Why did I join Local 802? I recently landed my first gig in which I would be performing on various TV and radio shows, and it was brought to my attention that it was necessary to become part of the union and that the union would inform me of all my rights and benefits as a professional musician as well as pay me through the network I was performing on. I had moved back to NYC from Los Angeles to get my new band Revere Drive off the ground. I also came here to do sessions and write with various producers and songwriters. In L.A., I attended the L.A. Music Academy. A friend who was the music director for David Archuleta (the 2008 runner up from American Idol) had asked if I could come down to the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium to rehearse. After we had played the gig, they offered me the full time touring position. I play drums, but I also play guitar and keyboards for songwriting purposes.
I joined Local 802 because I was a member of AFM Local 103 (Columbus, OH) and wanted to continue my union affiliation upon moving to NYC this past summer. Also, because I wanted access to the networking opportunities and support that the union provides. My musical goal in NYC is to play with artists whom I respect and admire, as well as to zero in on my own musical identity. My principal instrument is bass (upright and electric, and keyboard). I also do a lot of arranging (mostly big band/horns) and copy work. I double on mandolin and guitar as well.
I joined Local 802 because it was finally time! I was asked to sing at the Plaza hotel, which is a union house. I am a longtime fan of the Plaza; as a young girl I read “Eloise” and imagined myself a princess living in splendor with room service. I went in one night and, realizing they had live music, gave my CD to the manager. Just like that. If you do the work, sometimes the luck will follow. As Tennessee Williams said, “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” As a jazz musician it is always a struggle to find the kind of gigs where the respect and regularity are such that you are treated with due deference, and it was very exciting to be in a place protected by the union ranks. I feel like I have jumped into an ocean of support, with good honest people who have my best interests at heart. I am a realist; my first musical goal is to pay my rent. Moreover, I want to find the gentle balance between artistic and financial fulfillment, play with the city’s many talented musicians, be inspired by all the many performers who populate this city, and give voice to my own unique style of jazz singing.
I am a recent graduate of Boston University and I play classical percussion and drums. I joined Local 802 by the advice of long-time members, to try to get a leg up in my musical career in NYC. I would love to eventually be playing regularly in the Broadway and orchestral scene.
Why did I join Local 802? To me, it was the right thing to do. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, so I know how cool the music is here in NYC. I want to be a part of it for a long time. There’s nothing like being surrounded by great players. My principal instrument is the vibraphone. I think it’s the most beautiful sounding instrument. I had the honor of living, studying and touring with the late, legendary Lionel Hampton early in my career. That is something I will never forget.
Jason “Malletman” Taylor
I am a saxophonist and woodwind player finishing a DMA from the University of Southern Mississippi. I joined Local 802 because it is a wise career move for a young professional musician in a city like New York, and because of the many services provided (such as the teacher referral service). My musical goals while here are to get involved with chamber music, contemporary music, teaching, and hopefully some theatre work as well. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the talented musicians in New York.