Category Archives: Features

Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus Serena Kay Williams Reaches the Grand Milestone

Serena Kay Williams made history as the first woman officer of AFM Local 47 when she was elected Secretary in 1984, a position she held until her retirement in 2007. Her legacy as a trailblazing musicians advocate and union leader stands as an inspiring tale of dedication, perseverance, and strength. AFM Local 47 President Emeritus Hal Espinosa shares his congratulations to his longtime friend, colleague and mentor in honor of her 100th birthday on April 9, 2021.


by Hal Espinosa, AFM Local 47 President Emeritus

Serena, less than 1% of all people have the privilege of earning the title “Centurion” and fortunately for us, this has been granted to such a remarkable person. A 100th birthday is a Grand Milestone and something to be celebrated. I would like to say, “When I grow up, I want to be like you.” Some might say I’m too old to use that line, so instead, I’ll just wish you a very Happy Birthday!
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David Angel Jazz Ensemble: ‘Out on the Coast’

A Triple-Disc Triumph a Lifetime in the Making

Los Angeles native David Angel is one of the most respected composer/arrangers on the West Coast; however, he is virtually unknown to the general public. That is why tuba and bass-trombone master Jim Self decided it was time to rectify that situation. He brought together the David Angel Jazz Ensemble to record “Out on the Coast,” a gorgeous three-disc, first of its kind anthology of Angel’s music. Continue reading

Book Review: “Horns Up, Boys…It’s Showtime!” by John Hughes Bennett

A Rare Glimpse Behind the Curtain!

Have you ever wondered what goes on backstage at professional shows? After working with some of the biggest names in show business, professional trumpet player John Hughes Bennett shares unique stories about the famous entertainers, dancers, singers, and musicians he worked with for over 60 years. Continue reading

Unsettling the Score: Interview with composer Nathaniel Blume

How fraught familial drama and steely surgical tools inspired Nathaniel Blume’s killer soundtrack for ‘Prodigal Son’

by Max Weinstein

To say that stories about serial killers enjoy a permanent residency in popular imagination would be to state the obvious. The challenge, now, isn’t for stories about psychopaths to draw an audience, but to offer a fresh take on a subject done to death.

Composer Nathaniel Blume says that “Prodigal Son” — the Fox crime drama he recently scored—meets that challenge by putting family first. The series follows Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), an ex-FBI profiler whose relationship with his father, serial killer Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), gives him unique insight into murderers’ motives. Blume, whose credits include “Arrow” and “The Flash,” approached “Prodigal Son” by focusing more on its characters’ blood ties than on the blood itself. Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Adventures in Arranging’ by Dr. Richard Niles

Composer/arranger/producer, AFM Local 47 member Dr. Richard Niles has had musical adventures with some of the world’s most successful and acclaimed artists from Paul McCartney to Pat Metheny, James Brown to Randy Brecker, Tina Turner to Michael McDonald, Ray Charles to the Pet Shop Boys. Continue reading

Bugler Jay Cohen returns to work at Santa Anita Park


LA Times Sports Column by Bill Plaschke: “He plays alone to empty seats, but L.A.’s only working live musician has song of hope”


“Call to the Post” never sounded so sweet: Last week bugler Jay Cohen returned to work at the Santa Anita Park racetrack, the first AFM Local 47 member to file a live performance contract with the union amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

We spoke with Jay after his first day back to work on Friday, May 15 about his experience returning to work with the new safety procedures in place. Continue reading