Local 198-457 News

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AFM Establishes Hurricane Relief Fund

On September 6, Hurricane Irma passed just north of Puerto Rico with ferocious winds of 185 miles per hour as a category 5 hurricane, then roared past Cuba and ashore onto the US mainland on Sunday, September 10, battering the entire state of Florida with an enormous reach of more than 400 miles. Irma made landfall on the southern tip of Florida as a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, causing massive flooding and storm surges, resulting in more than five million power outages, and creating catastrophic tornadoes.

The fury of Hurricane Irma occurred on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall August 25 on the Texas Gulf Coast, between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas, just east of Houston and Galveston, as a category 4 hurricane as well, marking the first time in recorded history that two hurricanes as powerful as category 4 made landfall in the same year in the United States.

These disasters have hit AFM members hard. Hurricane Harvey displaced more than one million people along the Texas Gulf Coast. The storm affected all Houston Arts District organizations, flooding Jones Hall, the home of the Houston Symphony. It totally devastated Wortham Center, which hosts performances by the Houston Ballet and Grand Opera. “No one knows when the opera and ballet can get back in there,” Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) President Lovie Smith-Wright reported.

The Houston Symphony has managed to continue operations by moving concerts to other locations around town, pending Jones Hall repairs. The homes of dozens of Houston AFM members were totally destroyed. In South Texas and across Florida, scores of freelance musicians who work steady and short-term casual club dates and single engagements in restaurants and nightclubs have suffered loss of work.

Hurricane Irma’s trail of wind and storm surge destruction in Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, Miami, Naples, and up the east and west coasts of Florida resulted in a coast-to-coast pummeling. Officials are still trying to assess the extent of damage.

A stunning 13 million Florida residents were without power for days. Irma’s parting blow to Florida, as it moved on to Georgia and South Carolina, was record flooding in the Jacksonville area. Together, Irma and Harvey may have caused up to $200 billion in damage in Texas and Florida, according to Moody’s Analytics.

In one bit of good news, Local 389 (Orlando, FL) Secretary Sam Zambito reported that Disney advised that it will pay its Orlando theme park employees, including musicians, for all shifts cancelled as a result of the storm. Bravo Disney!

How You Can Help

In an effort to respond to the epic devastation and to help affected AFM members and their families residing in federal disaster areas in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas who are fighting to recover from one of the most destructive US natural disasters in history, the American Federation of Musicians has established the AFM Hurricane Relief Fund. It’s more important than ever that we stand together and help our brothers and sisters. Please visit the home page and click the “DONATE HERE” link.

If you prefer to write a check, send it to:

AFM Hurricane Relief Fund
American Federation of Musicians,
1501 Broadway, Suite 600
New York, NY 10036

Please note: contributions to the AFM Hurricane Relief Fund are not tax-deductible.



Local 198-457 Moves Office to Providence

The new PFM office, co-located with ATU Local 618, at 172 Longfellow Street in Providence.

After more than twenty-five years in Cranston, RI, Local 198-457 has moved its office to Providence.

The move occurred on July 27, with the office open for business on Monday, July 31.

The new office is located in the building owned by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 618, on Longfellow Street , off Elmwood Avenue, in Providence.  Our Local is subletting one office in the building from Local 618.

President Al DeAndrade and Vice-President Ed Plunkett worked hectically throughout June and July to find new office space, as the Local’s existing lease was set to expire on July 31.

The new office represents a substantial “downsize” from the Local’s former, rather spacious “digs”.  However, the decrease in rent will save the Local a substantial amount of money every year.

Additionally, Local 618 has very generously offered to let us use their large conference rooms for membership meetings as well as executive board meetings.

The new contact information is:

172 Longfellow St.
Providence, RI 02907-2621

Telephone:  (401)-780-6887
Fax: (401)-780-0556

President Artie Cabral Retires


Vice-President Al DeAndrade (l) reads the citation for retiring President Artie Cabral (c).


Having completed nearly twenty years as President of the Providence Federation of Musicians, Artie Cabral has decided to retire.

The effective date of his retirement was June 8, 2017.

A reception for Artie was held at the Local’s headquarters on June 8 and was attended by many of Artie’s friends and colleagues from the music world and Local 198-457.

Artie took over from his predecessor, Joseph Conte, in 1998.  He immediately took steps to expand the services provided by the Local.  Among his accomplishments are:

  • Implementation of the AFM Pension plan for all members
  • Taking over the administration of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra contract from the national AFM office in New York;
  • Negotiating contracts with the Providence Performing Arts Center and the Rhode Island Civic Chorale;
  • Overseeing the mergers of Local 529 in Newport and Local 262 in Woonsocket.

In addition to his union duties, Artie actively booked local musicians into Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, thus keeping many members of Local 198-457 employed.

He also kept up an active career as a performer, traveling and performing for many years with Mickey Rooney, as well as accompanying many nationally-known artists who came to the New England area.

In retirement, Artie expects to remain active as a musician.  We can all expect to see him “on the gig” soon.

Per Local 198-457’s by-laws, Vice-President Al DeAndrade has been sworn in as interim President to fill the remainder of Cabral’s term, which expires in January.

Local Honors Retiring RIPO Conductor


Conductor Larry Rachleff (c) addresses the members of the Local, flanked by David Beauchesne (l) and John Worsley (r).


On Sunday, March 19, 2017, Local 198-457 held a special meeting to honor Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Larry Rachleff.

Larry is retiring after serving for twenty one years as music director of the Philharmonic.

At the ceremony, Board Member John Worsley read a citation listing Rachleff’s many achievements with the orchestra.  Vice-President Al DeAndrade presented the outgoing director with an honorary lifetime membership in Local 198-457.

The maestro expects to concentrate now on his teaching duties at Rice University in Houston and on spending more time with his family.


A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz and Swing Musicians is finally published!

The book is available now from:

Consortium Publishing, 640 Weaver Hill Road, West Greenwich, R.I. 02817-2261

Contact: John Carlevale ( 401-392-1926

more info here: (click link)