Local and Industry News

Pianist Paquito Hechavarria has passed away at age 73.

Cuban-born Paquito, known for his "tumbao" rhythm, played in the Fontainbleau Hotel's Boom Boom Room in the 1960's and later played with the Miami Sound Machine. He was a 50-year member of Local 655.

Broward County has passed a Wage Theft Ordinance. Broward ranks third in the state in wage theft, behind Miami-Dade County, which already has a wage theft ordinance, and Hillsborough County. With adoption of the ordinance, employees will now be able to file complaints with the County, which would appoint a hearing officer to review the case. Should the employer be found guilty, penalties would include county costs and triple back pay.


According to Musicmetric, Gainesville, Florida is the pirate capital of the United States. Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, has the highest number of per capita BitTorrent downloads for the first half of 2012. On a statewide basis, Florida ranks fifth in per capita downloads, with Georgia and New York in the number one and number two spots.


Palm Beach Opera artistic director Bruno Aprea has left the company. Aprea chose not to accept the new contract offered to him, and the Opera is in the process of contracting guest conductors for the two productions Aprea was scheduled to conduct this season. PBO has been in the process of restructuring to a more seasonal model, and has stated that the position of artistic director and its commensurate duties may change as the restructuring continues.

The Sarasota Orchestra has a new, four-year agreement. The new agreement, retroactive to last season, includes pay raises of 1.5 percent this season and one percent in each of the final two years of the agreement. The new agreement also converts three per-service musicians into the core orchestra and transitions to a 403(b) retirement plan.


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