Tag Archives: local 72-147

Met and Dallas Symphony Orchestra Hold Joint Benefit Concerts

Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) organized a unique collaboration, inviting musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to join the DSO on stage for concerts April 30 and May 1.

The Met musicians, represented by Local 802 (New York City), have not performed together in over a year, since the COVID-19 shutdowns, and have gone nearly that entire time without pay. Only in March of this year did they begin to receive paychecks, returning to the bargaining table in exchange for temporary pay of up to $1,543 per week.

DSO Music Director Fabio Luisi was principal conductor at the Met from 2010 to 2017, and invited his former colleagues to Dallas to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in two benefit concerts. Funds raised will support both the Met Orchestra Musicians’ Fund and the Dallas-Ft. Worth Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund. DSO musicians are represented by Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).

Between 40 and 50 of the Met’s musicians were expected to travel for the performances. “We cannot overstate the impact this unprecedented collaboration will have on our members, both financially and artistically, after this long year of cultural famine,” says Brad Gemeinhardt of Local 802 (New York City), a horn player for the Met and chair of the orchestra committee.

Dallas Symphony Ratifies One-Year Agreement with COVID Modifications

On March 24, 2020, the musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX), ratified a one-year extension of the agreement that had been set to expire on August 31, 2020. The financial terms of that extension, which covered the 2020-21 season, were identical to those for the 2019-20 season.

On September 1, 2020, the musicians ratified a COVID-19-related modification of that one-year extension, that implemented a 10% pay cut for the 2020-21 season with a “snap back” to the original wages on the final day of the agreement, August 31, 2021.

The musicians are encouraged by the way DSO management and CEO Kim Noltemy have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. The pay cut for the 2020-21 season is minimal; the safety protocols have been comprehensive; and from the beginning, management has been committed to resume performances as soon as possible, safely.

The CBA requires orchestra size to be 94, but there are currently only 85 filled positions due to resignations and three deaths. No positions will be restored during the 2020-21 season.

Freddie Jones Believes in Trumpet

For Freddie Jones trumpet is everything. It has been a huge part of his life ever since he picked the instrument up at around age 12. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, his mom had a beauty salon on the corner near Stax Records. The young musician was immersed in the local music scene. Brothers Willy Mitchell (trumpet) and James Mitchell (saxophone) who founded the Memphis Horns; Mickey Gregory who played with Isaac Hayes; and Ben Cauley—were among his heroes.

“They were neighborhood guys; it was very inspirational. You had all that music coming out of Memphis and we were playing it in high school and junior high,” he says. “I was probably in the 6th grade when the Bar-Kays came out with Soul Finger.


Freddie Jones of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) founded the charity Trumpets4Kids, which provides children with quality trumpets and helps them succeed through music.

Jones began playing trumpet professionally as a teenager, first joining AFM Local 71 (Memphis, TN). “I’ve been in four different unions,” says the now Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) member. “I think it’s important to have a consortium of people you can talk to.”

While still in high school, he was hired as part of an opening act for Bobby Womack, and was thrilled when he was invited by Ben Cauley himself to sit in with the main act. He says that experience was amazing. “Just to be in those places … but instead of hanging out I got to play.”

After graduating from high school, Jones began college at Memphis State, then attended Central State University in Ohio, though he admits he was out on the road gigging much of the time. He traveled through the Dallas/Fort Worth area several times with different bands and eventually transferred to the University of North Texas where he earned a degree in jazz studies.

Following college, Jones stayed in the area and slowly built a career. Aside from his many gigs in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, he has performed throughout the Southwest, and even overseas. His band, the Freddie Jones Jazz Group, has been together for almost 10 years. Jones has put out five CDs, including his most recent album, Your Last Move (2012), which he describes at a funky mixture of sounds that started out as a smooth jazz record.

Jones may be most well-known in the Dallas area as the trumpet player for the Dallas Cowboys, performing the National Anthem on solo trumpet before every home game since 2013. That gig, which has him routinely playing for 80,000 people at AT&T Stadium, was not something he ever thought he’d be doing.

Not a huge football fan, Jones says it was kind of ironic that he was asked to audition. He knew a couple former players. Emmitt Smith, Drew Pearson, and others would come see Jones play around Dallas. Coincidentally, the blue Martin Committee trumpet that he’s been playing since the 1980s is almost a perfect match for Cowboy blue.

Of all of Jones’ work, the one accomplishment he seems most proud of is the founding of the nonprofit Trumpets4Kids. The organization uses music as a tool to help children learn and shape their lives. “Music fosters the development of attention and listening skills; it assists in emotional development; and music involvement is known to enhance self-esteem and confidence,” explains the Trumpets4Kids.com website.

“The goal of the organization is to empower youth to create together and independently in order to have a future,” Jones says. “We donate trumpets to students who have a need. We give them a trumpet they can be proud of, and let that push them towards their goals.” The trumpets given out are all good quality instruments—sometimes former instruments of professional players. He says the trumpet community has been “amazingly” supportive of the program.

But Trumpets4Kids is about more than just donating instruments; it’s a whole program with built-in lessons in responsibility and playing opportunities. The students selected in about 9th grade are interviewed by Jones himself. Before handing over the trumpets, the kids are asked to sign a contract agreeing to practice one hour per day, maintain the trumpet, as well as teach, help, and perform for other kids.

One Trumpets4Kids event that has grown over the years is Trumpet Wars. This activity was inspired by Jones’ days as a teenager in Memphis when he’d meet up with other musicians on street corners to challenge each other. The next Trumpet War will be held at Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, on March 7 and will include competitions between trumpet trios, quartets, and quintets from all over the area.

“You can’t play trumpet by yourself all the time,” says Jones. Participants in the program also attend Interlochen music programs, and play in the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, as well as the Dallas Youth Orchestra.

Trumpets4Kids’ mission is to help children succeed, no matter what career they choose to follow. But Jones has some special advice for young people launching a career in music. You have to be very diligent and focused on music, and get an education. And finally, he concludes, “I believe we all need somebody to help us at some point.”

Festival Brings Free Live Music to Denton

At the end of April, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), the Film Funds Trust Fund, and Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) helped Denton, Texas, celebrate its arts community at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. This free public event features around 3,000 performers and attracts more than 200,000 attendees annually. All of the musicians paid to perform at the event are union members.

This year’s acts included Dr. John, a member of Locals 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) and 802 (New York City); the University of North Texas Faculty Jazz Ensemble, members of Local 72-147; and Denton’s own Brave Combo, also members of Local 72-147.

Because Denton is AFM President Ray Hair’s home town, each year he rolls up his sleeves and heads to Texas to help run the event over the entire three days. It’s a chance for him to interact and connect with member musicians in their community.

“We started the event as DentonJazzfest 30 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, on a flatbed trailer, in the park, with Brave Combo and the UNT Jazz Faculty, all sponsored by MPTF and former Fort Worth Local 72,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “Each year, it became more popular and eventually morphed into Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.”

This year AFM Freelance Services Membership Development Director Paul Sharpe also attended. Sharpe interacted with performing musicians, discussing musician issues and needs and answering questions at the grass-roots level. He also collected a wealth of video commentary about the union from its members.

For the first time, MPTF Trustee Dan Beck and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe visited the event.

“What impressed me most was the spirit of joy and participation, not only among the performers, but among the attendees as well,” says Jaffe. “Despite some unpredictable, and sometimes downright inclement weather, the attendance was great, the music was outstanding, and the crowds were unbelievably responsive.”

“The festival’s impact on the entire Denton community was visibly evident. Beyond the free public performances of celebrity talent, the extraordinary participation of music students at all age levels was impressive and every bit of what the MPTF advocates,” concludes Beck.

Dr. John the Night Tripper, a member of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) headlined the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

Dr. John the Night Tripper, a member of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) headlined the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

AFM President Ray Hair (center) at Denton Arts & Jazz Festival with MPTF Trustee Dan Beck (left) and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe.

AFM President Ray Hair (center) at Denton Arts & Jazz Festival with MPTF Trustee Dan Beck (left) and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe.

Local 72-147 member Jordache Grant performed with the Mark Harper Project.

Local 72-147 member Jordache Grant performed with the Mark Harper Project.

Bassist Drew Phelps performed with his sons, Garrett (pictured) and Nathan; all three are members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).

Bassist Drew Phelps performed with his sons, Garrett (pictured) and Nathan; all three are members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).