By Robin Bronk - 03/19/13 08:07 PM EDT
Kevin Eubanks, who made his mark with television audiences as the musical director of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” has won over audiences with a laid-back style and an affability that’s made him a household word for television viewers for almost two decades. His most recent CD, “The Messenger” (Mack Avenue Records), debuted last month at No. 3 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Eubanks and his touring band will be performing March 21-24 at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.
ROBIN BRONK: Hey Kevin, we’re giving you five minutes with President Obama — what issue do you want to discuss with POTUS?
KEVIN EUBANKS: I would discuss the difference between what he thought being president would be and what it actually is. Assuming he is knowledgeable about a tremendous amount of issues, I think I might bring his attention to something that he and his aides are overlooking. The Philadelphia 76ers need help! Lots of help if we’re going to make the playoffs.
KE: What is his vision of the average American in 15 years? And, I promise, no one will ever what know what his answer is.
RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama as he’s campaigning for the upcoming election?
KE: Talk about the fact that he promised America some drastic changes in his first presidential campaign, and that, even though he hasn’t been able to fully deliver most of those changes, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve another chance at making those changes in the next four years. I’d encourage him to bring back that raw honesty in his rhetoric that attracted us to him in the first place.
RB: Picture this. POTUS needs your advice. What say you?
KE: I don’t know the secret of success, though the secret of failure is trying to please everyone.
RB: If you were going to send the president to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?
KE: The Whole Foods near my house so we could meet, shop, go back to the house and cook, eat and spend a nice day relaxing and talking.
RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that the president add to his collection? Why?
KE: “Star Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. I’d like to know if he thinks it is still relevant.
RB: Would you ever consider a political career?
KE: I don’t think so. My intent to do good may not be enough to penetrate the mire of ignoble professional politicians and their sponsors.
Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.