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dan beck

MPTF’s 2016-2017 Year Off to a Fast Start

dan beckby Dan Beck, Trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund

The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) began its 2016-17 fiscal year May 1. The usually busy summer months of live music events, free to the public, are a tradition extending back 68 years since the MPTF was founded in 1948. The Trust Fund’s work is to enrich communities with music culture and entertainment, while providing valuable supplemental income to professional musicians across North America.

This year, we are committed to maintain our primary grant budget at the $500,000 level. Revenues have declined unabated for the past two decades, since they are based almost entirely on the sale of physical product (CDs and vinyl). However, it is our desire to support as many ongoing events as possible, due to their importance to local communities throughout the US and Canada.

The MPTF continues to focus on co-funding programs at hospitals, schools, senior centers, parks, and public locations, where free musical events educate, influence, and impact quality of life. Through nearly seven decades, the organization has provided tens of millions of dollars to enhance inspired community programs featuring the best musical talent.

The upgraded grant management system now in place continues to provide cost savings, quality control, and improved capabilities. The MPTF staff has worked with program developers to simplify the process, including reducing the need for repetitive input. Our grant managers will be attending the AFM’s 100th Convention to demonstrate the system and answer questions on how best to use it. We invite you to visit us at our booth in Las Vegas in June!

Despite the declining revenue, the MPTF implemented a new senior center initiative this past year called MusicianFest. Thanks to a grant from The Film Funds, we were able to initiate more than 600 free senior center performances in the US and Canada. The National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers oversees the request applications from senior centers across the country. The MPTF then solicits AFM locals for their ability to fulfill those requests and provides the funding to pay the musicians. This year a budget of $100,000 has been established, above the regular Trust Fund grant budget allocation, to make this program work.

While the grant levels are a challenge and a draw on the MPTF’s reserves, we have continued to reduce overhead costs every year. Those efforts, and their impact, can only last for a limited time before more radical efforts will be required to maintain the Trust Fund’s involvement in supporting live music and the musicians who perform it.

While our grants support a wide range of citizenry, they are most felt by professional musicians. The value of the MPTF to musicians themselves will ultimately determine the future of our efforts.   

Are you still reading music on paper?

Article sponsored by Newzik.

The Digital Revolution has deeply transformed the press and book industries. Nowadays, you check the news on your smartphone and read books on your tablet. This isn’t true for all industries, however; the world of sheet music is only now beginning to move towards digitalization. Musicians who use sheet music reading applications are still considered to be pioneers of a new technological trend by some, pure geeks by others, and the majority of them are still using the traditional paper-based approach. That is, until now.


Robben Ford of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), John Jorgenson of Local 7 (Orange County, CA), Jean-Félix Lalanne, and Ron Thal rehearsing with the Newzik app.

Replacing paper sheet music with applications on tablets is the next step in the global digital trend to make musicians’ lives easier, more convenient, and more efficient. With dematerialized scores, there are no more heavyweight sheet music issues. You can gather and organize your library in a light tablet however you wish. This new technology does the same to the music industry that computers did to the workplace, creating useful shortcuts to improve efficiency and allows you to focus only on your work instead of lingering on pointless time-consuming details. Besides, digital scores are eco-friendly and allow the rise of new educational concepts, not to mention the major improvements in terms of content security and backup.

Technology is only starting to disrupt the sheet music market because of the specific and demanding requirements of the music industry. A musician cannot take the risk of bombing rehearsal due to technical issues such as low battery, or having his tablet crash. Musicians expect this technology to solve their problems, not bring new ones to the table. But this argument is no longer valid: technology has proven its unquestionable reliability.

“Digital scores are the next revolution in the music industry. It allows you to focus on music, and music only!” —Ron Thal

Today, not only is digitalization solving your paper sheet music issues, it is also opening a wide range of new features. Some apps focus on a single specific target in the market. For example, with Yousician guitar beginners can benefit from a tailor-made training program to learn the songs they love. Some other apps like Newzik, on the contrary, chose to reach a larger audience by being a universal sheet music reader. Newzik reads all the music standard formats: Sheet Music, Lyrics & Chords, Lead Sheets, etc. This versatility allows musicians to transpose all their scores, turn pages with a Bluetooth foot Pedal, and much more.

When the first personal computers got released, musicians would either show reluctance to this new technology or enthusiastically adopt it. You can witness the same phenomenon happening with sheet music reading technology. And yet today, can you name a single musician that does not use a computer?

avoid strain

Play Fit: Tips to Avoid Strain

In a normal work environment, sitting and standing for long periods of time can result in a number of neuro-musculoskeletal problems. Add to this repetitive motion, rotation, even heavy lifting, and the risks are compounded.

For musicians, strain and stiffness can be minor at first, but over time problems escalate and become debilitating—neural compression, reduced blood flow, joint stiffness, and damage to connective tissue. Tendons must bear all the weight of the attached muscle and can tear if overstretched. Inflammation of the tendon, or tendinitis, often occurs at the shoulder, biceps, and elbow. The small sac that cushions and reduces friction in the joint is called bursa. Inflammation of this sac is called bursitis.   

Overworking some tissues and underworking others can lead to less flexibility, loss of strength, and misalignment of joints—arguably, collateral damage for professional musicians. In some cases, musicians must learn to use completely different muscle groups for playing their instruments or play in different positions.

Pianists, for instance, can get relief if they use more wrist action and less finger motion. Musicians who play guitar, mandolin, and other fretted instruments have high tendonitis potential. Too tight a grip on the pick can strain the thumb muscles, resulting in tendonitis in the right thumb. If you feel your wrist or arm start to tighten while playing, back off and try to find a way to keep playing with the muscles relaxed.

Play with Good Posture and Breathe

For playing ability and overall health, good posture is the first line of defense. Slouching causes restricted and shallow breathing and over-restriction of muscles and tendons. Over time, poor posture can actually shorten muscles and tendons and weaken abdominal muscles. Learn to develop internal coordination and posture, from the inside out. Strengthening core muscles is important to spine alignment and to the strength and control of the rest of the body.

Proper breathing restores everything, from alternating mechanics of dynamic movement and posture and gait to the ability to handle sensory input. Most people tend to take shallow breaths so the ribcage is lifted and flared, which compromises diaphragm function, requiring chest, neck, and upper back to do more work.

When inhaling, the ribcage and chest should expand without any lift from neck and shoulder muscles. The most substantial movement, during inhalation, should occur in the lower ribs as they externally rotate (open out) and expand out to the sides. When exhaling, lower ribs should internally rotate (close in), creating the necessary space for your diaphragm to dome inside the ribcage.

Following are some general tips to follow to help avoid strain and injury:

  • Exercise and strengthen your core muscles, including abdominal muscles, back muscles, and muscles around the pelvis. (Consider doing yoga or Pilates.)
  • Before rehearsal or a performance, stretch arms, wrists, hands, and back. 
  • Determine the size, weight, or shape of instrument that is right for you, and whether there may be an accessory that makes playing more comfortable.
  • Evaluate your technique. Find ways to reduce force, keep your joints in their middle range of motion, and try to avoid fixed, tensed positions.
  • When practicing, take frequent breaks to stretch and relax. Take a long break every hour or so, and short breaks every few minutes to allow the body to recover.
  • Always seek medical help if you experience chronic pain or numbness and tingling in your fingers.

AFM, Media Convergence and Performance Rights, Part 5

Below, in the fifth and final part of our series, we examine the growth of streaming and the potential to drive new money to MPTF, SPF, and AFM-EPW.

Revenue from Music Streaming Continues to Grow

From the early 2000s to date, with consumption racing toward streaming and away from physical sales and analog broadcasting, royalty collections from streaming have grown from a trickle to a flood. SoundExchange, the US collective for record labels and featured artists, is now the biggest rights management organization in the world. SoundExchange has collected and distributed more than $3 billion since 2003 and will top $1 billion this year. In 2016, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund will distribute to musicians and vocalists more than $50 million derived primarily from streaming royalties paid by satellite radio and webcasters like Pandora and SiriusXM.

Continue reading

10-Plus Years of Improvements

BonesIn 2005, when I was elected Secretary-Treasurer, my goal included streamlining the operations of the office, consolidation of the computer systems, and creating a process for better management of working capital. Ten years later, I am happy to report that at the close of business 2015, income over expenses was more than $1.3 million—the fourth year that has had a net income of a million dollars.

Just a year into my tenure, my staff was able to cut $500,000 in expenses and decrease auditing fees. We also launched a payroll service, which made billing more seamless, while providing funds to our members in a more timely fashion.

In 2015, we saw visa opinion letters grow to an all-time high of $1.6 million, and new use payments continue to increase. For instance, the SAG-AFTRA Fund is expected to grow to $1 million in 2016 alone. The IT department has revamped the computer systems to meet the growing demand of membership and program development. It’s facilitated more efficiency in membership management and greatly enhanced our online presence. I am happy to say we have been able to upgrade, sustain, and exceed the goals and expectations we set out to achieve.

The International Musician (IM) has been a special project for me. I take pride in working on this award-winning journal, which has been the “face of the AFM” for almost 120 years. As I have traveled around the country as the magazine’s publisher I get feedback from member readers on what the publication means to them.

It is a vital resource for the union’s working musicians, representing a diverse and eclectic membership. From AFM profiles and industry news to labor rights campaigns, collective bargaining updates, and legislative news, each month members can look forward to a magazine that engages and informs. In line with an all-important goal, the magazine was recast to illustrate the AFM’s growth and far-reaching influence. Each year we have consistently won awards and recognition from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA).

A New Look, a New Read

To create a more competitive image in the music magazine market, we gave the journal a fresh format in 2005. A glossy cover was added to IM that almost immediately increased visibility. The layout was redesigned for ease of use and readability. In addition, new sections added ballast, making IM a more effective tool for recruitment. The “Working Musician” section provides marketing, business, financial information, and highlights membership benefits. Our “Upbeat” profiles showcase the careers of a variety of AFM members, covering a range of music: jazz and blues, classical, country, funk, rock, fusion, mariachi, and Canadian baroque, to name a few. And for all music junkies, the “Cool Tools” new product announcements section was an instant success.

The revamped IM has resulted in an increase, in particular, in subscriptions by libraries and music schools. Through marketing initiatives and creative advertising we have made inroads into hitherto unexplored venues. In 2016, member appeal continues to expand, especially through the redesigned and enhanced website,

I can honestly say this position has given me more satisfaction than I ever imagined anything could, besides making music. To the membership and especially my staff, thank you. You have my utmost respect and gratitude.


The Neuroscience of Peak Performance and Flow

by Patrick Gannon, PhD

What is happening in the minds and bodies of musicians when they play their best? Are peak performance and flow simply subjective perceptions of performance excellence? Or are they distinct mental states, a defined set of optimal behaviors, a heightened sense of self-confidence, or some trick of human nature?

Despite the confusion, we do have language to describe these experiences—being in the zone, in rhythm, in a groove, playing unconscious, even the so-called runner’s high. For starters, peak performance refers to optimal physical behaviors while psychologists define flow as a mental state. For musicians, it is both mental and physical because they feel calm, alert, focused, challenged, but confident, fully present in the moment, and supremely engaged in the task. When that feeling is combined with the thrill of playing music, magic happens!

If only we could bottle it, right? Thanks to neuroscience, that may now be possible.

The Flow State

Research findings have identified three markers that reveal how and when flow occurs: alpha/theta brain waves, brain coherence, and deactivation of the dorso-lateral, pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC).

First, the flow state is located at the crossover point between alpha and theta brain waves (eight Hz and below). As brain activity slows from the relaxing alpha state into the hypnagogic theta wave (below eight Hz), the neural network becomes highly attuned. At the same time, super fast (40-100 Hz) gamma waves, triggered by theta, go into action. Gamma waves connect information drawn from various parts of the brain that are involved in music making, allowing skill learning, procedural memory, and self-expression to settle into rhythm.

Secondly, synchronization between the left and right hemispheres or brain coherence is another marker for flow. Both hemispheres must be working complementarily to integrate artistic expression and technical skills. Cardio exercise, meditation, and yoga along with brain-based clinical techniques, like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), all promote brain coherence through bi-lateral stimulation.

Enhancing Flow

Finally, a temporary brain state called transient hypofrontality has been identified that enhances flow by lowering the activation of the DLPFC. This part of the brain holds our inner critic, that voice of doubt that can trigger cognitive anxiety. Cardio exercise redirects blood flow away from the DLPFC to the motor parts of the brain, enabling a more embodied focus without interference from self-consciousness, distraction, or negative thinking.

These findings can be applied to mental skill training that has been the hallmark of sport psychology over the last 50 years. The six key skills are relaxation, imagery, goal setting, self-talk, concentration, and pre-performance routines.

1) Relaxation is the first key because performance anxiety usually inhibits peak performance. Anxiety and physiological arousal must be regulated before peak performance and flow can occur. Exercise is a basic treatment for all types of anxiety. Daily meditation over a minimum of eight weeks reduces both state and trait anxiety by lowering the resting heart rate and enhancing brain plasticity.

2) Imagery engages the power of the senses, especially visualization, to mentally depict what peak performance should look and feel like. Cardio imagery and rehearsal is a new technique that combines mental rehearsal with moderate cardio exercise (120-140 heart rate, using an elliptical trainer or stationary bike) to prime learning and reinforce process goals. Mental rehearsal is effective because mirror neurons activate various muscle groups via the peripheral nervous system in the same way as with physical practice.

3) Goal setting is a motivational tool for directing one’s efforts toward optimal learning. Goal setting supports deliberate practice that encourages musicians to concentrate their efforts on their most challenging repertoire. Exercising in the morning before practice, while mentally focusing on what needs work, helps identify practice goals and primes the brain for learning later on.

4) Self-talk reveals the psychological relationship between the person and the performer, such as having a positive outlook and being mentally tough when under stress. Research shows that positive thoughts and feelings promote creativity whereas negative emotions stimulate critical thinking that can lead to self-consciousness. Not surprisingly, a positive mental attitude is a key component
of flow.

5) Concentration emphasizes attention skills and mental discipline to focus on the challenges involved in music performance. The mind must be fully engaged in the moment, free of distractions, and immersed in the task. Quite simply, the best way to build focusing skills is to learn to live in the moment. Not so easy, as many of us have found out!

6) Pre-performance routines allow musicians to find that groove that activates a positive performance mindset. The key tools are breathing and centering exercises, locking into one’s optimal zone of activation and converting pre-performance jitters into excitement.

Ultimately, playing music in the flow state is its own best reward, one reason why musicians are so passionate about pushing musical boundaries. So when it happens, embrace it!

Patrick Gannon, PhD is a Clinical and Performance Psychologist in San Francisco available for consultation in person, phone or via Skype. Dr. Gannon is a national presenter and former competitive tennis player and coach as well as a member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (www.artsmed.org). You can contact him at  PeakPerformance101.com and drpatrickgannon@gmail.com

Contract Basics

Getting Back to the Music

Amid the flurry of day-to-day activities—being immersed in bylaws, finances, budgets, audits, and convention preparations—we tend to forget what we’re here for, the creative forces we represent: music, musicians, performers, and art. At times, we must step back and enjoy the music. Spring is here. Take in a Broadway show and treat yourself to the finest in opera, at the Met.

Over the weekend, I attended Don Pasquale, a time-honored opera, which premiered at the Met in 1900. I found myself in the Family Circle, a modest ticket of $35. The usher assured me I would not be disappointed, and that the acoustics in these seats were exquisite. He was right. (It happens he was also a member of Local 802, New York City.) The orchestra sound was perfect.

Next, it was on to Broadway for An American in Paris. If there is a Broadway play with old-school charm it’s this one—a post-war romance of hope and reconciliation. A full pit orchestra, the score by Gershwin, and performances were staged to perfection. The voices and the dancing were simply fantastic. Again, I was not disappointed.

Apropos remembering music: I want to mention a giant in the music world we lost recently—Frank Sinatra, Jr., who was also a loyal union member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA). On three different occasions I was involved in his productions in North Lake Tahoe at the Cal Neva Resort and Casino. He always insisted on bringing in a full complement of musicians—fine players, all renowned in their own right. Frank, Jr., was gracious and worked around our dates, and never turned us down, saying, “Pops loved this place.” 

Indeed, Sinatra, Sr., did love the Cal Neva, having been an owner at one time, hence, the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Showroom. Frank, Jr., was a true gentleman, a musician of the first order. As his father’s musical director and conductor, he understood composition and mastered the technical side of production as well. For instance, he selected lighting and a specific soundboard, which always guaranteed a flawless performance. After each and every run Frank, Jr., would take everyone involved in the show out for an evening of fine dining. 

What a gentleman! He will be missed.

event grant

MPTF Staff Is Ready to Serve Applicants for an Event Grant

event grant

(L to R) MPTF Staff: Trustee Dan Beck, Grant Management Director Vidrey Blackburn, Grant Management Manager Samantha Ramos, and Finance Director Al Elvin.

The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) provides grants to co-sponsor free live music events for the public, while ensuring that professional musicians are compensated fairly. However, the process of applying for an event grant may seem daunting to organizations producing community-based events, as well as to the musicians who perform for them. MPTF staff is ready and available to help make the process easier.

The day-to-day fielding and processing of applications and assisting applicants is in the capable hands of Grant Management Director Vidrey Blackburn and Grant Management Manager Samantha Ramos. Blackburn is celebrating 30 years with the MPTF. She holds a deep commitment to the goals of supporting high quality events, while making the grant application process as user-friendly as possible.

Reflecting on her experiences, Blackburn says she often puts herself in the place of grant petitioners.  “It is not always easy for them. It’s important to help them through the process because we have changed our operations model many times over the years,” she says.

Ramos has been with the MPTF for 17 years. She shares in the grant application review process, and was instrumental in the MPTF’s transition to a new online grant application management system. “We are here to help everyone through the application process,” says Ramos. “We have worked hard to make the new system as user-friendly as possible, and we continue to collaborate with the software company to find more ways of improving it.”

One of the responsibilities of the MPTF is to spread grants as equitably as possible across North America, while making sure the co-sponsored events are of the highest quality in each community.  This, along with the economic pressures affecting the music industry, has made the grant fielding job of the MPTF all the more difficult.

While Blackburn and Ramos handle the applications and field questions about MPTF grants, Finance Director Al Elvin handles the day-to-day management of royalty receipts, operational costs, and investments—all the financial reporting. MPTF Trustee Dan Beck oversees the grants and operational issues, while he explores possible avenues to sustain the fund and maximize its value and impact at the community level, and as an industry institution.

Blackburn recalls learning patience and care, and how to build trusted relationships, from former MPTF General Manager Nick Cutrone. “I sat by his desk and I enjoyed listening to how he spoke to the musicians and the locals,” she says. Blackburn encourages applicants to seek the grant team’s help. “If you don’t understand, call us at (212)391-3950. We will help. If we can walk you through it, it’s a win for everyone,” she says.

Perform at Your Best: Eating Well on the Road

by Karen Stauffer, nutritionist
eating-healthy-on-the-roadWe all know what’s wrong with eating too much restaurant food on the run. Too much fat, sugar, and salt combined with hurried eating can lead to weight gain, fatigue, sluggishness, and even worsening pre-existing health conditions. Often there’s also a lack of fiber in a road diet, and usually fresh greens are in short supply.

When we’re young, these shortcomings don’t affect us as much. However, the body becomes less resilient the more it has to endure a poor diet, especially when it’s combined with the stress of travel and work. The easiest step to better nutrition, even if on a “road diet,” is to take an enzyme digestive aid. This helps break down food so the body can absorb it more readily, so you will get more nutritional value from food and less indigestion and gas. Taking an enzyme supplement is particularly important for people older than 40 or those taking acid-reducing medication, which might cause you to produce less stomach acid for digestion.

Chewable enzymes are not unpleasant. One brand is Zand’s Quick Digest. It tastes good and helps the body digest all food components: fats, starches, and proteins.

To cut down on unhealthy foods buy a small cooler, about the size that holds six cans of soda. Often these come with shoulder straps and are so convenient, they can become part of your carry-on luggage. Also, buy a refreezable cold pack or fill a zipper bag with ice. Fill the cooler with an apple, an orange, cheese portions, hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, pea pods, red and green peppers, and carrots. All these healthy foods travel well.

Another way to get a healthy snack on the road is with a small day-pack. Raw nuts, crackers, energy bars, and dried fruit can go in here. Also, toss in a few small aseptic (no refrigeration needed) packs of soy milk, a perfect quick breakfast. Don’t forget a bottle of water. If traveling by car, keep a stock of bottled water in your trunk.

Restaurants are convenient, but that’s where poor eating often happens. Make the most of choice, and substitute healthy items whenever possible. The other week I heard a waitress offer broccoli instead of French fries. That’s a good choice: steamed veggies, with a squeeze of lemon! Also, request “no salt,” “heart healthy,” or “low carb” options, and ask for whole grain breads.

Many of us enjoy fast food now and again, but avoid relying on it on the road. If there is no choice but fast food, avoid soda and milkshakes (substitute low fat milk or juice instead), cheese (fast food “cheese” is not cheese at all), and French fries (ask for a baked potato). Remember, many fast food restaurants offer healthy alternatives now, such as salads, applesauce, and fruit cups.

If traveling through time zones has upset your daily routine, a fiber supplement can keep you regular. Discuss with a professional nutritionist which is the right supplement for your needs: soluble, insoluble, chewable, or a blend.

Health food stores offer other nutritious ideas for traveling musicians. Vitamin supplements are one. Another is to pick up a “green drink” powder. A packet can be mixed with water or juice to make an instant nutritional beverage. Another great, easy-to-pack beverage is Emergen-C. Mixed with water it provides vitamins C and B, minerals, and alpha lipoic acid in a tasty fizzy drink.

If you’re having trouble with insomnia, avoid using alcohol to relax. Instead, try Koppla, a soothing, pleasantly sweet drink mix, which contains lemon balm and other herbs. There are other drink mixes containing magnesium, which acts as a muscle relaxant. One problem with alcohol, especially overindulgence, is that it can cause your blood sugar to drop, waking you up in the middle of the night. Eating too late at night can do the same.

Early morning flights or less-than-regular sleep schedules may mean you have to wake yourself up quickly. Many people turn to coffee, but green tea is a better option. Lower in caffeine than coffee, it’s also rich in antioxidants and contains an amino acid (called theanine) whose calming effects may help balance the caffeine.

Adapt these suggestions to your own needs and limitations. Some people travel well, and they have fewer needs than others. For instance, despite my careful planning, my husband drove to Atlanta and back eating bread, peanut butter, jelly, bottled water, and chocolate soy milk. (At least he took his vitamins!) A weeks worth of PB&J sandwiches would have had me headed for a burger joint, but he thrived on them.

I don’t mean for you to pass on any good regional cuisine that appeals to you. After all, delicious barbecue, jambalaya, or homemade pie can make a trip memorable. But be smart, and don’t live on fatty, salty, sugary, fiber deficient foods, either at home or while traveling. If you eat right, you’ll play better, feel better, be more alert and relaxed, and, hopefully, live longer!

–Professional nutritionist Karen Stauffer is owner of River of Life Natural Foods in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. Nutritional counseling is available by calling her at 1-800-651-3820. Read more articles on her specialty–nutrition for musicians–at www.professorpooch.com/Karen.htm.

Local 257 All Stars a Hit at Nashville Summer NAMM

The National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) held its summer trade show at Nashville’s Music City Center in July. NAMM, comprised of 9,200 member companies from 99 countries, is no small venue, and there were almost 500 exhibitors, 1,600 brands of instruments and accessories, and talent beyond belief. This year more than 13,000 people attended, including more than 500 Nashville Musicians Association Local 257 (Nashville, TN) members. Saturday July 11, NAMM opened its doors to musicians, songwriters, and sound and recording professionals during its Music Industry Day.


Local 257 NAMM booth with Danny Gottlieb, Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy, Membership Coordinator Rachel Mowl, International Musician Managing Editor Antoinette Follett, Bob Popyk, and Beth Gottlieb.

One of the highlights of the show was hearing the “Local 257 All-Stars,” a group AFM Executive Board Member and Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy put together for the NAMM Top 100 Dealers Awards program. The group consisted of Pomeroy on bass, super drummer Steve Turner, cool sax man Denis Solee, funky keyboardist Will Barrow, and versatile guitar and harmonica stylist Pat Bergeson, who was invited to Nashville many years ago by Chet Atkins to play in his band. Pomeroy is a kick-ass player himself and the group  rocked. The special guest star was Local 257 member Duane Eddy, who had a string of hits in the late ’50s (“Rebel Rouser,” “Movin’ n’ Groovin’,” “Peter Gunn”), and still plays great to this day. The dealers loved it, and the Local 257 All Stars received as much applause and recognition as the dealers that were acknowledged.

The Nashville Musicians Association booth on the show floor drew a lot of attention. This was the perfect venue to educate people about the union. Pomeroy’s staff and volunteers answered many questions about the AFM and Local 257 and created a lot of buzz and interest in our union. AFM members did their part to make the AFM’s presence known and create some real musical excitement. NAMM CEO Joe Lamond said he was delighted to work with Pomeroy and Local 257, and looks forward to working with them again at next year’s summer show.


Local 257 All Stars, the house band at the Summer NAMM Top 100 Dealer Awards, consisted of (L to R) Denis Solee on saxophone, Will Barrow on keyboard, Steve Turner on drums, Dave Pomeroy on bass, and Pat Bergeson on guitar and harmonica.