New negotiations between the recording industry and the AFM National office have resulted in a new stream of income for the MUSIC PERFORMANCE TRUST FUND. This work, once called GREEN SHEET JOBS provides free, live music to the public. These funds were used to help YOUNG AUDIENCES establish their wonderful program that brings music and arts to children nation wide.
We thank Larry Weintraub for this informative article on the return of these funds and the service they provide to the community.
THE TRUST FUND GIGS ARE BACK !
Hello fellow Union members, my name is Larry Weintraub and I am a returning member to Local # 125. No I am not a symphony member. I am a Jazz/Commercial player. I served our nation as a member of the US Navy Band Program. I retired from the US Atlantic Fleet Band in 2005 as a tenor sax/clarinet player.
This summer I have been fortunate to work with a very fine guitarist, Jake Stith playing Trust Fund gigs at Assisted Living Facilities. Jake is still active duty and teaches guitar/jazz improvisation at the Navy Element of the Armed Forces School of Music over at Little Creek.
The original Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) was established in 1948. It was an agreement between the Recording Industry and the International Union. Basically it stated that for every record made the Recording Industry was going to shoot the MPTF a certain amount of money. This money was used to give musician’s a chance to be employed during the summer plus it gave music to their communities for a very low cost.
As most of you know the making of records stopped in the 1990’s. Because the contract from 1948 was based only on records the recording industry stopped contributing to MPTF. In 2017 the International Union renegotiated the 1948 agreement. Now the new agreement with the recording industry includes all the technologies that are used to record including the use of Live Streaming. So because of the New Agreement with the Recording Industry money is once again going into the MPTF. When I read about this in the IM newspaper I jumped on it. I called the Trust Fund Manger in New York and asked her if I could play Trust Fund gigs in the Norfolk area but as a member of the Baltimore Union because that is where I belonged. Basically she said that I would have to rejoin the Norfolk Union and if I did she would give me all five gigs that she was allowing for the Norfolk Union. So I rejoined the Norfolk Union in the 2nd quarter and I brought Jake Stith along with me so we could play these gigs.
A subset of MPTF is MUSIC FEST 2019-2020 which is money geared toward playing at Assisted Living Facilities. This money is funded at 100%, plus you can tack on additional money if you chose to do so. So yes, I have convinced the Assisted Living Facility’s to pay me additional money (which is a small amount) so Jake and I can make a very fair wage for playing an hour performance. So MUSIC FEST 2019-2020 has been a Triple Win all around. First, it provides the opportunity for gigs for Jake and I. Second, it provides high quality Union music for the facility. Third, it raises the profile of the Union in the community to a degree. At every performance I announce “that this performance is brought to you by the Music Performance Trust Fund and MUSIC FEST 2019-2020 which specifically is used to provide low cost, high quality Union music to facilities such as this.” I also say “that Jake and I are both proud members of the Local Musician’s Union #125 here in Norfolk,VA.”
Our performance is educational as well as musical. For instance, I explain that in Jazz, beats 2 & 4 are the accented beats. I demonstrate this by having the residents clap on beats 2&4. A little later I’ll ask the question, “once we play the melody what happens after that?” I explain how we improvise a new melody over the existing harmony or chords of the melody. All told the patients have a great time singing, clapping and listening to music that has meaning to them. For what we play are songs from THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK!
Finally, it has been a true pleasure to play alongside Jake Stith. Jake and I really jell and swing together. Plus he is an extremely accomplished guitarist, knows tunes and knows how to play them and most importantly he knows how to comp behind me in all the different styles. He knows when to play like Freddie Green and when to play like Wes Montgomery. Finally, he himself is an accomplished soloist too. Lastly Jake and I are doing good, in our own way we are helping to repair the world.