Category Archives: WhyUnion

#WhyUnion? John Clayton

“As a jazz musician, I’ve spent my life watching my heroes and colleagues being cheated and taken advantage of in professional situations. We’ve all got stories. I believe that organized solidarity and unity is key to battling these very real and negative elements. That’s where a union comes in. If the people we work for perform dishonest acts, we need to hold them accountable. Our combined voices and numbers are our strength. The stronger our union, the stronger our voice. That’s the way it’s supposed to work and we should all find ways to create as strong a union as we can.”

– John Clayton, Bassist
Member since 1976

#WhyUnion? Kathleen Robertson

“The Musicians Union protects its members in that it sets the standard of pay and allows for the benefit of health care and pension. History has shown that without these standards it is extremely difficult if not impossible to maintain a safe working environment and a fair working wage.”

– Kathleen Robertson, Violinist
Member since 1991

#WhyUnion? Gina Kronstadt

“Why Union? I’ve remained a union member since 1976 because the jobs are more professionally run, musicians are shown more respect (proper breaks and environment), access to rehearsal rooms, and we receive our benefits and back-end payments. No brainer. #winwinwinwinwin”

– Gina Kronstadt, Violinist
Member since 1976

#WhyUnion? Siddhartha Khosla

“Now more than ever, the musicians that bring our scores to life need us. With the challenging times we’re in, unions become even more important in supporting our fellow players and collaborators. It’s important for musicians to know that a union, and we composers have their back.”

– Siddhartha Khosla, Composer
Member since 2013

#WhyUnion? Beate & Chris Walden

“It seems to me that especially during a time of great instability, people need community and support. These valid forms of human need are met through the union’s support systems which keep musician’s pay and health benefits steady. Nothing could be more crucial for an artist.”

– Beate Walden, Violinist
Member since 2021


“The most important aspect of our union to me is solidarity. We watch out for each other, and stand up together for our rights and adequate pay.”

– Chris Walden, Arranger
Member since 1996