This Jazz Arrangement Of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ Is A Fitting Lead-In To Tomorrow’s Run-Off Election

The pivotal Georgia Senate runoff election, which will decide whether the U.S. Senate remains in Republican control under Mitch McConnell or switches over to the Democrats, is fast approaching. And by fast approaching we mean it’s tomorrow. This means if you’re planning on lending a helping hand in some way — be it by phone banking, posting support to social channels, or donating (or voting, if you’re a Georgian) — now is the time to get to it.

In a call to action for Georgia voters, Lift Every Vote, a collective of musicians and creators teamed up with the BIPOC-led Georgia-based non-partisan group of organizers CivicGeorgia for a special campaign focused on boosting voter turnout and raising donations for grassroots civic engagement, specifically relating to the Georgia runoff. The campaign features a fitting and dramatically reimagined rendition of the Ray Charles classic “Georgia on My Mind,” arranged and produced by Grammy Nominated bass clarinetist Oran Etkin.

A cover of “Georgia on My Mind” while everyone in the country is literally obsessing over Georgia might seem a little too on the nose, but Etkin switches things up here playing with the song’s harmony and melody and leaving plenty of space for his remote jazz group (consisting of players from LA, NYC, Miami, and Georgia) to express themselves.

“The video is structured as a flowing series of musical conversations — oftentimes between a vocalist and an instrumentalist because I think what we want to do is promote open conversation around the issues our country faces,” Etkin says. “I wanted to create something fresh and new out of the familiarity of ‘Georgia on My Mind,’ so this arrangement plays with the harmony and groove of the original song and leaves room for all of the wonderful artists to add their own voices. I hope this can be an inspiration to create something fresh and new within our political system that can give everyone room to lift their voices.”

Check out Etkin’s arrangement above and make sure to vote. If you’d like to donate to CivicGeorgia, visit the organization’s website here, and keep in mind that while CivicGeorgia is non-partisan, it is not a 501(c)(3), meaning your donation is not tax-deductible.