‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 114, No. 11November, 2014

Clockwise from top left: Shell Zemet, Devin Hoff, Craig Klonowski, Kathryn Krull and Bryan Kwon.

Top row: Shell Zimet, Devin Hoff and Craig Klonowski. Bottom row: Bryan Kwon and Kathryn Krull

I joined Local 802 for the solidarity of belonging to a union in this very competitive business. After working as an agent and producer for many years, I want to encourage fellow musicians to negotiate better-paying gigs for themselves and not to play for less. As a performing musician, I’ve devoted myself to my true love of singing and playing piano. One of my favorite recent gigs was in the Dominican Republic, where I performed at several resorts and casinos. I’d love to perform on cruise lines. As a teenager, I remember accompanying my uncle Sonny Brooks to Local 802, when it was at Roseland. As some of you may remember, my uncle was a bandleader and he used to come to the union’s hiring hall to find side musicians for his gigs each week. Under his tutelage, I followed in his footsteps.

Shell Zimet

I joined Local 802 after I relocated to New York from Los Angeles. I’ve come to believe in the importance of being in the union. My musical goal in NYC is the same as it has always been wherever I am: to make meaningful, creative music that I believe in, with inspired and inspiring musicians. Recently I had the good fortune to play in Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band for the CD release of her new album. Soon I’ll be recording a new record with my old friend Nels Cline, which I am really looking forward to. Bass is my principal instrument, both double bass and bass guitar. Lately, I’ve also have been playing more guitar and “bass six” (like an electric guitar, but one octave below).

Devin Hoff

I joined Local 802 because I am interested in learning from other musicians’ experiences and thoughts, to share advice and tips on improving my music techniques and to advance my career. My musical goal in New York City is to play with musicians who share a strong passion and creativity for music. I hope to experience a variety of styles and settings, to make new friends, and have fun along the way. One of my recent gigs was with the One World Symphony as section double bass. As I’ve found, the music community is always looking out to help each other, and I got the gig through the recommendation of a friend. My principal instrument is acoustic upright double bass.

Craig Klonowski

I moved to NYC to get connected with other musicians and find work in musical theatre. My friend suggested that I join Local 802. I’m a classically trained pianist and my love for musical theatre is growing more and more. I would like to play for a Broadway show, especially “Wicked.” I recently earned a graduate degree at the University of Illinois and my goal is getting more experience in the real world. I landed a job at the Thurnauer School of Music at the JCC in Tenafly, New Jersey, where I work as a studio accompanist.

Bryan Kwon

I joined Local 802 after getting hired to be the new keyboardist for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I recently toured in the circus productions called “Dragons” and “Legends.” Among our various tour circuits, there are only two female musicians, and I can proudly say that I am one of them! My band is led by trumpeter Wages Argott and under his direction, this circus band is both serious business and lots of fun. Having a reason to join the union has meant a lot to me. My musical goal in New York City is to continue discovering new music and to perform it. Being constantly challenged with new works and finding new ways to reinvent my artistic vision will never be boring to me. My principal instrument is piano. I also play keyboard and synthesizer, and I sing.

Kathryn Krull