‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 115, No. 6June, 2015

Top row: Bill Gati, Brian Krock, Karlus Trapp. Bottom: Greg Szaro, Arlene Stock.

Top row: Bill Gati, Brian Krock, Karlus Trapp. Bottom: Greg Szaro, Arlene Stock.

I joined Local 802 because I feel that musicians must unite in order to maintain the quality of compensation and treatment. Union dues are very reasonable and the services are useful; I particularly like the payroll and contract services provided. I also think the Monday night jazz jams are really wonderful and I like receiving referrals. I was recently notified about auditions to Radio City Music Hall. My musical goal in NYC is to play the piano at upscale restaurants and jazz clubs. I also want to perform in many of the great concert halls in NYC. My long-term goal is to share my music on the national and international stage and I feel that NYC is the center of the jazz universe. My band recently performed for a fundraiser at the Water’s Edge, in Long Island City, a venue at which I enjoy playing. I play piano, all keyboard instruments and all saxophones. I am also a vocalist and sing bass.

–Bill Gati

I joined Local 802 because I got a touring gig that required I join the union. I’ve been playing the woodwinds book for “Flashdance: The Musical” all over the United States and Canada. My goal is simply to continue living and working as a musician in New York City, whether as a pit musician, jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger or copyist – or whatever opportunities present themselves. My favorite recent gig was the CD-release party for my jazz group Life Size at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn. I am primarily a saxophonist and composer. I earned my master’s degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music, and I do a lot of woodwind doubling (flutes, clarinets, double-reeds) as well.

–Brian Krock

I joined Local 802 at the behest of my music teacher and mentor, the late Ann Ruckert, who just recently passed. She said you need to be in the union. My musical goal is to continue making a name for myself with the best musicians in NYC. My most favorite recent gig was with my funky rocking New Orleans groove/reggae band, The Karlus Trapp Band. We were flown down to the Bahamas to play two sets at an exclusive club for a young couple’s wedding. They picked us up in limos and we had a day and half to chill on the beach before we had to play a single note! I got this gig because of a party that I had done the year before at a stupendous beachfront mansion in Southampton. It was an A-list affair where I found myself making small talk with Mayor Bloomberg about lobster dogs, while we gazed at the full moon’s reflection on the calmest ocean you could ever imagine. My principal instrument is the guitar. Being a producer, I also play the electric bass, keys and percussion.

–Karlus Trapp

I joined Local 802 for its reputation of supporting musicians in New York City. My musical goal in NYC is to record and perform live with top artists. I want to perform as a drummer on Broadway, a backline drummer for TV shows and a studio drummer for upcoming and popular artists. Just as I was about to graduate from Berklee, I was offered an audition with New Jersey’s own band The Elephant in the Room, which landed me mentions in Alt Press Magazine, Diffuser FM and PureVolume. I also got to work with Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter. Working with a bright mind like Casey’s opened up an incredible recording experience, and I’ve learned a lot of new drumming techniques as well.

–Greg Szaro

I re-joined Local 802 because, after a long hiatus, I have reclaimed my musical heritage. I joined Local 802 in 1963 with my very first paycheck. When I recently received my new union card with my old membership number, it was an emotional moment. My musical goal in NYC is to build the Classical Musicians’ Rehearsal Symphony Orchestra into a home for those who share a love of classical music and the desire to make music with those who feel the same way. Our group has the pleasure of playing the classics at performance level, without the administrative and financial pressures associated with public concert performance. All are welcome – classically trained musicians, pop artists, pit musicians, conductors, music teachers, music students, chamber musicians, even precocious children and young adults. My instrument is the flute.

–Arlene Stock