‘Why we joined the union’

Matt Pavolka

Volume 120, No. 5May, 2020

Matt Pavolka

Photo of Matt Pavolka by Peter Gannushkin

I re-joined Local 802 when I got some Broadway work last year. I’ve been in NYC for 25 years and still love the music scene here. I want to continue being a part of it and doing what I’m doing. My motto is that every gig I play is my favorite – until the next one. This is New York, man! I’m constantly working with the best and most creative musicians in the world. As far as my background, I won a scholarship to Berklee on trombone, but changed my major to bass after my first year, and bass is my principal instrument now. After graduating, I moved to NYC and got involved in jazz, creative music and everything else. Music is my life. I play all over town as a sideman and have at least three working bands of my own that I’m constantly writing music for. I teach private lessons and I also teach at the New School, Brooklyn Conservatory and New York Jazz Academy. During the coronavirus outbreak, I was fortunate to be able to continue teaching private lessons and group classes. I was also able to commit some much-needed time to practicing and composing. I felt fortunate to have my health as so many were suffering.

— Matt Pavolka