Keisha Slide
Keisha slide
NEA Jazz Master Lou Donaldson
Lou donaldson photo
Jimmy Owens: Musician and Supporter
Jimmy Owens: Musician and Supporter
Pay. Pension. Protection. Process. The time is now!
Pay. Pension. Protection. Process. Now’s the …
J4JA History
J4JA Video
J4JA Video

Jazz musicians playing in major
New York City clubs are not guaranteed fair pay, do not receive healthcare benefits and
often retire in poverty.

NYC’s Birdland, Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard and the Village Vanguard refuse to pay into a pension fund that would allow jazz artists to retire with dignity. Sign the petition below and tell the club owners to do right by the musicians who make them rich. Local 802 American Federation of Musicians
J4JA Endorsers:
  Prominent Musicians   •   Jason Moran   •   Christian McBride   •   Ron Carter   •   Jimmy Owens   •   Marc Ribot   •   Jimmy Cobb   •   Harry Belafonte   •   Joe Lovano   •   John Pizzarelli   •   Bucky Pizzarelli   •   Dave Liebman   •   Kenny Barron   •   Fred Hersch   •   Bertha Hope   •   Bernard Purdie   •   Bob Cranshaw   •   Lakecia Benjamin   •   Bobby Sanabria   •   Randy Weston   •   Billy Harper   •   Janet Lawson   •   Wycliffe Gordon   •   Dr. Larry Ridley   •   Gene Perla   •   Seth MacFarlane   •   Rufus Reid   •   Andrew Lamb   •   James Spaulding   •   Phil Woods   •   Akua Dixon   •   David Amram   •   Ed MacEachen   •   Butch Miles   •   Charli Persip   •   Kenny Davis   •   Junior Mance   •   Charles Tolliver   •   Keisha St. Joan   •   Regina Carter   •   James Carter   •   Judi Silvano   •   Papo Vasquez   •   Paquito D’ Rivera   •   Chris Walden   •   Tom "Bones" Malone   •   Lou Donaldson   •   Billy Kaye   •   Roy Campbell   •   Harold Mabern   •   Dr. Lewis Porter   •   Mala Waldron   •   Michael Abene   •   "Sweet" Sue Terry   •   Ron Jackson   •   Steven Bernstein   •   Douglas Purviance   •   Ras Moshe   •   Patience Higgins   •   James Chirillo   •   Saul Rubin   •   Bobby Shankin   •   Bill Kirchner   •   Jay Leonhart   •   Rachel Z   •   Bill Frisell   •   Joe Temperley   •   Jerry Dodgion   •   Russell Malone   •   Jay Brandford   •   Steve Davis   •   Carol Sudhalter   •   John Mosca   •   Alicia Hall Moran   •   Shari Belafonte   •   Sean Smith   •   Ivan Renta   •   Bobby LaVell   •   Jon Owens   •   Gary Smulyan   •   Melvin Gibbs   •   Onaje Allan Gumbs   •   Dick Griffin   •   Dale Turk   •   Bill Crow   •   Marsha Heydt   •   Cleave Guyton   •   Francesca Tanksley   •   Elisabeth Lohninger   •   Rory Stuart   •   Charles Bartlett   •   Armen Donelian   •   Ray Blue   •   Buster Williams   •   Ulysses Owens, Jr.   •   Steve Johns   •   Daryl Johns   •   Terence Blanchard   •   Scott Robinson   •   Tierney Sutton   •   Bill Saxton   •   Tatum Greenblatt   •   Anderw Cyrille   •   Supporters in Memoriam   •   Carline Ray   •   Hank Jones   •   Dr. Billy Taylor   •   Benny Powell   •   Amiri Baraka   •   Gaudencio Thiago de Mello   •   Jazz Organizations   •   Jazz Foundation of America   •   Andy Kirk Research Foundation   •   Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium   •   Jazz Bridge   •   Educational Institutions   •   New School Jazz Department Faculty Committee   •   Rutgers-Newark Master’s Program in Jazz History and Research   •   The Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives at the University of the District of Columbia   •   Writers, Journalist and Educators   •   Martin Mueller   •   Stanley Crouch   •   Gary Giddins   •   Nat Hentoff   •   Dan Morgenstern   •   John Chilton   •   Dr. Judith Schlesinger   •   Emilie Pons   •  
Elected Officials   •   NY City Council Members James Van Bramer (D-26, Queens)   •   Corey D. Johnson (D-3, Manhattan)   •   Laurie A. Cumbo (D-35, Brooklyn)   •   I. Daneek Miller (D-27, Queens)   •   Robert Cornegy (D-36, Brooklyn)   •   Mark Levine (D-7, Manhattan)   •   Deborah Rose (Staten Island)   •   Stephen Levin (D-33, Brooklyn)   •   Costa G. Constantinides (D-22, Queens)   •   Brad Lander (D-39, Brooklyn)   •   Daniel R. Garodnick (D-4, Manhattan)   •   Jumaane D. Williams (D-45, Brooklyn)   •   Antonio Reynoso (D-34 Brooklyn)   •   Elizabeth S. Crowley (D-30, Queens)  •   Speaker of NY City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-8, Manhattan)   •   NY State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-27)   •   NY State Senator Kevin Parker (D-21)   •   NY State Senator Jose Peralta (D-13)   •   NY State Senator Liz Krueger (D-28)   •   NY State Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (D-67th Assembly District)   •   NY State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried (D-75th Assembly District)   •   NY State Assembly Member Deborah Glick (D-66th Assembly District)   •   US Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), US Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)   •   US Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY)   •   NY City Comptroller Scott Stringer   •   Public Advocate Letitia James   •   Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer   •   The Honorable David N. Dinkins   •   106th Mayor of NY City   •   William Thompson, NY City Comptroller 2002-2009   •   Religious Organizations & Leaders: Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Executive Director   •   Jazz Ministry at St. Peter’s Church, Amandus J. Derr, Senior Pastor   •   Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr., Senior Pastor at First Corinthian Baptist Church   •   Rev. Nat Dixon, Pastor at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church   •   Dr. Cornel West   •   Labor   •   New York Central Labor Council   •   American Federation of Musicians, Ray Hair ’ President; Sam Folio ’ Secretary-Treasurer   •   Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York   •   Local 802 Jazz Advisory Committee   •   Local 802 Theater Committee   •   NY State United Teachers   •   CUNY Professional Staff Congress   •   Actor's Equity Association   •   Communications Workers of America - District 1   •   Communications Workers of America - Local 1109   •   Central New Mexico Central Labor Council   •   ACT-UAW Local 7902, Emily Barnett, President   •  

News & Events

Tell KIDAM: They Played, You Pay!

Back in January, French film company KIDAM recorded 27 bands at Winter Jazzfest to appear on Mezzo TV throughout Europe. Today, those bands still have not been paid their full wages and benefits. What’s more, many of the acts have received NOTHING for their work. This situation is unacceptable.

J4JA needs your help in letting KIDAM know that fans of the art will not tolerate their exploitation of these musicians. Learn more here and join musicians at a RALLY NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8th at 2pm on Madison between 51st and 52nd (RSVP Here). Visit the musicians’ page and sign your name to their email petition, which will send an email letting KIDAM know that it’s unacceptable for them not to uphold their end of the bargain with some of New York’s top musicians.

Additionally, please take time to make your voice heard on social media. Take to Twitter and Facebook to send KIDAM a strong message: #PayTheBandsKIDAM!

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Phil WoodsMuch like the rest of the jazz world, J4JA laments today the passing of Saxophonist Phil Woods. Phil was a deft improviser and a great steward of his craft. Even beyond his virtuosity, technical skill and great contribution to bebop as a form he will live on through his presence in the canon of pop music on songs like Billie Joel’s “Just The Way You Are” and Paul Simon’s “Have A Good Time.”

Not only was Phil a legend at his craft, he was an advocate for justice and the humane treatment of his fellow musicians. He was a staunch supporter of the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign and fought for the rights of musicians in NYC and elsewhere, because he believed musicians deserve treatment commensurate with their very important cultural contributions.

We’ll miss you Phil.


Famed Free Jazz Drummer Andrew Cyrille has Publicly Endorsed J4JA!

Jazz drummer and educator Anderw Cyrille has endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists.

Born in 1939, Mr. Cyrille is one of the great free jazz drummers of his generation. Cyrille began playing drums in a drum and bugle corps at the age of 11. At 15, he played in a trio with guitarist Eric Gale. He enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in 1958.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he worked with such mainstream musicians as Mary Lou Williams, Roland Hanna, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins, and Junior Mance. He recorded with Hawkins, as well as tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, for the Savoy label. Cyrille succeeded Sunny Murray as Cecil Taylor’s drummer in 1964, staying with the pianist until 1975, during which time he played on many of Taylor’s classic albums. He played with a good many other top players during that period including Marion Brown, Grachan Moncur III and Jimmy Giuffre.

He also served for a time as artist in residence at Antioch College and recorded a solo percussion album, 1969’s “What About?” on BYG. In the mid 1970s, Cyrille, Rashied Ali, and Milford Graves collaborated on a series of concerts entitled “Dialogue of the Drums.” Beginning in 1975 and lasting into the ’80s, Cyrille led his own group, called Maono, which included the tenor saxophonist David S. Ware, trumpeter Ted Daniel, pianist Sonelius Smith, and at various times bassists Lisle Atkinson and Nick DiGeronimo. During this time Cyrille also played with “the Group,” a band that included the violinist Billy Bang, bassist Sirone, altoist Brown, and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. With Graves, Don Moye, and Kenny Clarke, Cyrille recorded the all-percussion album “Pieces of Time” for Soul Note in 1983.

When not leading his own bands he has also worked ubiquitously as a sideman with, among others, John Carter, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jimmy Lyons. Cyrille, who teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, has recorded prolifically for Black Saint/Soul Note, FMP, and DIW. Most recently he has appeared with Reggie Workman and Oliver Lake as Trio 3.

Welcome Andrew!


J4JA Supporters Once Again Fill the List of Jazz Journalists Association Awards Winners

The Jazz Journalists Association has just announced winners in 32 JJA Jazz Awards categories for 2015. Every year the organization awards those musicians who have shown excellence in their respective fields, extreme precision on their instrument or broken new ground with acclaimed albums. And this year, as in most, our musician supporters are heavily represented in the field of winners.

We are always quite proud of the heavyweights that are attracted to our cause, which goes to show that the best in the field of jazz recognize that in order for the art to grow and thrive we must treat its purveyors with respect and dignity.

Our supporters won across a broad range of categories, from being the best instrumentalists in their respective fields to putting out the year’s best records. Perhaps most importantly, the venerable Randy Weston–not the first time he’s graced the list by a long shot–won the award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz! Congratulations Mr. Weston.

Additional winners include Jason Moran, who was named Musician of the Year, Christian McBride, Regina Carter and Kenny Barron. Notably, Mr. Barron took home three awards: Record of the Year and Trio or Duo of the Year (accompanied by Dave Holland on both counts), and Pianist of the Year.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks for all that you do.

See the full list of 2014 JJA Award winners here.

Celebrate May Day with J4JA!

J4JA friends and supporters, it’s that time of the year again. Spring is here, and it’s time to celebrate with and for working people all over the world!

Join banner union sq-thLocal 802 and the J4JA Brass Band as we march alongside fellow unions, community groups, and other activists from all over the city to stand up for workers’ rights!

We need a strong showing of musicians to show that musicians and artists deserve fair wages and union protections!

We’ll be marching down “Billionaire’s Row” (Central Park South), passing by the home of Walmart owner Alice Walton and ending in a protest rally to call for “Real Jobs, Real Wages, and Real Rights” for all workers.

Meet us Friday, May 1st at the Southwest corner of East 60th St. & Lexington Ave at 4:30 PM.

Please RSVP:



Mountain View

Photo by Jimmy Katz

Joe Lovano, a long-time J4JA supporter, Local 802 member and talented musician, speaks out about the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign and building solidarity in the jazz movement in the new issue of Allegro.

Local 802 rep Bob Pawlo sat down with Mr. Lovano for an interview about growing as a musician, early gig stories and favorite players, technique, advice for young musicians and his feelings on the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign.

Jazz players are dedicated artists and innovators and the fight for economic justice in the community is about more than security for individual artists, as important as that is. Our campaign is about both obtaining security for the artists and maintaining an environment where the art form can continue to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the culture, as it has for decades. Joe nails it when he says:

Justice for Jazz Artists is so important, and it has to apply to all of our work. This campaign is just the first step in reaching that goal. People need to know that we love to play and we live to play but we also play to live so show the love back and treat us right!

See what Joe had to say to club owners and about life as a musician at Allegro’s site, here.


J4JA Organizer Writes About Challenges of Building Movements That Matter

Allegro logo

Click here for more from Allegro

John O’Connor—Local 802 Vice President and a key organizer of the J4JA campaign—has an illuminating article in the newest issue of Allegro (Local 802’s monthly publication) about union membership and what it takes to build meaningful movements that result in real change.

O’Connor’s piece, titled “You’ve Got to Be In It to Win It,” argues that the best way to win real economic change is through solidarity that extends to every member of a community. In other words, it’s easier to achieve victory for everyone when all members have a stake—and stand together as part of a common cause.

This is one of the guiding principles of the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign—building a critical mass of community support is vital to obtaining economic security for more of the community’s hard-working, talented artists. Our prominent musician endorsers, who stand up for the movement’s goals even when they personally may not be the ones most in need, are shining examples of this principle of solidarity.

Mr. O’Connor puts it succinctly:

I know several jazz musicians who are members of Local 802 for this reason … they see the union as a social compact with their brothers and sisters.

Click here to read Mr. O’Connor’s piece in full and make sure to check back in with the Allegro page for its monthly issues.


J4JA Supporters Grammy Nominees

Justice for Jazz Artists musicians are passionate advocates for fairness in the NYC music scene, and they are some of the most talented purveyors of jazz, the most American of art forms.

The 57th annual Grammy Awards are coming up this Sunday, February 8th. Unsurprisingly, many of our talented supporters are among those nominated for the music industry’s most prestigious honors.

Justice for Jazz Artists wants to thank our musician endorsers for all their hard work and congratulate them on their nominations–they are:

Rufus Reid, Best Instrumental Composition; Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Kenny Barron, Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Fred Hersch, Best Improvised Jazz Solo; Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Joe Lovano, Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Tierney Sutton, Best Jazz Vocal Album
Jason Moran, Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Chris Walden, Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album (John Mosca and Doug Purviance, co-leaders)

Good luck!


Tatum Greenblatt Endorses J4JA!

Tatum Greenblatt, who has established himself as one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the NYC music scene, has endorsed J4JA’s fight to win basic fairness for talented jazz players in New York City clubs.

Mountain View

Photo Credit, Gulnara Khamatova

Gifted from an early age, a turning point in Tatum’s education and development came when he participated in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Band competition. There he met Wynton Marsalis–later to name him as one of his favorite up-and-coming trumpet players–and received a three hour private lesson. Greenblatt moved to New York City at 18 to study at the New School and later went on to earn a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School.

Greenblatt has performed with Marsalis as well as with Joe Lovano, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, Richard Bona, Blood Sweat & Tears, Maria Schneider, Roy Hargrove’s Big Band, India Arie, George Gruntz, Donny McCaslin, Christian McBride, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Reggie Workman, George Garzone and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He spent more than five years touring worldwide with The Richard Bona Group and Mingus Bands, performing in more than 40 countries on 6 continents, and can be heard frequently around New York City with groups such as The Mingus Big Band, Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, The Fat Cat Big Band, and Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra. Tatum has also appeared on dozens of recordings with a wide variety of artists including Captain Black Big Band, George Gruntz, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Grizzly Bear, and the soundtrack to the motion picture The Longest Week.

Tatum also cares about giving back and has frequently taken on the role of music educator. He taught for five years with the Midori and Friends Program where he taught jazz band and private lessons at an inner city New York high school. He has also served as a small-ensemble instructor at The New School and Temple University, taught education workshops internationally during his time at Juilliard, and recently led workshops with The Mingus Big Band at the University of Vermont at their annual Mingus High School Competition and festival.

Tatum’s latest album, Imprints, his third as a leader, was released to critical acclaim in March, 2012, earning a “Critic’s Pick” from DownBeat Magazine. Tatum also appeared in the 2011 film New Year’s Eve, directed by Garry Marshall, as a member of “Jensen” (Jon Bon Jovi’s) band. For more on Tatum Greenblatt visit


Jon-Erik Kellso Endorses J4JA!

Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso started playing professionally in and around Detroit, Michigan where he was born in 1964. Jon began early, playing in a big band at age 11, in the International Youth Symphony at age 13, and in a concert alongside cornetist Wild Bill Davison at age 17. Kellso played with a wide variety of groups there, including the J.C. Heard Orchestra.

In ’88 Jon-Erik joined James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band with whom he’s made appearances throughout North America, concertized on PBS TV, and recorded extensively.

Since moving to New York City in 1989 to join Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Jon has enjoyed performing and recording with the likes of Ralph Sutton, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Marty Grosz, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, Catherine Russell, Linda Ronstadt, Leon Redbone, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Bob Wilbur, and Kenny Davern.

Recent engagements include a week in Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with Wynton Marsalis celebrating Louis JONArmstrong’s Hot 5s and 7s; leading the EarRegulars at the Detroit Jazz Fest and Moab Music Fest; various appearances on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” live Public Radio International show, including a live cinecast to movie theaters everywhere with Elvis Costello; several jazz fest at sea cruises; concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with John Lithgow; tours of the U.S. and Japan with Ken Peplowski’s Kingdom of Swing big band; annual appearances in jazz clubs and festivals in New Orleans; and jazz parties, festivals, and concerts all over the world.

At home in New York City Kellso has been leading The EarRegulars featuring guitarist Matt Munisteri and various guest artists at the Ear Inn on Sunday nights since 2007. On Mondays and Tuesdays Jon plays with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at Iguana on West 54th Street. Aside from these steadies, Jon can also be seen performing at all the great NYC venues, including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, the Blue Note, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, Small’s, etc.

Jon-Erik can be heard on several television and movie soundtracks, including “Ghost World,” “The Aviator,” “The Good Shepherd,” and “Revolutionary Road” with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. He was on screen in “Revolutionary Road,” and can also be seen and heard in the just-completed HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire.”

Jon is on well over a hundred CDs, including five as a leader and three with Ruby Braff. Jon pays tribute to Braff on his “Remembering Ruby” CD, on Gen-Erik Records. His latest Arbors release, “Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter to New Orleans,” is dedicated to Jon’s friends in the Crescent City and all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

See more at:

Welcome Jon!


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