Saxophonist and Justice for Jazz Artists supporter Phil Woods has previously made strong, principled statements in the press regarding the need for fairer compensation structures for hard-working sidemen in thriving New York City jazz clubs. This is why we weren’t surprised at a recent and even more bold statement showing solidarity with club musicians all over the City.
In a recent edition of his “Phil in the Gap” column in the spring/summer issue of East Stroudsburg University’s The Note, Phil said:
I have decided I cannot in good conscience work in NY jazz clubs until they initiate the paltry sum Local 802 is asking them to put into a pension plan for jazz musicians. If we had one when I started I would be getting more than the $322 a month I now get. The Union helped the clubs get a tax repealed and the clubs agreed to contributing to the pension fund. Then they reneged! Nice guys huh? Please consider this when you get closer to the head of the line.
This is an extraordinary move in support of J4JA’s goals of fair pay, pension payments and protection of recording rights for sidemen in affluent NYC-area jazz institutions.
These musicians provide the lifeblood and product on which these clubs profit and yet they often struggle later in life because of the refusal of New York City’s most successful clubs to provide them with anything approaching fair compensation in return for that commitment.
Click here to send a letter to club owners in support of these goals and to ask them to come to the table to discuss possible solutions to these problems.