Category Archives: Features

Musicians Helping Musicians

Months of hard work in physical therapy paid off, allowing Kevin Brandon (“Brandino”) to say goodbye to his wheelchair and move around on foot with the aid of a walker. “I can walk now because of Kaiser Permanente,” Brandon says.

Member-led health education committee strives to serve those in need

Known professionally as Brandino, bassist extraordinaire Kevin Brandon has enjoyed a long and varied career full of successes.

But it didn’t come easy.

Born with congenital clubfeet and a hip displacement, Brandon has used his musical successes to support those with handicaps and special needs. He has long made it a primary mission in his life to spread awareness and assist with fundraisers in order to inspire and help those in need to acquire information and access resources to improve their quality of life. Continue reading

The Labor Wave: How Unions Carried the Midterms

The labor movement helped elect a wave of union members and pro-worker allies across the country this week.

We proved that if you support working people, we’ll have your back. And we sent a resounding message to every candidate and elected official that if you seek to divide and destroy us, we’ll fight back with everything we have. Continue reading

Tony & Me

The unlikely and continuing musical journey of a lifetime … so far

Guest Column by Gregg Field, 2018 Emmy Winner: Outstanding Music Direction, “Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress – Gershwin Prize for Popular Song”

Gregg Field holds his Emmy for his musical direction on “Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Poplar Song.” A multiple Grammy winner, this marks Field’s first Emmy win. [Courtesy Gregg Field]

I had no idea how or why as a teenager I fell in love with Tony Bennett’s music. It happened sometime in the early seventies. I was a young kid playing drums in my high school jazz band in the San Francisco east bay area with all the dreams of making it as a pro someday.

Tony Bennett would regularly appear two or three times a year at the Fairmont hotel Venetian Room in San Francisco. Whenever he was in town, I would drag my girlfriend, who would have much preferred to be at the Fillmore to Tony’s buttoned down, coat and tie concert. Continue reading

Making the Film of a Lifetime

The incredible journey of ‘Matt and Maya’

by Linda A. Rapka

Sometimes when making a film, what goes on behind the scenes makes for a compelling story all its own. And one would be hard pressed to find a more impressive example than the story of “Matt and Maya.”

It all began at the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a not-for-profit charity located in Woodland Hills founded in 1921 to serve members of the entertainment industry as a retirement and assisted living facility, as well as a creative space for individuals to thrive in their later years. Among the many programs offered to MPTF residents include opportunities to create films and television programs that are broadcast on a closed-circuit station on the property. Continue reading

Building Bridges

Students of the pilot Local 47 Career Pathways Program visit the Streisand Scoring Stage at Sony Pictures in Culver City. [photo by Tiffany Israel]

AFM Local 47 Career Pathways Pilot Program Strikes a Chord With Students

The Local 47 Career Pathways Program recently concluded its pilot session, and by all accounts was a resounding success.

With funding completely secured by the Verdugo Workforce Development Board from federal, state, and local sources, the program teamed up with the union to connect younger generation high schoolers with professionals working in the music industry.

Continue reading

Welcome, Theater Musicians Association!

AFM Secretary/Treasurer Gary Lasley (far left) joins the newly sworn-in TMA Officers for a group photo. [by Tom Mendel]

AFM Local 47 was proud to host the 23rd Annual International Conference of the Theatre Musicians Association Aug. 20-21.

Theater musicians from across the United States and Canada joined together with the mission of continuing to build the organization that is our voice within the American Federation of Musicians.  Continue reading

Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship

Violinists Ayrton Pisco and Sydney Adedamola, violist Bradley Parrimore, and cellist Juan-Salvador Carrasco [photo: Ben Gibbs]

New community program brings diversity to the classical arts

Four top-tier post-graduate string musicians from underrepresented communities have been announced as the first class of the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, a program designed to increase diversity in American orchestras.

Launched in August 2018, the groundbreaking program was conceived by a partnership of Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), the country’s largest African-American-majority youth orchestra; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras; and USC Thornton School of Music, one of the country’s top music programs.  Continue reading

LA Phil’s 100 for the 100th: Be Our Guest

LA Phil partners with L.A. County to make 10,000 free Walt Disney Concert Hall tickets available during centennial season

Breaking down economic barriers to Walt Disney Concert Hall and ensuring that its Centennial will be a celebration for all of L.A., the Los Angeles Philharmonic today announced that it will collaborate with the Los Angeles County Supervisors through its Education Department to distribute 10,000 free tickets to concerts during the anniversary season, October 2018 through June 2019. Continue reading

Are you or a loved one turning 65?

Understanding how private insurance and Medicare work together is an important part of your healthcare. Many Americans over age 65 are using private insurance in addition to Medicare.

For more information, read “How Does Medicare Work with Other Insurance?” by eHealth and the Union Plus Retiree Health Insurance Program. It can help you understand your options as you turn 65 and make decisions on enrolling in Medicare. Continue reading