.

Before government engages in a witch hunt targeting some of our most valuable and hard-working civil servants, they should more carefully consider whether it is benefiting the wider community. It is bound to adversely affect teacher morale, but as you note, may even adversely affect Cayman’s tourism product.

Several local musicians have obviously vented their vitriol to government ministers and it seems irresponsible of these officials to draw conclusions without more consultation with the community they apparently represent.

The simple fact is restricting teachers or other government employees from playing music professionally is unlikely to create a single job for a Caymanian. What it may succeed in doing most effectively is removing most of the skilled woodwind, string and brass players from playing publicly, commercially or otherwise. This will adversely affect both live and recorded music production in our small community.

Civil servants thus affected could be forgiven if they became less than enthusiastic about giving more of their free time to participate as volunteers playing in the many community events they are asked to participate in annually. I hope our government considers this as the holiday season approaches. Perhaps one the local laptop bands could fill in at these volunteer engagements using MIDI tracks of reggae Christmas songs downloaded from the internet.

William Steward

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