Category Archives: Music Activism

Professional Musician Fighting Against Climate Change

Marc Schmied 1Text by Marc Schmied

Greetings – My name is Marc Schmied and I’m a new member of MFM. I’ve been playing acoustic and electric bass professionally in the NYC area for about 25 years. I love playing different styles – currently I’m playing with Tommy Tune (covering the Great American Songbook), a funky rock band (Tamika & The Slay), a classical string quartet (The Iris Quartet), and whatever theater work comes my way. I’m also active in a grassroots environmental group that fights against climate change, 350brooklyn.org.

The Need for a Revision of the Concept of Musical Professionalism

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Bern NixSeveral weeks before this writing, guitar master Bern Nix passed away. He was an elder master with astonishing musical abilities, and an impressive resume behind him. Yet he was in poverty, living in dire straits for years. His is an old story that seems to keep repeating itself. 

This myth of the inevitability of the “starving artist” is self perpetuating. It seems that people on all sides of the equation have it so ingrained into their subconscious that it’s almost expected that musicians be impoverished, ignored, and mistreated. 

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Open Letter to all Professional Musicians: Your Success Is Everybody’s Success!

Professional musicians: Music Is Not Free 1An Editorial and Commentary on Musical Professionalism By Dawoud Kringle

Look, I get it, OK? This is a hard life we chose. We are trying to cultivate our skills and build a career and a reputation for ourselves. And somehow, through it all, we have to pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads, and put food on the table.

As we all know, there is some sort of mythological historical model that musicians must pay their dues. And despite the vague details surrounding this idea, there is certainly some truth to it. A musician must prove him or herself, must cultivate his or her skills, and build one’s business from the foundation up.

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Womens March Jan 2017 Rockerfeller Center

Womens’ March NY: HISTORY, HER-STORY AND OUR-STORY

Text by MFM Member BAASSIK (Pamela Jennett)

I have been to many marches and parades before; but I did not expect the overwhelming feeling that I experienced at the NYC Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017.  The sounds. The colors. The music!  It was a little scary on one level and exhilarating on another. When I exited the subway, I was lost in a sea of people with costumes, signage and many people! (The slogans were rather creative! It is amazing how creative humans can be when oppressed!)

As a bass guitarist, the songs, beats and chants caught my ear…please do not make me try to recall any of them! There were so many! However, I joined in, lending my voice to the masses. All of the chants said the same thing; we ALL want equality, justice and peace in all forms. We want control of our bodies. We do not want war!

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