A live celebration of Pride at Local 802

Volume 124, No. 6June, 2024

John Pietaro

The labor movement, by virtue of its mission, must be a vehicle for progressive social change. Arts unions particularly have the responsibility of advocating for the diverse creative community, one as prodigious in its scope as in its artistry.

Local 802 has made great efforts over recent years to expand and laud the diversity of its membership. When reactionary forces seek to oppress any segment of us, the union needs to speak out. With the rise of overt anti-LGBTQ legislation and rhetoric sweeping large segments of society, the decision to celebrate the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans + musicians was obvious. And as June is deemed both Pride Month and New York Music Month, we’re proud to announce that 802’s inaugural Pride event will be in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, as part of the New York Music Month festival.

Celebrate PRIDE, scheduled for Thursday, June 27 in our Club Room, will not only commemorate Pride Month, but LGBTQ culture and history, including some of the music so prevalent within.

First, an all-Local 802 chamber ensemble drawn from the esteemed ChamberQUEER organization, directed by violist Kal Sugatski (Orchestra of St. Lukes, NY Phil), with violinist JD Hunter (Broadway and studio) and cellist Maria Bella Jeffers (studio, touring musician). Based on the collective’s self-description, you can expect the unexpected: “ChamberQUEER highlights LGBTQ+ voices in contemporary & historical music and reimagines the classical concert experience as a radically inclusive gathering space & musical community for the 21st century. We interrogate and experiment with, or “queer,” European art music’s presumed necessities and existing norms: by crafting new narratives from the canon, democratizing performance etiquette and dress, and shattering the performer-audience binary, we create a fresh and inviting environment for a new generation of music lovers.”

This set will be followed by several guest speakers and then a very special QUEERCabaret will close out the evening. Check out these out-front features: 2024 MAC Award winner Maria Gentile (“Best Piano Bar”), and then Anthony Fett (“the indefatigable showman”-TimeOut NY), followed by Susan Campanaro who’ll present her shape-shifting characterization “Lavinia Draper” which earned her a United Solo Award last year.

The sizzling trio behind them will be led by Lynn Portas, veteran pianist/vocalist/musical director who will take the spotlight for a couple of numbers including her latest dance single “Reveal.” This all-802 trio also includes DIVA Jazz Orchestra founder and drummer Sherrie Maricle, and Broadway bassist Lexi Bodick.

We can assure you great music and vibes from start to close, so please make plans to join us (and bring friends) whether you’re a member or ally of the LGBTQ community. This event will be a celebration on many levels. As the days of Pride Month move toward the jubilant NYC March, come revel with us!

LOCATION: Local 802 (322 West 48th Street)

DATE: Thursday, June 27

TIME: 6pm to 9:30pm

ADMISSION: free and open to the public