WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rand Paul today released the latest edition to ‘The Waste Report,’ which is an ongoing project highlighting egregious examples of waste within the U.S. government.
The latest edition exposes the U.S. State Department spending nearly $50,000 taxpayer dollars for the Soul Rebels, a New Orleans-based jazz band, to travel to Turkey and perform at the 22nd Istanbul Jazz Festival.
‘The Waste Report’ can be found HERE or below.
From Duke Ellington to Tony Bennett, jazz is a part of the American soul. One group taking the genre to new levels is the New Orleans-based Soul Rebels. The Village Voice said of the group, “[t]he hip-hop-inflected eight-piece Soul Rebels are arguably the most dynamically au courant of the city’s many fine brass bands.”
Have not had a chance to take in one of their concerts? Well, you’ve paid for one of their concerts overseas. That’s right. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of State spent nearly $50,000 of taxpayer money to, “support the Soul Rebels to travel to Turkey to give public performances as part of the 22nd Istanbul Jazz Festival.”
What is most surprising is that the Soul Rebels were already on a European tour, making taxpayer financing for the stop in Turkey unnecessary. In fact, after Turkey, the Soul Rebels went on to make stops in Belgium, France, Ireland, Norway, and met up with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at the “North Sea Jazz Festival” in the Netherlands.
The group is hardly a fledgling act needing Uncle Sam’s help. The Soul Rebels have put out six albums since 1999, including Power=Power (2013), where they incorporate their unique sound to popular songs by the likes of Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj. That is not the only company they are keeping. They share a label with, Tom Jones, They Might Be Giants, and Alison Krauss.
So, the question has to be asked, why does such a cutting edge, established group need Uncle Sam to pay for the band to play at a well-established European jazz festival?
 Gehr, Richard, SOUL REBELS+JON CLEARY & THE ABSOLUTE MONSTER GENTLEMEN+LOST BAYOU RAMBLERS; The Village Voice; New York, NY, June 2014.
 IZMIR FOUNDATION FOR CULTURE, ARTS AND EDUCATION; USASpending.Gov; Washington, DC; May, 2015
 North Sea Jazz Festival, Songkick.org http://www.songkick.com/festivals/32691-north-sea-jazz/id/21183698-north-sea-jazz-festival-2015