‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 118, No. 9September, 2018

Robbi Hall Kumalo

I re-joined Local 802 to be part of the conversation that helps us creative artists move forward. I’m a jazz singer and songwriter who also plays piano, percussion and guitar. In addition to teaching, touring and recording, I also produce theatre shows for kids, and I tour school assemblies, and present public concerts for families and young audiences. Due to recent changes in my health — I have MS – I’m feeling music in new and amazing ways now. I have a passion for special, diverse listeners who have unique ways of learning, and I admire physical bodies with all sorts of abilities. I made my sold-out Carnegie Hall debut with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Dave Matthews, but I’ve played every kind of gig under the sun, including busking (which I really enjoy). My last day job was in 1987, when I worked for the production companies of Paul Simon and Spike Lee. The only way I can make sense of living is to find the music and find the vibrations in all things around me. Since all things are vibrational, the world is just full of music. I like sharing with young people the reality that all things are vibrations and that we are vibrations too! In this day and age when school shootings are commonplace, my responsibility to sing and soothe young people has never been more urgent and significant.