‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 114, No. 10October, 2014

Top row, from left: Artur Kaganovskiy, Brian Charette and Colin Dean. Bottom row: Chris Williams, Jason Wetzel and Mark Dover.

Top row: Artur Kaganovskiy, Brian Charette and Colin Dean. Bottom row: Chris Williams, Jason Wetzel and Mark Dover.

I joined Local 802 after I won the Waldo DeMayo Competition and performed the Elgar violin concerto with the Local 802 Senior Concert Orchestra, directed by David Gilbert. My musical goal in New York City is to enjoy, collaborate and perform with New York’s finest musicians as well as explore new works written by talented composers. I also want to share the gift of music with the great audiences of New York City. I am very grateful for this opportunity. One of my favorite recent gigs took place in Chisneau, Moldova, where I performed Bernstein’s “Serenade” and Sarasate’s “Carmen Fantasy” with the National Chamber Orchestra of Moldova. I also performed a duo recital with my wife Eszter Szilveszter, who is also a member of Local 802. My principal instrument is violin but I play viola as well.

Artur Kaganovskiy

I joined Local 802 in order to work on Broadway; my previous professional work has been in Canada. I currently lead a popular sextet, which performs all over the world. In NYC, we’ve performed at Lincoln Center, Smoke and Iridium. I also write instructional articles for Downbeat and Keyboard magazine. My principal instruments are Hammond B3 and piano.

Brian Charette

I joined Local 802 because I believe strongly in the importance of organized labor in fighting for fair wages and benefits, and to start making contributions to the pension and health plans offered by the union. I’m also currently working as an office manager for AFM Local 1000, and felt it was important to join in solidarity. My goal as a musician in NYC is to perform full-time in a variety of genres, from jazz to hip hop to world music and Broadway. One of my most favorite recent gigs was working as a music director supporting several artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for the One Mic International Hip Hop Festival, which I got through my partnership with Nomadic Wax. I also recently did a 35-day international tour with Nomadic Wax Collective for American Music Abroad which included a variety of master classes and performances in Nepal, Mozambique and Swaziland. I play acoustic and electric bass. I am also a composer, arranger, music director and artist manager.

Colin Dean

I joined Local 802 to meet and network with musicians in New York. My musical goal is to just to be out there playing all the time, interacting with new musicians and always be doing new kinds of work as a violist. I recently played with Il Volo at Radio City Music Hall. I received the gig through a wonderful contractor based out of L.A.

Chris Williams

I joined Local 802 after transferring my membership from AFM Local 389 (Orlando). I’m a pianist and music director and conductor. I had been touring and doing regional gigs, but am now focused on staying here in NYC to work, so it became time to become a member of Local 802. I was the rehearsal pianist and assistant conductor at “After Midnight,” which closed this summer after a successful 272-performance run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway.

Jason Wetzel

I joined Local 802 in order to start working union gigs and to connect with other freelance musicians in the city. I love performing all kinds of music. My formal training is in classical music, but I’ve been playing jazz all my life. I am happy playing in a symphony or opera orchestra, playing on Broadway, or just freelancing and doing whatever comes my way! I also plan to start composing more music. A favorite recent gig is playing in the band for the Off Broadway show “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.” My principal instrument is clarinet.

Mark Dover