Tag Archives: event

Colored Musicians Club

Gala Commemorates 100th Anniversary

AFM Local 92 (Buffalo, NY) was formed with the 1969 merger of Local 43 The Musicians’ Protective Association of Buffalo (chartered in 1897) and Local 533 The Colored Musicians Association (chartered in 1917). The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo was formed as a social club offshoot of Local 533 some years after the founding of the local. The club, located at 145 Broadway in Buffalo, has its own jazz museum with a mission to promote and preserve the history and knowledge of African-Americans and jazz music in Buffalo.

On April 15, 2017, the Colored Musicians Club hosted a Centennial Grand Gala at the historic Hotel Lafayette celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Local 533. At the gala, AFM Local 92 President Jim Pace presented the original 1917 Local 533 charter to Colored Musicians Club President George Scott as a gift from Local 92.

“Local 92 had possession of the original Local 533 AFM charter for almost 50 years, ever since the merger of Locals 43 and 533 in 1969. The Board of the Buffalo Musicians’ Association felt the 100th anniversary of the founding of Local 533 was the perfect time to present the original Local 533 charter to the Colored Musicians Club as a gift for display in their museum,” says Pace.

“Through strength and determination, Local 533 successfully fought discrimination in the musical community, business, and in its openness to all races in both the union and in its social club. The Colored Musicians Club and the Colored Musicians Club Jazz Museum are dedicated to promote and encourage research and preservation of the history of jazz music in Buffalo, as well as to expose and educate our youth to their musical heritage,” says Scott. “It was an honor to have Local 92 there to join us in celebration. Although Local 533 was formed because of segregation, the friendship over the years helped to merge 43 and 533 into what now stands as one of the best locals in the City of Buffalo, Local 92.”

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.

Grateful for Well-Funded Retirement

The Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well retirement tour broke records both in concert attendance at live events and pay per view sales, possibly making it the most successful event in music history. The “full” reunion shows, billed as the last to feature Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) members Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Bill Kreutzmann together, were held June 27-28 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

The West Coast shows grossed $21.5 million from attendance of 151,650 fans, while Chicago concerts brought in $30.7 million from 210,283 attendees, for a grand total of $52.2 million. The pay per view broadcast of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead was the biggest such event of all time, with more than 400,000 subscriptions and online streams so far. It is still available for streaming and to cable viewers until August 2.