Tommy Alfano – Saxophone
Irwin Borodkin – Cello
John J. Breen – Piano
Oscar Brown III – Bass/Arranger
Don Butterfield – Tuba
Nicholas S. Carras – Violin/Conductor/Arranger
Sonny Cohn – Trumpet
James Corbett – Bass
Bill Fontaine – Piano
Sidney “Pat” Jenkins – Trumpet
Stanley Z. Kilinski Jr – Violin
Claire King – Vocalist
Irv Manning – Bass
Eugene Navratil – Violin
Hollywood Nicolls – Bass Guitar
William H. Parker – French Horn
Pedro Luis Rodriguez – Vocalist
Frank Segedin – Accordion
Ed Summerlin – Saxophone/Conductor/Arranger
Julio “Papi” Torres – Bass
Don Butterfield, 83, a tubist and an 802 member since 1947, died on Nov. 27.
Mr. Butterfield, an in-demand studio musician, is generally credited with the commercialization of the tuba. He played on hundreds of albums, television commercials, jingles and movie soundtracks from the 1940’s through the late 1990’s.
Mr. Butterfield fell in love with the big horn while in high school. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he hitchhiked with his tuba to New York City, where he auditioned for Bill Bell, who taught tuba at Juilliard and played with the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Bell’s protégé soon joined the Goldman and Cities Service Band, under the direction of Paul Lavalle.
His velvety tone and agile technique won him recording dates with Dizzy Gillespie, Leonard Bernstein, Gerry Mulligan, Burt Bacharach, Mel Torme, Charles Mingus, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, John Cage, the Claude Thornhill Band, Johnny Mathis, and Janis Ian, to name a few. The sound of his tuba was also heard on well-known jingles as well as on movie soundtracks including “Godfather II” and “Bullets Over Broadway.”
A longtime member of the American Symphony and Radio City Music Hall orchestras, he taught at Mannes, Montclair State, Trenton State and William Paterson College.
Mr. Butterfield also composed for everything from solo tuba to large ensembles. He was preparing a CD of his compositions when he suffered a stroke in July 2005.
He is survived by his wife Alice, children Warren, Donna, Jay and Laura, and stepsons Brian and Bruce Nalepka. He had 10 grandchildren.
Irv Manning, 88, a bassist and an 802 member since 1940, died on Oct. 8.
He was born in Maryland and lived in London until age 20. He spent the next 68 years in New York City and West Palm Beach.
Mr. Manning played bass from age 15 with such greats as Sidney Lipton at the Grosvenor House in London and other places in Europe, and with Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Woody Herman and Dave Brubeck in New York.
While living in West Palm Beach he played with the orchestra at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach for eight seasons and performed many other club dates in the area.
He is survived by his wife Louise (Barnes Going) Manheim; daughters Terry Evans and Felice Manheim; granddaughter Tracy Evans; step-grandchildren Katherine and Mathew Berryman and Erin, Neil and Jennifer Going; and niece Cookie Dangler. He is also survived by his wife’s children Louise Berryman and Patrick Going and his wife’s daughter-in-law Nancy Going.
Pedro Luis Rodriguez
Pedro Luis Rodriguez, 70, a vocalist and an 802 staff member for over 20 years, died on Nov. 30. He was also a card-carrying member since 1997.
Mr. Rodriguez started working at the union as an intern while he was earning his bachelor’s degree in labor administration from Hofstra University. Upon graduation he was asked to become a business rep and organizer under Marvin Moschel, 802’s organizing director at the time. He worked mostly with club date musicians and hotel musicians. He later organized Latin musicians and was assigned to Off Broadway. He was also in charge of the referral service.
Mr. Rodriguez started working with organists and gospel musicians in 1988. “He sometimes worked seven days a week helping musicians in this field,” remembers 802 co-worker Leslie Wilkins.
In the mid-1990’s, he was reassigned to the Recording Department under Jay Schaffner. However he continued working with the Gospel Musicians Committee and volunteered his own time with them.
One story that Wilkins remembers is the following.
“There was a particular musician who was from Alabama and had just come into town and thought he was the best musician in the whole world,” Wilkins told Allegro. “He was in the Montgomery local and was transferring his membership to Local 802. Pedro spent about an hour speaking with him about the union, about his career choices, preparedness, etc. Pedro was very patient. The referral service got a job from a church that was doing special music for Easter Sunday, it was the last minute, of course, and they needed someone to play the timpani and the gentleman fit the bill. Pedro asked him if he had a date book — he didn’t and Pedro got him a datebook. Pedro asked if he had a working watch — he didn’t, so Pedro got him a watch. Pedro also sent me to the gig to observe, because he wasn’t feeling well that Sunday. And when this musician was afraid to ask for his check, Pedro made sure he got his money, his pension and health benefit. That’s how he was.”
Mr. Rodriguez is survived by his wife Rosalie, sister Irma, daughters Inez, Martha, Elaine, Alicja and Patricia, and sons Pedro II, Alfred and Joseph. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
The Local 802 Gospel Musicians Committee will hold a celebration of Mr. Rodriguez’s life, including a concert, on Friday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Club Room.
Julio “Papi” Torres, 95, a bassist and an 802 member since 1939, died on Nov. 26. Mr. Torres began his professional career in New York in the 1940’s. He played on many recordings for RCA and was also a bandleader performing in top hotels, in the Catskills, and at Caribbean resorts. In 1949, he traveled to Miami where he began a regular stint of performing at various South Beach hotels, including being the bandleader at the SunSpa for 23 seasons. He is survived by his daughters Sheila and Valerie and grandchildren Mark, Stefanie, Jared and Sara.