‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 114, No. 12December, 2014

Top row, from left: Justin Vance, Roger Lent and Sam Bardfeld. Bottom row: John Murchison and Robert Rossi.

Top row, from left: Justin Vance, Roger Lent and Sam Bardfeld. Bottom row: John Murchison and Robert Rossi.

After touring the country for a couple of years with a few musicals (“Catch Me If You Can,” “Shrek” and “South Pacific”), I decided to settle in NYC and join Local 802. I’m also a member of AFM Local 72-147 (Dallas/Ft. Worth). My musical goal in New York City is to make a living doing what I love the most! I would enjoy a varied musical career of orchestra work, Broadway, teaching, music copying and library work. Last year, I played the reed book for a production of “Big River” at the Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth. I played my first job in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area when my tour of “Catch Me If You Can” came to Music Hall in Dallas. They typically lay off touring musicians and hire locals for the shows that play there. But since my book included the oboe, it was hard for them to find a local replacement, so they hired me. Since then I’ve had lots of work in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Hoping that happens here in New York City as well! My first instrument is the sax, but I also play flute, clarinet and oboe (and all of their variations).

Justin Vance

I re-joined Local 802 as a pianist to continue to perform with the great musicians of New York City. I have worked as a trumpet player for the past 20 years but in the last several years have been performing quite a bit as a jazz pianist. At this point, I consider both the trumpet and piano to be my primary instruments. I look forward to spending the rest of my life working with the musicians of NYC, which I consider to be the greatest city in the world.

Roger Lent

I joined Local 802 when my show – “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” – moved uptown to the theatre district and the show moved to a union contract. I got the gig originally because I had done previous work with the composer. I enjoy playing a very wide variety of music, so I hope to continue to take advantage of the uniquely varied music scene in NYC. I play double bass and electric bass.

John Murchison

I joined Local 802 to share my love of music, and to network and grow as an aspiring singer/songwriter. Already I’ve met so many wonderful members who have helped me define and evaluate my musical ambitions. I have a serious interest in how music can help raise awareness for humanitarian and charitable causes such as cancer awareness. My main musical goal in New York City is to establish myself as a sincere and respectable artist on these fronts, and also to gain repute as a performer and songwriter. My principal instrument is guitar, although I also sing and play the harmonica. Music engineering and production are also avenues I’d like to explore in the future. I hope to continue with this great passion of music I’ve developed, and I hope to share it in a manner that makes New York City and the world a better place. I’m certain that the outstanding community I’ve joined in Local 802 will continue to help shape my future and grow my optimism looking forward.

Robert Rossi

I re-joined Local 802 after I recorded with a big artist on a major label. My goal in NYC as a musician – and as a parent – is to find the right balance of making art and making a living. I recently toured in Asia with jazz drummer Royal Hartigan’s quartet. I’m a member of Bruce Springsteen’s Sessions Band and also The Jazz Passengers. I’ve worked with numerous jazz, pop, folk and experimental acts including Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Calexico, Rufus Wainwright, Johnny Pacheco, Debbie Harry, Steven Bernstein, Nellie McKay, Lou Reed, John Cale, Dave Brubeck, the String Trio of New York, Nancy Sinatra, Willie Colon and the Soldier String Quartet among others. My own recordings have earned critical acclaim, including a “four-star” rating in Downbeat magazine and I have performed with my own group at jazz festivals and clubs throughout Europe. I am also the author of “Latin Violin,” published by Hal Leonard.

Sam Bardfeld