Res. No. 207-A
Resolution supporting the Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign which seeks through collective bargaining to improve the lives of musicians working in New York City's jazz clubs by addressing workplace issues, including providing retirement security.
By Council Members Van Bramer, Johnson, Cumbo, Cornegy, Levine, Rose, Levin, Constantinides, Crowley, Miller, Rosenthal, Lander, Mealy and Barron
Whereas, Jazz is an esteemed American art form, inspiring passionate devotion among generations of fans and recognized by the United States Congress in 1987 as a "national treasure"; and
Whereas, New York City has long been an international jazz mecca to which music lovers from around the world travel in order to experience legendary venues such as the Blue Note, Birdland, the Jazz Standard, Iridium and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola and the Village Vanguard; and
Whereas, While musicians who play on Broadway and in symphony orchestras are protected by union contracts, the skilled jazz musicians who work in major New York City venues have no guarantee of fair payment and receive no pension, health contributions or state statutory benefits like workers' compensation, unemployment or disability insurance; and
Whereas, Many of the men and women who sustain this great American music are forced to retire with no income to fall back on in their later years; and
Whereas, The Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, launched the Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign, calling on jazz venue owners to provide jazz artists with fair pay, adequate pension contributions, protection of recording rights and a process for redressing grievances; and
Whereas, These efforts have been endorsed by the New School Jazz Department Faculty Committee and by Rutgers University-Newark Master's Program in Jazz History and Research; and
Whereas, Prominent writers and journalists including Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Gary Giddins, Nat Hentoff, Dan Morgenstern, John Chilton and Dr. Judith Schlesinger, have also added their support to the campaign; and
Whereas, Justice for Jazz Artists is endorsed by prominent musicians including Harry Belafonte, Ron Carter, Bob Cranshaw, Paquito D' Rivera, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Jimmy Owens, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Bernard Purdie and Randy Weston; and
Whereas, As a genre, jazz and the musicians who play it have helped create the soundtrack of American history; and
Whereas, New York City would not be the cultural mecca it is without the color, texture and flavor that jazz musicians have added to it throughout the years; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York supports the Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign which seeks through collective bargaining to improve the lives of musicians working in New York City's jazz clubs by addressing workplace issues, including providing retirement security.