Today, when the International Day of Work is celebrated, in New York will be organized a protest by jazz artists who demand fair pay, healthcare benefits and pension right.
The Justice For Jazz Artists Campaign is fighting for pension rights of retired musicians in New York since the mid nineties. In comparison to the small number of Broadway employed musicians who have regulated insurance, musicians who play in clubs have no health insurance and no right to receive pension.
The campaign is supported by local and international organizations, educational institutions, writers, journalists, elected officials, labor and a huge number of jazz musicians among whom are Ron Carter, Jimmy Owens, Joe Lovano, John Pizzarelli, Dave Liebman, Seth MacFarlane, James Spaulding, Phil Woods, Regina Carter, James Carter, David Amram, Judi Silvano, Jason Moran…
In 2006 the Campaign achieved a passed law that was supposed to regulate the pension question in a way that sales tax brake was allowed to club owners who pay pension contributions for booked musicians.
Since the pension fund didn’t receive a dime since then, the musicians are going out on the streets today, dressed in black, holding instruments in their hands. They will march through New York’s streets passing the six major jazz clubs in the city: The Blue Note, The Iridium, The Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, The Jazz Standard and Birdland.
The jazz artists expect to be joined by fans and call out to the club owners to give up a small piece of a huge income that musicians secure for them. Today’s protests are held under the moto “MUSICIANS UNDER SIEGE – MUSICIANS FIGHT BACK”.