‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 118, No. 10October, 2018

Abdullah B. Rahman

I joined Local 802 when I started subbing for the musical “Smokey Joe’s Café.” I play drum set, and my musical goal is to continue to work on and around Broadway and to grow my personal brand as a reliable and talented musician. I recently had the opportunity to play a jazz trio gig with Nat Adderley Jr., the longtime musical director and pianist for Luther Vandross. It was an absolute joy. I earned a master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and have been performing, touring and teaching for over a decade. I’ve worked on several theatrical productions, including writing and performing the percussion book for Dr. Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise.” I’ve also acted and performed in three productions with the Tony Award-winning actress Lillias White. The integrity of the performance is extremely important to me. The size of the venue or the amount of people in the audience should not compromise the enthusiasm, preparation or the integrity of the performance. I teach at the Harlem School of the Arts and also teach privately.