J4JA! Musicians, led by Jimmy Owens, Rally Outside the Blue Note. Photo: Enid Farber.

Justice for Jazz Artists! (J4JA!) is a coalition of over 3,000 musicians, advocates, and fans who seek equity in the form of fair treatment of jazz (and other musicians) in the NYC nightclubs.

Since 2005, J4JA! has been seeking to engage with NYC nightclub owners (including the management of clubs such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Iridium, the Village Vanguard and the Jazz Standard) to negotiate for fair working conditions in the clubs,  especially in regard to the issue of retirement benefits.

Jazz artists have historically been among the most exploited and abused in the music business. They are often the lowest paid for their music and commonly receive none of the retirement benefits that musicians in other fields take for granted. Many find themselves facing old age with no pension and little in the way of social security payments after a lifetime of performing in the club scene.

This unfair and abusive dynamic must be changed.  For years, we have been trying to get the clubs to do the right thing and treat jazz musicians with dignity and respect.

WE DEMAND:  fair minimum scale wages; decent pension contributions;  protections against exploitation of musicians regarding recording (and the reuse of recorded music);  and a process for settling disputes with club owners.

Musicians and fans are encouraged to sign the J4JA! petition (click on link above) and to volunteer by sending an email to jazzjustice@local802afm.org

Justice for Jazz Artists!