‘Why we joined the union’

Candace DeBartolo

Volume 120, No. 4April, 2020

Candace DeBartolo

I re-joined Local 802 after I recently had the chance to do some musical theater work under a union contract. I’ve been a professional musician since I was 23 years old and have traveled extensively, touring with rock bands, cover bands, pop singers, 1960s soul artists, and various shows. I currently participate in the BMI Writers Workshop, which offers the amazing opportunity to hear my work performed by the BMI Big Band. My musical goal in NYC is to do more gigs requiring woodwind doubles, including saxes; doubling is something that I enjoy very much. One of my favorite recent gigs was a recording session with the Schapiro17 big band, where I play alto 2. Our album was a tribute to Miles Davis called “Boiled Funk” (which is an anagram for “Kind of Blue”). This band has an amazingly steady lineup of NYC players, and we’ve been together for almost 10 years now. I’m also a longtime member of the alternative rock band Spottiswoode & His Enemies. I’ve played in most of the jazz rehearsal bands in town and do tons of wedding work. I started playing sax at age ten and always dreamed of being a professional player. Most of my relatives are professional musicians; it’s part of my entire identity and the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be. Even with the struggles of making a living, making music always provides a payoff. During the COVID-19 stay at home, I’m fortunate to say I’m healthy and safe, and practicing a lot. It’s been interesting also to have the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in Zoom meetings. Keeping the workshop going is very important to all of us. Looking forward to hearing our music once this is behind us. — Candace DeBartolo

(This interview was updated online after the print version of Allegro went to press.)