Pete believes we need to reinvent our union into a dynamic institution that serves all musicians
I have been a member of Local 802 since 1992 and my family and I have enjoyed the benefits provided by our union. I am running for the Executive Board because I think it is my turn to serve. Members before me have sacrificed their time and energy to make sure current and future generations of musicians would be protected and supported. I am now seeking your vote, not only to do my part to honor that tradition, but also because I see that very support system crumbling and our basic protections threatened. Through a change in leadership, innovation and technology, I believe we can not only fight to save our union but make it a stronger, more inclusive and powerful force for the future of the music industry.
I have worked as a bassist in NYC for over 25 years and have performed and recorded with numerous artists across many genres including Sting, Beck, Rufus Wainwright, Bono, Quincy Jones, Phil Ramone, The Who, The Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Jose Carreas, Placido Domingo, Marvin Hamlisch, Jane Krakowski, Patti Lupone, Liza Minelli, Kelli O’Hara, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. I have worked in the film and television industry recording numerous soundtracks and commercial jingles. I have also held the bass chair for 15 Broadway productions and recently joined the conducting roster at my current show, School of Rock. I am also a founding member and Deputy Executive Director of Musicians for Pension Security, a 501 (c)(4) non-profit group that has sought to raise awareness and seek out solutions to the challenges facing the AFM-EPF.
While the internet and technology of the recent past has been the source of the challenges we face in the music industry, I believe future technologies can be the solution. In February of this year, I traveled to New Orleans to attend a conference of a new and exciting organization called the Open Music Initiative. They are a joint venture between MIT and the Berklee School of Music whose mission is to create an open source protocol for the uniform identification of music rights holders and creators through a new technology called blockchain. I went to this conference to specifically ask the question if this technology also be utilized to track pension, health care and residual payments for union members and the answer was a resounding yes and they would love to have the AFM as a partner. The current infrastructure that the AFM utilizes is in no way equipped to capture revenue and payments to benefits that happen at lightning speed on the internet. There is money being left on the table. Artists like Imogean Heap and industry giants Spotify and Universal Music are just a few of the organizations and musicians to call themselves members of the Open Music Initiative, see the full list here. They would love to have us a partner and as an Executive Board member I will make it my self-imposed mandate to make that happen.
The current administration at Local 802 lacks the vision, creativity and discipline to reinvent our union to face the current and future challenges of the music industry. With your vote, I will be an advocate for those changes. We need to reinvent our union into a dynamic institution that serves all musicians and becomes a haven for those musicians who have been disenfranchised. I am also very excited to run as part of the Musicians for Change ticket. We are a like-minded and focused team. We represent four generations of musicians that will work to create a better union for all its members.