Volume CII, No. 4April, 2002
April 16 Memorial Is Planned for Marty Holmes – An evening of music and song in memory of Marty Holmes, a saxophone player, composer and arranger, is planned for Tuesday, April 16, at Goldie’s Restaurant in Valley Stream. It will begin at 8 p.m. Mr. Holmes was an 802 member for more than 60 years and had served on the union staff in the early 1990s. Goldie’s is at 153 DuBois Avenue, near Gibson Blvd. The cost of $22 per person includes buffet and an open bar. To RSVP, please call Sunny Holmes at (516) 483-1214.
Bjorn A. Andreasson – Violin
Donald J. Betts – Drums
Vinnie Burke – Bass
Cam Cobern – Piano
Bernard Jackson – Saxophone
Frank A. Jones – Saxophone
Victor Just – Flute
Lesse (Ruocco) Layne – Drums/Clarinet
Jack Lopez – Guitar
Wendell L. Marshall – Bass
Makanda Ken McIntyre – Saxophone
Jon L. Olson – Piano
Remo Palmier – Guitar
Alvin Pells – Violin
Alma Robinson – Piano
Steven Rogers – Drums
George Sahagian – Piano
Jerry A. Sassin – Accordion
Richard Simon – Violin/Viola
Walter Stein – Bassoon
Ronald A. Velosky, Jr. – Bass/Composer
Manuel Weinberg – Saxophone
Vinnie Burke, 80, a bass player, died early in February. He had joined Local 802 in 1950 and was also a member of Local 16 (Newark).
Mr. Burke started playing the violin at the age of 5, and then took up the guitar. He switched to the bass after he lost the use of a finger in an accident while working in a war plant. During the mid-’40s he worked with Joe Mooney and Tony Scott, and then played with pianist Cy Coleman for three years. He spent a brief period with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra in the early ’50s, and then played with Marian McPartland, recording with her in 1953.
He led his own bands after that, into the ’80s, mainly small combos which worked with top jazz musicians. He also made solo dates, and played in sessions with such players as John Mehegan, Chris Connor, Eddie Costa, Tal Farlow, Don Elliott, Gil Melle, Vic Dickenson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mat Mathews and Bobby Hackett.
Frank A. Jones
Frank A. Jones, 91, a saxophone player and a 65-year member of Local 802, died on Jan. 29.
Born in Panama, Mr. Jones grew up in Montclair, N.J., graduating from Montclair High School and living there for most of his life. He played the saxophone in jazz bands in such New York clubs as the Blue Note and Cotton Club, and also performed frequently in the Catskills.
He is survived by sisters Nestina and Elsie, niece Gail Harris, nephews Edmund Jones, Mark Jones and Robert Edwards, aunt Alice, and a host of grandnieces and grandnephews.
Remo Palmier, 78, a guitar player and an 802 member for more than 60 years, died on Feb. 2.
Mr. Palmier originally hoped to be an artist, and began playing with jazz groups in New York City when he was 16, to pay for his studies. But he became deeply involved in music and by 1942 was a fulltime musician, playing with Nat Jaffe’s Trio. In 1943 he joined Coleman Hawkins’ orchestra for a year, then worked with Ben Webster, and then formed his own group to back Billie Holiday. Other big name jobs included Red Norvo (1944), Barney Bigard, Phil Moore and Dizzy Gillespie (1945). He recorded with Charlie Parker and Gillespie, and was awarded a “new star” award from Esquire in 1945, and the Esquire Jazz award the following year.
Mr. Palmier stopped playing in jazz clubs, at his doctors’ insistence, after his lungs were affected by a severe bout of double pneumonia. He played on the Mildred Bailey jazz program on radio and then joined the staff of CBS, working for 27 years with The Arthur Godfrey Show. He performed on many other CBS programs, and also continued doing concerts and recording dates. After leaving CBS, he and Hank Jones formed a group which worked at the Half Note. He subsequently joined Bobby Hackett and did many concerts with Benny Goodman.
He recorded with Herb Ellis in 1978 and made a Concord album of his own that year. He also played with Benny Goodman and Dick Hyman in the 1970s and appeared with Swing Reunion in 1985. Mr. Palmier recorded with an extraordinary roster of artists over the years – Billie Holiday, Red Norvo, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Dick Hyman, Teddy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne, Mildred Bailey, Judy Garland, Pat Boone, Vic Damone, Perry Como, and a host of others.
He is survived by his wife Margery, daughters Stephan and Janis, grandchildren Jason and Katie, and brothers Paul and Raymond. A memorial service is planned for Sunday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m., at St. Peter’s Church, Lexington at 54th Street.
Alma Hope Robinson, 75, a pianist and music educator who joined Local 802 in 1979, died on Dec. 1, 2001.
Ms. Robinson graduated from Central High School in Manhattan and attended the Juilliard School on scholarship. She played and taught the piano, violin and organ. As a pianist and singer, she performed often at senior centers and hospitals, in church worship services and in their community outreach programs.
Ms. Robinson is survived by her daughters Dolores, Cynthia and Beverly, sister Dorothy, and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Richard Simon, 65, a violinist and violist and a member of Local 802 since 1956, died on Feb. 14. He was a member of the union’s Coordinating Advisory Committee for many years, and served on the Executive Board during the late 1990s.
A native New Yorker, Mr. Simon began studying violin at the age of 6 and made his professional debut at Town Hall at 12. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in 1956, and went on to complete the course work toward a master’s at that institution.
He was a member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for 33 years, playing in the first violin section during the musical directorships of Leonard Bernstein, George Szell, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta and Kurt Masur. He retired in 1998. Over the years he performed with ensembles including the Simon Quartet, the Weinstock Quartet, New York Piano Trio, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, London Chamber Players, Arioso Trio, and many more. His playing is heard on many recordings.
Mr. Simon was a highly regarded violin teacher and chamber music coach. He played in many music festivals, organized educational projects, and developed considerable expertise about treatment therapies that unite the principles of oriental and western medicine, and have important implications for musicians.
With his wife Fiona, also an 802 member, Mr. Simon contested an IRS challenge seeking to prevent the couple from depreciating their antique violin bows on their 1989 tax return. A long legal battle ensued before they prevailed – establishing precedents of great importance to all musicians, and strengthening Mr. Simon’s activism and his involvement with the union. He went on to study labor issues at the Meany Institute for Labor Studies and Cornell University.
He is survived by his wife, a violinist and chair of the New York Philharmonic orchestra committee, and children Daniel, Naomi and Michael.
Walter Stein, 80, a bassoonist and a Local 802 member for over 55 years, died on March 1.
Mr. Stein received a scholarship to and was a graduate of the Juilliard School. He played in the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and later became the principal bassoonist of the Baltimore Symphony. While living in Baltimore, he served on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory. Upon returning to New York, he played with the Little Orchestra Society, the NBC Symphony, Symphony of the Air, Voice of Firestone, the Metropolitan Opera and in numerous Broadway shows.
He was the principal bassoonist for the Long Island Symphony and taught piano and bassoon for 36 years before moving to Florida, where he expected to retire. As a Florida resident he became a member of Local 655 and performed with the Greater Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Pops and the Boca Pops. He conducted community orchestras: the Hollywood Philharmonic and the Federation Pops. As a piano accompanist, he worked with many singers throughout the state.
Mr. Stein is survived by his wife Karrie, children Gerri, Suanne and Larry and four grandchildren.
Ronald A. Velosky, Jr.
Ronald A. Velosky, Jr., 43, a bass player, composer and music educator, and an 802 member since 1993, died on Feb. 1.
Mr. Velosky graduated from Rowan University and earned a master’s degree from New York University. He toured with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra and performed with such artists as Marian McPartland, Don Friedman, Joe Morello and Rebecca Coupe Franks. He was featured on recordings by Denis DiBlasio, Greg Federico and B.D. Lenz, on his own CD, “Trio:Quartet,” and was heard on “Sounds from the Village” by the New Music Ensemble of NYU.
As a clinician he conducted workshops for many professional groups, including the National Association of Jazz Educators and the Music Educators National Conference. He was a former adjunct faculty member at NYU. His textbook on sight reading for bass players is used in many schools.
He is survived by his parents, Anna and Ron, brothers Greg and Jerome, and sisters Judy and Susan.