The big news this month is the announcement by the Paul Taylor Dance Company that it will once again be performing with live music, starting with their 2015 season. After decades of performing to recorded music, the company has once again agreed to reestablish its relationship with Local 802 and the world-class musicians of New York City. I would personally like to thank Financial Vice President Tom Olcott for all his hard work behind the scenes in helping to make this happen, through developing the kind of collaborative relationship with the company needed to go forward. John Tomlinson, executive director of the company, cited the new administration of Local 802 – as well as the desire to continue the legacy of Paul Taylor with its new residency at Lincoln Center – as reasons that performing with live music was essential to the ongoing mission of the newly formed Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company. We are excited about this new relationship as well as the progress of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in their new endeavor.
LARGEST SESSION IN YEARS
It pays to work union. Eighty Local 802 musicians recently recorded the score of the upcoming Paramount film “Noah,” earning $350,000 in income over 17 days of sessions here. This was the largest scoring session here in recent memory, and it is thanks in part to New York’s post-production incentives, for which Local 802 helped to lobby. In fact, New York is the only state that pays producers with actual cash back – not tax credits. Local 802 does all it can to bring more film work to our members. Each month, I personally send a letter to film directors and producers who are shooting in NYC. (Our recording department, headed by Steve Danenberg, researches which films are in NYC at any given time.) In my letter, I remind producers about New York’s post-production incentives and urge them to consider recording their film score here.
In other recording news, Local 802 musicians earned union wages under an AFM contract when NBC recently produced (and rebroadcast) a new production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Carrie Underwood. Local 802 recommends that whenever you are called for recording work of any kind, you should make a confidential call to the union. We have an excellent track record in helping you achieve the wages and benefits you deserve while protecting your identity and your job. Call (212) 245-4802 and ask for a recording rep.
BYLAW RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED
The Executive Board recently adopted three bylaw resolutions.
Members’ Legal Services Fund. Musicians in certain ensembles (including the New York Philharmonic and Met Opera) are allowed to hire outside lawyers to negotiate their contracts instead of using Local 802 house counsel. Local 802 helps to pay for those outside lawyers. Much time has passed since the last time the amount available for payment was increased. With the considerable increase in lawyers’ fees, and the increased difficulty and complication of negotiations, the time was appropriate to bring those numbers to a realistic level.
Due Process. Until now, our bylaws stated that every Executive Board member who is present at a board meeting must vote in all matters unless they have a “direct or pecuniary interest therein.” In other words, Executive Board members can’t abstain: they must vote yes or no under most circumstances. The bylaws go on to state that if an Executive Board member refuses to vote, he or she is immediately dismissed from the board. The new language removes the summary aspect of that penalty. Executive Board members are still required to vote in all matters, but if they don’t, they will be provided due process under our bylaws, just like any other violator of the bylaws.
Donations. Under the previous bylaw language, the Executive Board was generally barred from authorizing donations on behalf of the Local 802 general fund in excess of $500 in any one year. The new bylaw language codifies the decades of past practice that this cap does not apply to donations from Local 802’s TEMPO fund, which are earmarked for political purposes and are not a part of Local 802’s general fund.
Please note that because a quorum of 95 members was not reached at the
Feb. 19 membership meeting, the bylaws state that the Executive Board is empowered to enact the bylaw resolutions on its own, which it did. (The board enacted the three resolutions mentioned above, and declined to act on a fourth.) The official notice of the new bylaw language can be found in the Executive Board Minutes.
The next membership meeting is Wednesday, June 11 at 5 p.m.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- Earth Day is April 22 and Earth Week is April 21 to April 27. Did you know that there is an organization called the Broadway Green Alliance, which is involved with environmental and sustainability efforts on Broadway? To learn more, read our cover story Broadway Goes Green.
- Listen to what our members have to say about the challenges and pleasures of performing 21st century repertoire. See The Future of the Repertoire.
- Jazz is truly one of America’s gifts to world music. Many Local 802 members are jazz musicians and jazz is a critical part of the history of both Local 802 and New York City. Congress has even declared jazz to be a national treasure. In 2002, the Smithsonian designated the month of April as Jazz Appreciation Month. Please check out a special letter signed by seven top jazz musicians in It’s About Time! In other jazz news, Congressman Charles B. Rangel issued the following statement specifically in support of our Justice for Jazz Artists campaign to ensure fairness and justice for jazz musicians: “Jazz is at the heart of Harlem’s cultural heritage and the skilled musicians who live and work in our community deserve the same protections as everyone else. That’s why I strongly demand fair pay, good benefits and unemployment insurance for these workers. The men and women who bring life to our nation’s cultural center should not go broke or go hungry, and I’m proud to fight and stand up for the justice they deserve.” Separately, Representative John Conyers is about to introduce the National Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act, which would establish programs and provide funding for jazz. The proposed act would establish a jazz education program in elementary and secondary schools to be directed and administered by the Department of Education. It would also establish a program to support jazz businesses. We’ll keep you posted on this.
- Everything is better in the Bronx. For years, the Bronx Arts Ensemble has provided live music for audiences of all kinds and as well as great music education and union gigs for our members. Tom Olcott interviews Bronx Arts director Bill Scribner in It’s Better in the Bronx.
- The Senior Concert Orchestra just won an important settlement that will allow it to return to Carnegie Hall. See story and photos in Live Music Forever.
- We are proud to feature an interview with Local 802 member and activist Marc Ribot in Artists Come Together, where he explains more about his new organization, the Content Creators Coalition. As you’ll read in the article, AFM President Ray Hair spoke via video at a recent Content Creators Coalition event.
- We are pleased to publish a guest legal column in this issue about how artists should keep an eye on the internet for piracy and how we all must remain vigilant. See Fighting Piracy is a Daily Job.
- There’s a fascinating debate you can read about whether or not the Koch brothers are good for music. We have a proud tradition of publishing all viewpoints in the Musician’s Voice.
- Workers Memorial Day is April 28, when we remember those who have died on the job. In this issue, we remember the Chilean musician Víctor Jara, who was murdered for his art. See You Can’t Silence Justice.
- Club date scales go up on April 15. The benchmark four-hour Saturday night rate will increase to $350 from $345. Rehearsal wages and some benefits will also increase. If you get called to play a wedding, restaurant gig, corporate job or any kind of single engagement, please call our department of club dates and field services at (212) 245-4802, to find out your rights.
- Musicians who are playing in the developmental production of the show “Bright Star” recently achieved a union contract, thanks to help from Local 802. Any time you are called to play musical theatre of any kind, please make a confidential call to our theatre department at (212) 245-4802. We can help you make sure that you are earning the pay and benefits you deserve.
There will be a memorial concert for Lamar and Ruth Alsop, parents of Local 802 member Marin Alsop, on Monday, April 21 at 6 p.m. at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School (63 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street). We published Lamar and Ruth’s obituaries in the March issue, and we send our sympathy and best wishes to Marin.
Also, Ruth Henderson, 84, died on March 4. She and her husband Skitch were the cofounders of the New York Pops. Their contribution was enormous, and without them, there would have been no New York Pops. (Skitch died in 2005 at the age of 86 after being a Local 802 member since 1947.) We salute Ruth and Skitch and send condolences to their family.
DO YOU KNOW THESE NAMES?
Recently Local 802 re-acquired a plaque honoring the 41 members of the union who died in World War II. Anyone who has information about these names is asked to contact Bill Rohdin at (917) 405-5381 or BillRohdin@hotmail.com. The 41 names are: Philip Arkuss, Leslie Bartal, Donald Bernstein, Leon Breslaw, Nelson W. Bryan, Abraham Cohen, Anthony D’Amato, Nicholas de Pascale, William Ehrenkrantz, Marvin H. Frish, Vic Fuchsel, James Galvano, Jason Goldwater, Richard Gonzales, Al Gordon, Benjamin Hausman, Edward Hausner, Joseph L. Huelster, Bill Kliesrath, Stanley Krejci, Paul LeMay, Rudolf Lopez, William M. McCormick, Morris Medoff, E. Glenn Miller, Charles Murray, Otto W. Myslik, Roy W. Newman, John Nieto, George Nordgaard, Norman J. Pearl, Norman H. Peisner, Maurice Sadagursky, Regino Sierra, Herman Simon, Lewis J. Smith, Larry Sochovit, Raymond B. Townsley, John Varriano, Max W. Wannowsky and Drew Widener.
JAZZ ON BROADWAY: April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the union musicians of the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars are tearing it up in the Broadway production of “After Midnight,” currently playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.