Tag Archives: los angeles

Mayuto Correa: Multi-Instrumental Renaissance Man

Mayuto Correa isn’t much for labels and never lets tradition stop him from exploring new interests. This is true in the Latin Jazz-influenced music he plays—he is equally respected as both a guitar player and a percussionist, pushing genre boundaries with both—but also in the rest of life. Beyond music, Correa is or has been a professional soccer player, an actor in stage, film, and television productions, a composer, a philanthropist, a behaviorist, a PhD candidate in psychology, an author, and a dancer—and he shows no signs of slowing down. Correa is also a proud union man, having joined Local 47 in Los Angeles within days of his permanent arrival in the United States from Brazil (via Mexico) in 1969. 

Correa made a name for himself in several of his endeavors before he even reached adulthood. He got his start on the Brazilian national youth football (soccer) team at age 8, joined his first big band at age 12, began writing for a city newspaper at age 16, and began teaching at a major university as a behavioral science professor at age 20, among other notable and prodigious achievements. By his early 20s, he was the musical director for both well-known Brazilian bossa nova singer/songwriter Maria Bethânia and samba legend Elza Soares, as well as the artistic director for multiple television shows. 

In 1964, the CIA-backed military coup of Brazil brought most of Correa’s artistic and academic aspirations to a halt. The right-wing government actively persecuted professors, writers, and artists, and Correa was all three. The generals who ruled the country imprisoned many of Correa’s fellow musicians, including the well-known Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and tortured and even killed many of those deemed “dissidents.” As an outspoken anti-racism and anti-poverty activist whose written work (journalistic, theatrical, and musical) actively addressed inequality, Correa recognized that he was no friend of the regime and eventually, for his own safety and that of his family, he left the country. 

The appeal of the US over Europe came largely from his childhood love of Westerns, but it didn’t hurt that he had lots of friends playing Brazilian and Brazilian-influenced music in Los Angeles. After a stop-over in Mexico to get immigration issues worked out, he landed in LA in 1969, and, just a few days later, entered the old Local 47 building on Vine Street, where he got his AFM card. He quickly befriended Max Herman, a jazz trumpet player and longtime president of Local 47, and credits Herman and his staff for a warm welcome to the city and the industry there. Correa’s versatility, skill, creativity, and easy-going personality continue to make him an in-demand studio musician even now, but he credits his early connection with his local for helping him make a running start into what would become an illustrious career. 

Though Correa’s own recordings and compositions lean heavily into a borderless take on Latin Jazz, he has added his unique Brazilian inflection to recordings and live shows behind a who’s who of musical talent from across musical styles and eras: Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, John Prine, Santana, Gato Barbieri, Burt Bacharach, and dozens more. 

Correa is proud to have been an AFM member throughout his still-vibrant career, and credits the union with not only retrieving unpaid wages more than once, but for simply being strong enough as an organization so that all he had to do was threaten to call them for help—and a check would appear, as if by magic. As a mentor to many young musicians, Correa finds some confusion and resistance to joining the union among the newer generation of up-and-comers. “They just don’t know better,” he explains, and takes it upon himself to ebulliently promote membership. He sees the union as an essential source of work and professional connections for those in the early stages of their career, as a source of assistance with bureaucratic processes, and even simply a place to make friends.

Though you’d never know it unless you had his biography in front of you, Correa is a senior citizen and thus has taken the highest level of caution during the COVID pandemic. This has meant staying home except for essential tasks and thus turning down session work and live performances. He’s spent his time composing and writing screenplays, as well as making soft plans for a big US tour with some Brazilian musicians as soon as a vaccination makes travel safe again. “I’m going to need to ask the union to approve all their visas right away,” he laughs, “because we need to hit the road from the first minute it’s safe!”


Mayuto Correa plays: 

Guitars: Giannini (exclusive)— favorite models are GWNCPP Handcrafted Cutaway and CDR-PRO Thin CEQ, set at 2mm 

Strings: Giannini Classico Tensão Super Extra Pesada

Congas: Resolution/Valje

Diversity Builds Strength

Generally, in February, during Black History Month, we look back and honor great Black leaders—we remember their words, we reflect on their impact, we create a space where for one whole month we recognize the achievements of Black Americans to our society and to our world. But quickly thereafter, we go back to business as usual; we forget and often abandon any effort to build on gains achieved by previous generations’ struggles for racial justice and against discrimination. Recently, with current debates sparked throughout our country about race, we are reminded that we in our union continue to need to reflect internally and begin in earnest to examine our industry and our role as a labor union in the global conversation about race and inequity.

The first merger of Black and white locals took place in Los Angeles in 1953. This historic event was the result of a campaign that started in 1950 and was spearheaded by musical giants including Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson, and Red Callender, with the support of an overwhelming majority of musicians and backed by great artists like Josephine Baker and Nat King Cole. The legacy of this merger of segregated locals played out in cities across our country, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from Chicago to Philadelphia. Each community of musicians in these cities came together to work through their own challenges with the goal of unifying musicians under one banner, with the expressed purpose of raising standards and providing opportunities to all musicians with no regard to their race.

Today, as our nation debates systemic racial injustice, how do we fare as a union some 70 years after our first initial steps to dismantle an unjust and archaic system? From the experience in Los Angeles, unfortunately I can state that total progress remains elusive, and much work remains to create an environment of equality among musicians. While there should be recognition on some level of the progress we have made—like in the area of governance, where we begin to see a greater number of women and minorities take on leadership roles, improving our ability to appropriately represent the collective—greater efforts are needed to improve inclusion in the workplace. According to a League of American Orchestras study, Black musicians represented 1.8% of the nation’s orchestra players in 2014, a figure that had not grown over the previous 12 years. Hispanic musicians represented 2.5% of orchestra players, and Asian/Pacific Islander musicians represented 9%. 

In 2015, I became the first person of color elected to the office of president of Local 47, a local that was chartered in 1897. This is an honor that I place in the hands of a progressive membership, to which I am humbled, and yet with this progressive lens in mind, we have not nearly begun to scratch the surface on the issue of diversity in the workplace. Los Angeles is a test case for jurisdictions across our federation, and with the negligible progress here in LA, it would be safe to say we have made little progress throughout our union. 

The path toward greater inclusion of minorities in our workplaces requires active efforts to identify and support existing qualified candidates and the creation of labor and community partnerships. By developing partnerships with employers and community organizations, we can begin to address the socio-economic barriers that minority children face in a world where, according to a 2011 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, there was a 5% decline in the rate of arts education for white children between 1982 and 2008, while the decline among African-American children across the same period was 49%, and among Hispanic children, 40%.

Some examples of attempts to address racial inequity in the workplace are worth mentioning. Many American orchestras have embarked on developing fellowships that provide mentorship and training to Black and Latinx musicians—a ray of hope that illustrates the industry’s recognition that a problem does exist. In Los Angeles, we have begun partnerships with K-12 institutions in inner cities to build programs that reveal to young minds careers in the music industry, while supporting other nonprofits that are filling the gap. Many efforts to address the lack of diversity in our industry exist across our nation, with good and mixed results. 

I believe there remains great hope and expectation among our ranks that our union will take an active part in the conversation, and that collectively we will lead by example in doing the necessary work toward advancing racial and social equity.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces 100th Anniversary Season: LA Phil 100

Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced an ambitious season to mark its 100th anniversary. Aside from an exciting centennial program, the orchestra will mark the milestone with educational and social-impact initiatives, as well as public celebrations. LA Phil 100 season highlights include more than 50 commissions, 20 programs conducted by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, plus exciting cross-disciplinary collaborations. Former LA Phil Music Directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Zubin Mehta will return, along with former Principal Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a member of Locals 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and 9-535 (Boston, MA). A new work by former Music Director André Previn will be performed and a long list of internationally celebrated musicians are scheduled to appear with the orchestra.

The season kicks off September 30 with day-long Celebrate LA! festivities for the entire city.  The free, open-air event will feature performances throughout the streets, from Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, culminating with a free LA Phil concert at the Hollywood Bowl with a special once-in-100-years roster of guest artists. Celebrations will continue through the 2019 Hollywood Bowl season, and end with a gala featuring Dudamel, Mehta, and Salonen sharing the podium on October 24, 2019, marking the exact 100th anniversary of the LA Phil’s first concert.

“I have been thrilled to help define and shape the LA Phil over the past decade of our great history, when we have worked with such enthusiasm to make ourselves more diverse, more inclusive, and more engaged with our community,” says Dudamel.

The year is commemorated in a two-volume compilation of photographs, interviews, and essays, Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100. LA Philharmonic musicians are members of Local 47.

In Historic Victory, Los Angeles Times Votes to Unionize

On Friday, January 19, journalists at the Los Angeles Times voted overwhelmingly, 248-44 in favor of a union. It’s a milestone for the 136-year-old paper that historically has been under management hostile to unionization.

Through their membership in the News Guild-Communications Workers of America, LA Times reporters and staff members, all “at-will employees” without benefits, can now focus on negotiating job protections. There are few reporters who have not felt the “specter of layoffs,” says reporter Carolina Miranda. The LA Times, which employs about 500 newsroom employees—down from 1,200 at the turn of the millennium—has experienced multiple layoffs and buyouts, including a mass layoff of 250 people in 2008.

According to Dave Roeder, a consultant for the Chicago News Guild, “[The LA Times union drive] has prompted a lot of discussion among journalists here in Chicago who are not in the union. Is it a time to organize so we can better advocate for ourselves with ownership? In the difficult state of this business, you find old-line media that are in the hands of owners who may not have journalism as a core principle; they might just be interested in mining the company for assets, selling what they can, and leaving the rest. The case for being in a union in this field, in particular, is very clear right now.”

Trumpeter Goes the Distance for Charity

Roy Wiegand’s career has crossed nearly four decades—and of late, many finish lines. For the last eight years, the Los Angeles-based trumpeter turned ultra-runner has taken on solo challenges in support of local and global charities.


A busy freelancer in the LA area, Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member Roy Wiegand’s passion for running charity ulta-marathons can sometimes have him running from race to gig.

Wiegand of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) first collaborated with Lifewater International, a nonprofit organization that builds wells for remote villages in East Africa and Southeast Asia. In an ultra-marathon in 2013, in which he ran 250 miles over a week, he received a hero’s welcome after finishing at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Stopping at a couple of elementary schools along the way, he says, “I had a bottle of brown water from a village in Ethiopia to show people. Those kids sold cookies and brownies for a month before the run to raise money for other kids in Ethiopia.” He raised $25,000 over four years. “The disease rate had dropped 93%. Now, they can actually wash their hands.” According to Wiegand, “Between digging and maintaining the well it costs $40, which provides a lifetime of clean water per person.”

In June, for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation—a local organization for families with children fighting cancer—Wiegand ran the equivalent of four marathons in 24 hours (approximately 105 miles). He’s raised $40,000 for the organization. Roy’s Run for Christopher, now in its fifth year, is named for the 12-year-old friend of his son who died of a rare cancer.

Though Wiegand started running late in life, in his 40s, he says being a brass player pays off. “I’ve got lung capacity—and can run long distances without getting tired,” adding that it’s his colleagues who are all heart. The LA music community and the union serve him well on the trail. “Many musicians donate financially or with their music, or coming out and bicycling beside me.” During the grueling 24-hour  runs, whether it’s encouragement on the sidelines, supplying water, or a place to sit down, Wiegand is grateful for the support of his Local 47 friends. “It’s definitely not a one-man show. When you’re running through the dead of night, it’s good to have company.” One year, he says, there was a brass quintet to usher him over the finish line.

A few years back, the night before the LA marathon, he had a gig that went overtime. “I dropped off my trumpet and tux at the finish, ran the marathon—and actually, did my best time—took a nap, put on my tux, and played the next gig.” Laughing he says, “It’s typical of a freelance player who’s always trying to shoehorn in work or running wherever they can.”

Live club dates are his mainstay, but in his spare time Wiegand is a private music instructor who also coaches a high school jazz band. “Sometimes, it’s hard for parents to wrap their heads around music or the performing arts as a major and a potential career. It’s a leap of faith,” he says.

It was not much of a stretch for Wiegand whose father, Roy Wiegand, Jr., of Local 47, is a trombonist who played around the country in Stan Kenton’s and Woody Herman’s orchestras. The family moved around a bit, with stops in New York City, Miami, New Orleans, and Las Vegas. Wiegand showed prodigious talent at age seven and was naturally drawn to brass. He says his dad’s only seeming objection to his career choice was, “The trumpet, not the trombone?”

Wiegand moved to Los Angeles after high school and attended Los Angeles City College. After a year, though, he started getting calls to go out on the road. “Being paid to play was too strong a lure,” he says. “Plus, years ago, there was a lot of work out there.” He’s a versatile session musician, who plays jazz, classical, klezmer, bebop, mariachi, Dixieland, even salsa. He is also principal trumpet for the Desert Symphony in Palm Springs, California.


(L to R) Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) members Angela Wiegand and Roy Wiegand, and their daughter Sophie, pose for a photo midway through his 105-mile run to benefit the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for children’s cancer.

In 1997, a unique opportunity came up. After a symphony performance, he heard that The Who needed brass players for a revival of their 1973 rock opera, Quadrophenia. “A guitarist whose wife was a bassoonist in an orchestra I played with got the call for brass players. She happened to be near the phone and said, ‘Give them Roy’s number.’” Wiegand says. That call led to a year-long tour that took him around the US and throughout Europe.

This past September, 20 years to the day, he played again with The Who at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. “It was a reunion of sorts,” says Wiegand, who was joined on stage by his wife, Angela Wiegand, a Local 47 member and flutist for the Los Angeles Opera. 

One of Wiegand’s regular gigs these days is performing with the band, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack, a longtime LA rock and soul band. In between concerts, he is planning his next charity initiative, collaborating with Shelter to Soldier, a nonprofit that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for combat veterans dealing with PTSD and other challenges. Their mission is: “Saving lives, two at a time.”

How do you connect with your community? Is there a cause that you support? Tell us about it. Please write to International Musician managing editor at: cyurco@sfm.org

LA Chamber Orchestra Receives $1.5 Million to Endow Position

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) has received the largest gift in its history: a $1.5 million donation to endow the principal oboe chair. The gift comes from longtime LACO donors Carol and Warner Henry, and was made in honor of Allan Vogel of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), who served as LACO’s principal oboe for 44 years until his retirement in June 2016.

How wonderful that my dear friends Warner and Carol Henry have so generously ensured the strength of LACO’s oboe section well into the future,” says Vogel. “Music lovers and musicians in our community are truly fortunate that the Henrys are such passionate supporters. They glow with selfless appreciation of our art. I look forward to joining LACO audiences to hear each concert begin with a glorious tuning ‘A’ from LACO’s principal oboe Claire Brazeau [also of Local 47].” The Henrys’ gift will also support the performance of baroque music and LACO’s Baroque Conversations series.

Musicians of LACO are represented by Local 47.

United Teachers Los Angeles Voted to Increase Dues

The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) voted by more than 4 to 1 to increase their dues by about one-third, $1,000 a year.

“As billionaires are trying to cripple unions, our vote sends a national signal that educators are willing to invest more in our unions and in the fight for educational justice,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the Los Angeles Times. UTLA maintained it needed the funds to counter anti-union lawsuits and a plan to transfer half the city’s public-school students into charter schools over the next eight years. In addition, the union will be able to retain the organizing director, researcher, community outreach specialist, and field organizers.

With these resources, the union was able to win a favorable contract settlement, including a 10% raise, says Caputo-Pearl. UTLA is about to enter negotiations with the LA Unified School District over class sizes and school staffing levels for nurses and counselors. Most of the union’s 32,000 members are teachers, but UTLA also represents school nurses, counselors, and psychologists. The turnout, just over 50%, was high for a UTLA vote and may reflect the increasing number of ballots cast online. For the first time, the vote gives the union authority to pass on costs to members when affiliated unions, like the National Education Association, raise fees and charge UTLA.