Category Archives: Features

“Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter – Anne-Sophie Mutter & John Williams

Available as of May 10, 2019 is “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter for violin and orchestra, adapted and conducted by John Williams himself and recorded with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the 70-strong Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles at the iconic Sony Studios in Los Angeles. Continue reading

#AFM47 Member Spotlight: Raphael Saadiq

Raphael Saadiq is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer, and member of AFM Local 47 since 2013. He has been a standard bearer for “old school” R&B since his early days as a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné!

He has also produced songs for such artists as Joss Stone, D’Angelo, TLC, En Vogue, Kelis, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Whitney Houston, Solange Knowles and John Legend. Continue reading

Seth MacFarlane gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Honorary AFM Local 47 Member Seth MacFarlane received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 23, 2019.

The multi-talented actor/composer/performer/producer is renowned in the musical community for his commitment to live music and musicians, in addition to his generous support of philanthropic causes. He has created some of the most popular content on television and in film today – Family Guy, American Dad!, The Orville, Ted, A Million Ways to Die in the West all scored with AFM Local 47 musicians.

MacFarlane also works as an activist against climate change, is a supporter of Reading Rainbow, and serves with the Human Rights Campaign. 

Safe Jobs are Every Worker’s Right

A message from AFL-CIO:

Nearly 50 years ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job. Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer and saved lives. But our work is not done. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more suffer injury or illness because of their jobs. Continue reading

#AFM47 Member Spotlight: Abraham Laboriel

AFM Local 47 Life Member Abraham Laboriel has lived a life surrounded by music. 

Born in Mexico City, his parents were Garifuna immigrants from Honduras. His sister is singer Ela Laboriel, and their brother was late rock singer Johnny Laboriel. Abraham is the father of  drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and of producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel — both of whom are also proud members of the Los Angeles musicians union. Continue reading

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra: Another View

In response to a laudatory article about the non-union Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra titled “This orchestra wants no conductor: How Kaleidoscope aims to move in different directions” published in the LA Times by Rick Schultz on Feb. 13, 2019, we share another view written by AFM Local 47 Director Vivian Wolf. Kaleidoscope refuses to sign onto an AFM contract and currently appears on the union’s Do Not Work For list for failure to pay musicians according to industry standards. Along with the entire Executive Board, Wolf is deeply concerned about this situation, and Local 47 will continue to reach out to Kaleidoscope in order to discuss organizing the orchestra and its musicians under an AFM agreement.

It was with great interest that I read the article by Rick Schultz describing the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. The article was highly laudatory and indeed, there is much to praise about the ensemble founded by Benjamin Mitchell. It is the only conductor-less orchestra in the Los Angeles area, it brings music to unique venues and champions new repertoire. What it doesn’t do, is pay the performers a fair wage. In fact, by refusing any involvement with the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, Kaleidoscope is exploiting the enthusiasm and energy of its young musicians. Even though the ensemble receives many large contributions, the orchestra does not have any kind of contract and certainly doesn’t offer the players any health or pension benefits — benefits that would be in play under a union contract. Continue reading

Thomas Stevens Memorial Scholarship Launched for Young Trumpeters

Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens

The Center for Advanced Musical Studies is delighted to announce the Thomas Stevens Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship for young trumpeters who embody the musicality, educational drive and compassion of the brilliant trumpeter, composer, pedagogue, and friend Thomas Stevens (1938-2018). Continue reading

Symphonic Jazz Orchestra: Music in the Schools

Keeping classical & jazz alive one classroom at a time

by Linda A. Rapka

A self-proclaimed torchbearer for its uniquely innovative hybrid art, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra proudly stands as the only orchestra in the nation dedicated solely to blending the worlds of jazz and classical music. Since its founding in 2001, the 67-piece orchestra has commissioned 13 new works and performed seven world premieres, along with three U.S. premieres. Each year SJO presents a free symphonic jazz concert for the community at the Carpenter Performing Arts center at Cal State Long Beach, and this year’s concert in March included a rare arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue” with Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe. Continue reading