‘Why We Joined the Union’

Volume CIV, No. 12December, 2009

I rejoined Local 802 because I was hired to play “Ragtime.” My musical goal is to have a nice run of the show and visit friends from my previous shows in New York. I live in Bethesda, Maryland, and last spring I played the show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. When it was determined that the show was heading to Broadway, I was asked to come and play it. “Ragtime” is string bass only but I play electric bass as well.

– Jeff Cooper

I joined Local 802 because I’m playing on a tour that requires me to join; I got my gig through weird connections through my school (Juilliard). My musical goal is to be a successful classical composer in New York City. My principal instrument is piano, although primarily I am a composer, arranger, and an engraver.

– Wei-Chieh Lin

I joined Local 802 when I started preparing to play in the new musical “Fela!” My musical goal in New York City is to surround myself with good quality music. I am getting my gigs through connections. I play Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican hand drums such as congas, bata, shekere and bells. I also play the Nigerian style of Conga drumming.

– Takemasa Yoshihiro (Yoshi)

I rejoined 802 (after a year lapse) because I wanted to continue to be associated with the world’s greatest musicians and musicians’ union. Bob James loaned me the money to join in 1981, when I was a student at Juilliard , so that I could get paid for playing on the “T.A.X.I.” recording sessions that he composed the music for and produced at CBS. My musical goals in New York have always been the same: to perform, tour, record and collaborate with the finest musicians on the planet. I’m still wondering how I got this gig, which (right now) consists of writing projects, recording projects, and preparation for upcoming teaching and live performance dates. My principal instrument is trumpet.

– Walter White