The panel/concert at St. Peters Church was a smash success! Justice for Jazz Artists would like to thank everyone who came out to support the ideals of justice and fairness in the New York City club scene. Click below to find an in-depth account of the events written by Lionelle Hamanaka, the editor and publisher of the Jazz Culture Newsletter. If this is your first time visiting the site or you want to know how you can get involved, please take a moment to sign the petition to the right of this page in support of fair pay scales, protection of recording rights for club musicians and modest pension benefits. Click here to read the full story.
By Lionelle Hamanaka
A panel discussion entitled “Coming Together as One: Fighting for Your Rights on the NYC Club Scene,” and jazz concert featuring the Lou Donaldson Quartet with Keisha St. Joan, hosted by Justice for Jazz Artists (J4JA) and AFM, Local 802, took place at St. Peter’s Church on Friday night, February 1, with about 200 people in attendance.
The event was arguably the strongest outreach effort to date by Justice for Jazz Artists supporters and strategists, and the turnout was equally strong; many students, musicians and people from the NYC jazz community showed up and signed petitions, bought J4JA T-shirts, and signed volunteer forms.
The panelists for the evening were: jazz musicians Bob Cranshaw, Bertha Hope, Arun Luthra, John Mosca, 802 Recording Vice President John O’Connor, musician educator/author Dr. Lewis Porter, and New York Amsterdam News Columnist Ron Scott.
Dr. Porter moderated the discussion.
Bassist Bob Cranshaw led off for the panelists. “I used to hate the union with a passion,” he said. “At that time, back in the 1970s, they had a rule you could only work five nights a week. When they brought me up on charges for working on my off night, I jumped on the table and said, ‘Do you mean to say I can’t go out and support my family….I’ll kick the teeth out of any *mf* who tells me that!’” He got no takers, and the union’s charges against him were dropped. “I guess I’ve now become that person,” he said with a laugh, “I’ve been working with the union because you guys (meaning the audience) are my family.”