‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 113, No. 4April, 2013

Top row: Sieedah Abdellah, Ivan Llanes, David Dahlquist. Bottom row: Joe Drew, Garrett Lanzet, Lila Pollack.

I began singing at the age of 16. My earliest influences were Sarah Vaughan, Morgana King, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Nina Simone and Laura Nyro. Throughout the years, I’ve performed at Dangerfield’s in NY, the Clef Club in Philadelphia, Chaplin’s in Spring City, Penn’s Landing, Milk Boy Cafe in Ardmore, Penn., and the African-American Museum. Most recently I’ve turned my attention to the world of jazz. As a jazz vocalist, I blend elements of blues, traditional jazz, R&B and gospel into a performance style that is fresh and unique. Working with a piano, bass and drums trio, my shows reflect diversity and great audience appeal. My future plans include recordings and concert appearances.

Sieedah Abdellah

I joined Local 802 because I want to belong to an organization that represents me. I’m a Latin jazz drummer and percussionist from Cuba. I came to the U.S. in 2012, when I toured with a Latin jazz band from Cuba called Maraca y otra Vision. I decided to stay after the tour was over. I moved to NYC about a year ago. My musical goals are to continually improve as an instrumentalist, composer and singer, to play concerts and tours with different projects and to develop my own band. One of my recent gigs was with the NMG jazz fusion band at the Gershwin Hotel. I also played at Guantanamera on Eighth Avenue. I play drum set, timbales, congas, bongos, cajon and other Latin percussion, and I also sing.

Ivan Llanes

I joined Local 802 so I could receive royalties for a nationally syndicated advertisement I scored and produced for Marriott. My musical goal is to become an in-demand producer in the pop, hip hop and electronic dance music genres, all of which are constantly blurring together. One of my recent accomplishments was scoring and producing a product video for Amazon. I got the gig through a friend who works for Eyeball on the Floor, formerly Expansion Team. I don’t have a single primary instrument, but violin is the first instrument I learned.

David Dahlquist

I joined Local 802 so I could focus on more traditional freelancing in the New York area, after the birth of my daughter. My musical goal in New York City is to continue working on adventurous projects, while increasing my freelancing activity. Recently, I was booked to play the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center. We were going to present a concert of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music, including some local premieres. The concert was canceled by Hurricane Sandy, as it was scheduled on the day the storm made landfall. My principal instrument is trumpet.

Joe Drew

I joined Local 802 to meet musicians in New York and broaden my network. My musical goal is to make a name for myself in the city as a talented and reliable musician. One of my most recent gigs was playing with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall for its 50th birthday celebration concert. My principal instrument is percussion.

Garrett Lanzet

I joined Local 802 because my grandfather has been a member for many years and always speaks very highly of it. He used to show me Allegro every month and I always enjoyed reading it. Having just moved back from earning my master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London, I thought that this would be a perfect time to join, make connections, and establish myself as a NYC violinist. My musical goal in New York city is always to seek out new and exciting playing opportunities. My principal instrument is violin.

Lila Pollack