‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 12December, 2017

Oskar Stenmark

I joined Local 802 to be a part of David Byrne’s “Joan of Arc: Into the Fire,” which played at the Public Theatre. My instruments are trumpet and flugelhorn, and I was the only horn player in the show. We created the book from scratch with a lot of freedom to make the parts individual and unique and we had a great run. I got recommended for the gig from my mentor and former teacher Tony Kadleck, to whom I am grateful. One of my musical goals is to spread the music I have inherited from my ancestors back in Sweden. I am the seventh generation to play these melodies, which I perform in my folk trio and jazz quartet, and I recently toured the Midwest with this music. Moving to New York from a country with roughly the same population as the five boroughs was a big step, and at first I felt overwhelmed by all the talent and competition. But I was very impressed when I learned that the scene is actually so humble and full of opportunities. It has been a great time so far, and even though it’s sometimes a struggle, I feel as if it has been worth every part of it.