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General Membership Meeting: Oct. 28, 2019

On the Agenda (subject to change):
* Presentation of 50-Year Pins
* Officer Reports
* Wage Scale Committee Update
* Old and New Business

Open to all members in good standing.
Please review meeting policies here.

At our next membership meeting on Oct. 28, the Wage Scale Committee invites members to address any questions, concerns, corrections, suggestions, etc. relating to our Live Performance and Live Music Prep wage scales as we prepare updates for 2020. If you are unable to attend the meeting but wish to share your comments with the Wage Scale Committee, please email gary.lasley@afm47.org. Continue reading

Musicians Hold Live Street Performance Calling on Disney’s Dana Walden to Provide Fair Pay

Contract fight continues as film/TV studios refuse to pay musicians streaming residuals

LOS ANGELES, CA (Oct. 11, 2019) — Today musicians who score for television and films performed live music outside the Variety 2019 Power of Women luncheon calling on honoree Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, to pay musicians fairly for their work on streaming movies and TV shows. Continue reading

Non-Union Concert Alert: Shahkar Bineshpajooh

AFM members are advised that the Shahkar Bineshpajooh concert taking place at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 30, 2019 is a non-union engagement, with no protections for fair wages, health & welfare, pension, or other benefits that come with union contracts.

AFM Local 47 has been in discussions with Mr. Bineshpajooh and the venue to try and secure an appropriate AFM agreement. Unfortunately they have not agreed to sign a union contract. We recommend that AFM members not participate until such a contract is in place.

As professional musicians, we must take a stand against taking jobs at sub-standard rates far below what we deserve. We not only cheat ourselves by accepting such engagements, but we also cheat our colleagues by setting a precedent that it’s acceptable to undervalue us and our work. Any musician performing at a major venue like the Microsoft Theater deserves to earn a fair wage and benefits in line with industry standard.

If you are contacted to participate in this concert, please alert the President’s Office at 323.993.3181 or john.acosta@afm47.org. We want to make sure you are paid correctly and receive the proper benefits.

Musicians #BandTogether at Kickoff Rallies in LA, NY in Contract Fight for New Media Residuals

Negotiations resume this month with film/TV producers  

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — Today members of the American Federation of Musicians rallied from coast to coast as part of the musicians’ national grassroots #BandTogether campaign calling on film and TV producers to offer a fair contract that includes streaming residuals. 

In Sherman Oaks, a large crowd gathered in the morning outside the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers headquarters, where bargaining resumed today, to perform live music and rally with leaders from entertainment unions including SAG-AFTRA and WGA West. In New York, a concurrent rally took place outside NBCUniversal headquarters at Rockefeller Center with Congressman Jerrold Nadler and AFM members. The rallies follow several public actions held in recent weeks in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. Continue reading

Musicians #BandTogether at Alex Theatre to Demand Fair Contract From Disney CEO Bob Iger

GLENDALE, CA (Oct. 2, 2019) — On Tuesday night more than 50 musicians held a flash-mob musical street performance outside of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s book signing event at the Alex Theatre as part of the grassroots #BandTogether campaign to demand that Disney and other major film and television studios improve standards for musicians’ work in new media. Continue reading

October 2019 Overture Online: #BandTogether

Inside This Issue:

  • #BandTogether
    Musicians mobilize for a fair contract
  • Sweetwater: 50 Years After Woodstock
    The first band to play at Woodstock recalls the historic festival that defined a generation
  • Career Pathways Mentorship Program
    Musicians changing lives one student at a time

and more!

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Overture Online is optimized for reading via smartphone or tablet. For those without access to a smart device, issues may be viewed on a web browser here. Local 47 members may download archived pdf versions from the members section at afm47.org.

LA Jazz Society Honors Lee Ritenour & More at 2019 Awards Concert

Jazz lovers are encouraged to get their tickets soon for a spectacular concert on October 5, 2019 as the Los Angeles Jazz Society honors jazz legends and supporters at the Montalban Theatre. 

The Jazz Tribute honoree this year is Grammy award winning jazz guitarist, AFM Local 47 Life Member Lee Ritenour, being recognized for his long career spanning 40+ years, and his tremendous support of young musicians as well as through the Six String Theory Competition. Continue reading

LA Times: How the rise of streaming might turn Hollywood musicians into an endangered species

Hollywood musicians, those foot soldiers who bring the work of celebrated composers such as John Williams (“Star Wars”), James Horner (“Titanic”) and Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk”) to life, have faced a mound of professional challenges in recent years.

Producers record their film scores in London or other overseas locations to avoid paying union scale, digital recordings have eaten away at opportunities for live players, and studios penny-pinch on music in countless ways even though their recording budgets are typically a tiny piece of a project’s budget — a $100-million project might spend less than $400,000 on musicians’ pay.

But now the musicians are facing a threat that some call potentially an “extinction-level event.” It’s the takeover of the entertainment industry by streaming video services.

> continue reading @ latimes.com

Final Note: Matthew Lincoln Utal

Former Life Member. Saxophone
7/13/1926 – 9/5/2019

Matt Utal passed away at the age of 93 on September 5, 2019. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 13, 1926 to Eunice Bloom and Louis Wattel. Eunice later moved to California and married Michael Utal, who adopted Matt in 1931. He began to study piano as a little boy. Continue reading