Keisha Slide
Keisha slide
NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson
Lou donaldson photo
Jimmy Owens: Musician and Supporter
Jimmy Owens: Musician and Supporter
Pay. Pension. Protection. Process. The time is now!
Pay. Pension. Protection. Process. Now’s the …
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J4JA History
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J4JA Video
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Jazz musicians playing in major
New York City clubs are not guaranteed fair pay, do not receive healthcare benefits and
often retire in poverty.

NYC’s Birdland, Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard and the Village Vanguard refuse to pay into a pension fund that would allow jazz artists to retire with dignity. Sign the petition below and tell the club owners to do right by the musicians who make them rich. Local 802 American Federation of Musicians
J4JA Endorsers:
  Prominent Musicians   •   Jason Moran   •   Christian McBride   •   Ron Carter   •   Jimmy Owens   •   Marc Ribot   •   Harry Belafonte   •   Joe Lovano   •   John Pizzarelli   •   Bucky Pizzarelli   •   Dave Liebman   •   Fred Hersch   •   Bertha Hope   •   Bernard Purdie   •   Bob Cranshaw   •   Lakecia Benjamin   •   Bobby Sanabria   •   Randy Weston   •   Billy Harper   •   Janet Lawson   •   Wycliffe Gordon   •   Dr. Larry Ridley   •   Gene Perla   •   Seth MacFarlane   •   Rufus Reid   •   Andrew Lamb   •   James Spaulding   •   Phil Woods   •   Akua Dixon   •   David Amram   •   Ed MacEachen   •   Butch Miles   •   Charli Persip   •   Kenny Davis   •   Junior Mance   •   Charles Tolliver   •   Keisha St. Joan   •   Regina Carter   •   James Carter   •   Judi Silvano   •   Papo Vasquez   •   Paquito D’ Rivera   •   Chris Walden   •   Tom "Bones" Malone   •   Lou Donaldson   •   Billy Kaye   •   Roy Campbell   •   Harold Mabern   •   Dr. Lewis Porter   •   Mala Waldron   •   Michael Abene   •   "Sweet" Sue Terry   •   Ron Jackson   •   Steven Bernstein   •   Douglas Purviance   •   Ras Moshe   •   Patience Higgins   •   James Chirillo   •   Saul Rubin   •   Bobby Shankin   •   Bill Kirchner   •   Jay Leonhart   •   Rachel Z   •   Bill Frisell   •   Joe Temperley   •   Jerry Dodgion   •   Russell Malone   •   Jay Brandford   •   Steve Davis   •   Carol Sudhalter   •   John Mosca   •   Alicia Hall Moran   •   Shari Belafonte   •   Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi   •   Sean Smith   •   Ivan Renta   •   Bobby LaVell   •   Jon Owens   •   Gary Smulyan   •   Melvin Gibbs   •   Onaje Allan Gumbs   •   Dick Griffin   •   Supporters in Memoriam   •   Carline Ray   •   Hank Jones   •   Dr. Billy Taylor   •   Benny Powell   •   Amiri Baraka   •   Gaudencio Thiago de Mello   •   Jazz Organizations   •   Jazz Foundation of America   •   Andy Kirk Research Foundation   •   Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium   •   Jazz Bridge   •   Educational Institutions   •   New School Jazz Department Faculty Committee   •   Rutgers-Newark Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research   •   The Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives at the University of the District of Columbia   •   Writers and Journalists   •   Stanley Crouch   •   Gary Giddins   •   Nat Hentoff   •   Dan Morgenstern   •   John Chilton   •   Dr. Judith Schlesinger   •  
Elected Officials   •   NY City Council Member Diana Reyna (D-34, Brooklyn)   •   NY City Council Member Jessica Lappin (D-5, Manhattan)   •   NY City Council Member Charles Barron (D-42, Brooklyn)   •   NY City Council Member Rosie Mendez (D-2, Manhattan)   •   NY State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried (D-75th Assembly District)   •   The Honorable David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of NY City   •   NY State Assembly Member Deborah Glick (D-66th Assembly District)   •   US Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-New York's 13th Congressional District)   •   Religious Organizations & Leaders: Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Executive Director   •   Jazz Ministry at St. Peter’s Church, Amandus J. Derr, Senior Pastor   •   Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr., Senior Pastor at First Corinthian Baptist Church   •   Rev. Nat Dixon, Pastor at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church   •   Labor   •   New York Central Labor Council   •   American Federation of Musicians, Ray Hair ’ President; Sam Folio ’ Secretary-Treasurer   •   Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York   •   Local 802 Jazz Advisory Committee   •   Local 802 Theater Committee   •   NY State United Teachers   •   CUNY Professional Staff Congress   •   Actor's Equity Association   •   Communications Workers of America - District 1   •   Communications Workers of America - Local 1109   •   Central New Mexico Central Labor Council   •  

News & Events

Trombonist John Mosca Endorses Justice for Jazz Artists!

The respected trombonist, leader, and educator John Mosca has formally endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists.

John Mosca is a graduate of Juilliard, and has been on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, and The University of Connecticut, among others. He is one of the most respected instrumentalists in the world, a brilliant soloist, and one of the best jazz trombonists ever to grace the scene. John has appeared in numerous ensembles and on many records. For more than thirty years, he has played with the Grammy-nominated Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, formerly the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and currently serves as its director. He has also appeared in the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.

Welcome John!

Created with The GIMP

 

Writer Pens Open Letter to Clubs that Exploit Their Musicians

In a suffering economy practices like the ones we fight against here—club owners and promoters taking advantage of hard working artists—can become even more pronounced. A harsh economic climate can contribute to a kind of a slippery slope situation where artists who are already being taken advantage of are asked to give more and more and get less and less.

A new piece on Grassrootsy.com, a blog about marketing for independent artists, describes a climate in which artists are not only working for little or no pay, but are also asked to fulfill the function of promoter for their own gigs, forced to actually make an effort to bring in audiences for the chance to play shows.
Jazz musician and author of the piece, Dave Goldberg, has some advice for how to handle these managers and owners:

“I think we as musicians need to fight back. Sure You can get mad about it, but that won’t do anything. We could all agree not to play those for the door gigs, but you know that isn’t going to happen. But what we can do, is explain to the club owner that it’s not in their best interest to operate their business like this.”

Read the whole Grassrootsy article HERE.

 

NEA Master and Jazz Advocate Jimmy Owens Speaks Out on Justice for Jazz Artists

On Saturday, September 28, NEA Jazz Master and longtime jazz advocate Jimmy Owens spoke before a radio audience of an estimated 100,000 listeners, informing them of the plight of jazz musicians and their lack of access to basic benefits like health insurance, pension, Social Security, unemployment insurance and other statutory benefits that many workers take for granted.

The occasion was an invited appearance before the regular Saturday Morning Rally of the National Action Network, which is a not-for-profit, civil rights organization founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton in New York City, in early 1991.

In the spirit of the civil rights movement, the National Action Network (NAN) attempts to address the social and economic injustice experienced by blacks in the United States. The National Action Network is headquartered in Harlem, but currently has over forty active chapters nationwide.

Owens spoke on the subject of Justice for Jazz Artists, and its efforts to bring fair treatment to jazz musicians who work in major New York City nightclubs.  During his speech, Owens touched on his own participation in the Civil Rights Movement, as a musician who appeared in segregated venues in the American South during the 1960s, and the relationship between Civil Rights and the rights of jazz artists. “I traveled in the South, in a Jimmy Owens (2)station wagon filled with black musicians,” Owens recalled, “And a lot of the people I played with later made it big in the north. They came here and they worked in the clubs. But they didn’t get pension for that work. Unlike musicians in other genres, jazz musicians were left out.”  The broadcast and Owens’ speech were well received, and Justice for Jazz Artists received an immediate uptick in petition signatures and Facebook “likes” as a result.

The New York City jazz nightclubs targeted by the campaign include Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Iridium, Jazz Standard and the Village Vanguard.

As the campaign continues to gain visibility, it is the expectation of organizers that other public figures, including many elected officials, will come out in support J4JA.

To sign the petition in support of this campaign, go to www.justiceforjazzartists.org . Supporters should also “like” the campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForJazzArtists

The NAN Saturday Morning Rally is regularly broadcast over WLIB AM 1190, and there is a live feed of the event on the NAN website (http://nationalactionnetwork.net/). The NAN website also contains links to archived rallies, and Owens’ September 28th speech is archived there.

Owens was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in January, 2012.

 

Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr. Endorses J4JA!

Michael A. Walrond, Jr.—the Senior Pastor of the historic First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York City—has endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists.

Revered Walrond, who is affectionately known as ‘Pastor Mike,’ serves as the leader, Pastor and teacher at First Corinthian Baptist Church, where membership has skyrocketed over the past eight years from 350 to over 7,000.

Rev. Walron has built an innovative, ground-breaking ministry with a commitment to social justice. He serves as a board member of the National Action Network and in the spring of 2012 was appointed by Rev. Al Sharpton as the first National Director of the organization’s Ministers Division. Most recently he played a vital role in the passage of the ‘New York City Living Wage’ legislation in the City Council.

The Pastor also has a strong commitment to education at all levels, and currently serves as a Trustee and adjunct faculty member of Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago. Additionally, he served Duke University—where he attended Duke’s School of Divinity—as the University Minister and Director of the African American Campus Ministry for eight years.

Rev. Walrond has been honored as the recipient of various recognitions and citations including being inducted into Morehouse Colleges’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers as a “Distinguished Preacher.” His understanding of and dedication to social justice in the New York community make him a welcome addition to Justice for Jazz Artists ever-growing roster of supporters.

Welcome Pastor Walrond!

PastorMichaelWaldron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice for Jazz Artists Demonstrate Against Danny Meyer in Union Square

Despite the threat of thunderstorms and soaring temperatures, Justice for Jazz Artists (J4JA) activists and musicians were out again this week in New York City’s historic Union Square, playing for hundreds of onlookers, many of whom signed the J4JA petition, demanding that the Danny Meyer owned club, Jazz Standard, negotiate with Local 802/J4JA.

On Thursday, September 12, the six piece J4JA Brass Band, featuring a stellar New Orleans-styled “street beat” band union sq 5-thrhythm section, played “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Down By the Bay,” “After You’ve Gone” and other crowd pleasers while passersby stopped and met with J4JA/802 organizers and musician-volunteers, who passed out leaflets and explained the basic premise of the J4JA campaign: Fair treatment of jazz musicians in New York City and beyond.

After playing in Union Square for about an hour, the band moved on to set up in front of Danny Meyer’s flagship restaurant, Union Square Café, on East 16th Street.

Union Square Café is owned by Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which also owns the club Jazz Standard.

USHG/Jazz Standard has refused to answer any phone calls or letters from Local 802/J4JA, and has ignored advances from prominent elected officials in their attempts to initiate dialogue between the two parties. Among other demands, J4JA seeks pension contributions from Jazz Standard and other local clubs. Every year, scores of jazz musicians retire into poverty, with no safety net, and are forced to rely on charitable foundations to support them in their old age.

As patrons passed in and out through Union Square Café’s entrance, they were treated to a blast of expertly band union sq 2-threndered collectively improvised music, and many took leaflets. In keeping with prior demonstrations, Union Square Café management did not respond directly to queries about a meeting with J4JA, but only dispatched wait staff with lemonade for the musicians, attempting to mollify them. Most chose not to accept the drinks.

J4JA activists also leafleted at the Midtown Shake Shack, an upscale fast food restaurant on 8th Avenue, earlier in the day.

Shake Shack, with 33 restaurants worldwide, has locations in Boston, Westport, CT, Manhattan (multiple locations), Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, and London.

The chain is also owned by banner union sq-thMeyer’s USHG.

In 2010, the group’s annual gross income was estimated by CNBC to be over $71 million. It is significantly higher today. Recent unscientific estimates range into the hundreds of millions.

Based on conservative estimates by J4JA, pension contributions for all musicians who work at Jazz Standard would total less than $100,000 annually.

 

Justice For Jazz Artists to March in African American Day Parade!

Justice for Jazz Artists will be at this Sunday’s African American Day Parade! #J4JA’s Brass band—always present at our signature musical marches and demonstrations—will participate in this great event on September 15th in Harlem.

The Grand Marshalls for this year parade will include J4JA supporter and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins as well as Rev. Al Sharpton, David Patterson, Dr. Adelaide Sanford, Congressman Charles Rangle, William Thompson and Lillian Roberts.

Join us as we march to celebrate African American history and achievements, and help us spread the word about the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign!

WHAT: African American Day Parade
WHEN: September 15th, 12:30pm
WHERE: Meet at 111th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

Please RSVP to awitkowski@local802afm.org or 212-245-4802 ext 157.

 

Justice for Jazz Artists Keeps the Pressure on Danny Meyer and His Jazz Standard with Demo TODAY!

The J4JA Brass Band will be out in force again THIS THURSDAY, September 12th to keep the pressure on Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, owners of Jazz Standard!

J4JA and its supporters will demonstrate at several USHG-affiliated properties, demanding fairness in the form of pension contributions, pay scales and protections on recording rights for the musicians who make clubs like Jazz Standard so successful.

As always, grab an instrument or a friend and join us at 4:30PM at Union Square Park (Union Sq. West between 16th and 17th Streets). We’ll see you there!

WHEN: THIS Thursday, September 12th
TIME: 4:30PM
WHERE: NW corner of Union Square Park. Meet at Union Square West between 16th and 17th Streets!
WHY: To demand Pension contributions, Pay scales and Protections on recordings at NYC clubs.

Fairness. Dignity Respect. Now’s the Time!

 

Saxophonist/Flautist Carol Sudhalter Endorsers J4JA!

Jazz saxophonist (baritone and tenor) and flautist Carol Sudhalter has publicly endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists.

Photo credit, John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

Photo credit, John Watson/jazzcamera.co.ukd joining the all-women Latin band “Latin Fever,” which played the 1978 Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden alongside Tito Puente.

Carol, who took up the flute in the early ‘60s at Smith College, started playing saxophone in the mid ‘70s, moving to New York and joining the all-women Latin band “Latin Fever,” which played the 1978 Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden alongside Tito Puente.

Last year she was a nominee for Best International Jazz Flautist in DownBeat Magazine’s 77th Annual Jazz

Readers’ Poll —and was voted within the top 10! A tireless advocate for jazz music and education, she pioneered several jazz series in her home borough of Queens, including the Athens Square Park Jazz Mondays series (1998-2001), presenting jazz to local residents. She has spent 30 years teaching private flute, saxophone and piano lessons, including six years in the New York Pops “Salute to Music” Program.

Carol has performed with Sarah McLawler, Etta Jones, Chico Freeman, Jimmy McGriff, Duffy Jackson and many others. She can be heard with her Quartet, Sextet and the Astoria Jazz Band on several Carolina Records releases, including the CD, ‘Last Train to Astoria,’ and on several releases in her own name on Alfa Music, Rome.

Welcome Carol!

 

Jam Session to be held to honor of the life of the late Alma Carroll, wife of late Jazz Vocalist Joe “Bebop” Carroll

Musicians and fans will come together tonight to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Alma Carroll, wife of Joe “Bebop” Carroll, at Jazz 966 in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, located at 966 Fulton Street.

The jam session will begin at 7:30PM and end at 10:30PM.

 

Support Justice for Jazz on Labor Day via National Workers’ Rights TWEETATHON

This holiday weekend, supporters of j4JA can show support by tweeting along with members of the Associated Federation of Musicians, Actors’ Equity, MLBPA, NFLPA, NHLPA, SAG-AFTRA, and Writers Guild East—in an effort to put the “Labor” back in Labor Day.

The goals is to use Twitter this weekend to let everyone know why unions and workers’ rights in America are so indispensable. Throughout the weekend, union members will be tweeting to tell the world why they are they are part of the labor movement, using the hashtag #unionmember

Example posts include:
 

  • ALL musicians should be paid fairly for our work: in a club, studio, on stage, or in the pit.. That’s why I’m a #unionmember of #theAFM.
  •  

  • Musicians are workers, and workers deserve to be treated w/respect. That’s why I’m a proud #UnionMember of #theAFM. RT if you are too.
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  • Music is my passion. It’s also how I make my living. Proud to be a #unionmember with #theAFM, the @MusiciansUnion. Happy #LaborDay!
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  • Workers of the world, unite! #Solidarity w/courageous workers standing up & fighting back all over. #strikewave #unionmember #theAFM
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