‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 2February, 2019

Eric Brown

I re-joined Local 802 when I took on the job as drummer for the Off Broadway production of “Smokey Joe’s Café.” There are many benefits to being a member of the union and I find that working with other Local 802 musicians creates endless opportunities. My musical goal in New York City is to release a solo project as a singer/songwriter and to continue working as a freelance musician. My most favorite recent gig was playing for Rachelle Ferrell at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California. Being born and raised in the Bay Area made it very special to perform in front of family and friends after being away for some time. Working with Rachelle has been very gratifying; I am allowed to express myself musically in a way that other artists do not typically allow. She has always allowed me that freedom which has been a tremendous help to my musical growth. I studied piano and music composition with the late William Bell. I’ve toured and recorded with Edwin Hawkins, Audra McDonald, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lalah Hathaway and Leslie
Odom Jr. Music is important to me because it enables me to connect with the world both emotionally and spiritually in a way that nothing else does. Currently I teach at the Harlem School of the Arts.