Local 198-457 News

Check here for announcements and latest PFM news.

Baltimore Musicians Settle Lockout


September 23, 2019 — Musicians and management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced today that they have reached a one-year agreement to settle the lockout and labor dispute between the two parties.

The lockout began on June 17, 2019, after the musicians had been working without a contract since January.

Terms of the agreeement include:

  • an increase of 2.4% in weekly scale over the 38 week conert season, plus two summer weeks
  • Compensation to the musicians for the wages lost during the ten weeks of the lockout
  • Restoration of all medical, dental, and other employer-paid benefits
  • Four weeks of paid vacation
  • A commitment to hire additional musicians
  • Formation of a “Vision Committee” consisting of both management and musician representatives, with a mandate to plan for the future of the orchestra

During the lockout this past summer, AFM Locals throughout the country, including the Providence Federation of Musicians, gave both moral and financial support to help the  players of the Baltimore Symphony.

Click here to read more about the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians

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AFM Holds 101st Convention

The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the parent organization of the Providence Federation of Musicians, held its 101st convention from June 16 to June 20, 2019.  Nearly 500 delegates attended the five day event, which was held at the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

President Ed Plunkett and Board Member Carl Hosbond attended the convention as delegates representing the Providence Local.

At the convention, speakers emphasized the importance of streaming media as the newest technology trend to affect musicians, both positively and negatively.  On the negative side, streaming media frequently replaces live performances.  On the positive side, royalties and revenues from streaming media can serve as a new source of income for recording musicians.

AFM President Ray Hair spoke of the new agreements in place between the AFM and major media companies, which have been achieved over the last three years.  He also spoke of the Music Modernization Act which, as a result of lobbying efforts by the AFM, passed both houses of congress and was signed into law last fall.

Hair also emphasized the strengthened finances of the Music Performance Trust Fund and its renewed commitment to provide funding for live music performances throughout the United States and Canada.

Guest speakers included representatives from musicians unions in France, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

Triennial elections were held at the convention and all the incumbent officers were re-elected, without opposition.  They are:

International President:                            Ray Hair

International Vice-President:                   Bruce Fife

Vice-President from Canada:                    Alan Willaert

International Secretary-Treasurer:          Jay Blumenthal

Four of five members of the International Executive Board (IEB) were re-elected:

  • John Acosta
  • Tino Gagliardi
  • Tina Morrison
  • Dave Pomeroy

IEB member Joseph Parente retired this year and was replaced by new IEB member Ed Malaga.

The next AFM convention will be held in 2022.

Read about the 2019 convention here.

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AFM Establishes Disaster Relief Fund

At the 2019 AFM International Convention in Las Vegas, delegates voted to establish an Emergency Relief Fund for musicians who are victims of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and similar calamities.

Previously, the AFM had a relief fund that was designated only for hurricane victims.  The new fund includes hurricane victims, but also musicians who may be affected by any other natural disaster that endangers their income, health, housing, musical instruments, and so on.

If you would like to help support the AFM Disaster Relief Fund, please click here.

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Music Performance Trust Fund
Renews Grant to Local 198-457

The AFM’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has renewed its grant to Local 198-457 for 2019.

The Fund’s purpose is to promote the performance of live music.

The grant will help to sponsor live performances by member of the Local in public, admission-free venues.

The Fund uses a “co-sponsor” system to pay for the concerts.

New to the fund this year, MPTF will now pay 50% of the cost of all events.  The “co-sponsor” organization pays the other 50%.

In all cases, the concerts must be free and open to the public.

Organizations which are interested in participating in the MPTF concert series should contact Local 198-457 President Ed Plunkett at (401) – 780 – 6887, or via email at

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President Ed Plunkett

Appears on Labor Vision

Local 198-457 President Ed Plunkett recently appeared on the cable-access TV program Labor Vision.

The program is produced by the Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research (ILSR).

Host Jim Riley interviewed Plunkett about the history of the Local, some of its illustrious members, the Cavalcade of Bands, and the Local’s current and future focus.

CLICK HERE if you would like to watch the entire interview on YouTube.

Note that the program consists of two segments. The first segment concerns the United Nurses and Allied Professions. The segment about the Providence Federation of Musicians begins approximately 15 minutes into the video. (It is possible to fast forward past the first segment to get to the PFM interview.)

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RI Music Hall of Fame Honors Mike Renzi

Pianist / Accompanist / Arranger Mike Renzi views the new display honoring him at the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (RIMHOF) has inducted Local 198-457 member Mike Renzi into its Hall of Fame.

Renzi is a Providence native who has been piano accompanist to some of the greatest names in the music business, including Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Peggy Lee, Maureen McGovern, Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. He was musical director of the PBS children’s TV program Sesame Street for twelve years.

Additionally, he has been nominated for Grammy awards 17 times and has won 7 Grammies.

Renzi’s formal induction into the Hall of Fame occurred on Thursday, April 26, 2018, as part of a concert he gave at Chan’s Restaurant in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. At that time he was presented with the award by RIMHOF directors Rick Belaire and Bruce McCrae (aka, Rudy Cheeks). Performing with him at the concert were Local 198-457 members Paul Del Nero, on bass, and Vinnie Pagano, on drums.

Also honored that evening was Chan’s owner, John Chan, for his efforts over the years to present live jazz and blues to the Rhode Island music community.

On Sunday, April 29, 2018, the unveiling of the murals for the new honorees took place at the Hall of Fame’s headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. There will now be a permanent display honoring Mike at the Hall of Fame.

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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, 2017, with the office open for business on the following 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.

Interim President Al DeAndrade and Interim 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, 2017.

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

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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, 2018.

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Local Honors Retiring RIPO Conductor

Conductor Larry Rachleff (c) addresses the members of the Local, flanked by RIPO Executive Director David Beauchesne (l) and the late Dr. 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.

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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)

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