‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 5May, 2019

David Stern

Photo by Jeff Dean

I joined Local 802 because a union can ensure some degree of security for musicians pursuing a freelance profession. My goal in the next few years is to expand my repertoire of original music and get my new quartet out there (both in the city and touring abroad), as well as making a debut album. A favorite recent performance was at a wonderful up-and-coming jazz venue called Pangea (in the East Village) featuring Leo Genovese on piano, Dominic Duval on bass, and Francisco Mela on drums. An incredible group of musicians, and it appears to be just the beginning of a long-standing residency there! I grew up in Northern California, became focused on jazz guitar part way through high school, then inevitably found my way to Berklee College of Music. It has certainly been a wild time since graduating and moving to NYC almost a year ago. Currently, I’m performing in venues around the city, typically in a trio or quartet format. Additionally, I teach music (primarily online) and play private events (i.e. weddings, cocktail hours).