Local and Industry News

Local 655 member and jazz trumpet legend Melton Mustafa has passed away at age 70. Mustafa had performed with the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, and Woody Herman, as well as led his own Melton Mustafa Orchestra and Melton Mustafa Quintet. He was also the founder of the jazz studies program at Florida Memorial University.

A new report by the Broadway League shows an increase in younger audience members, with 25 percent of audiences under the age of 25, the largest percentage of youth members in the 20 years of studies by the League. However, nearly 40 percent of audiences are over age 50, making the average age of Broadway audiences 41.7 years, older than the average U.S. population.

A new study by Guy Madison at the Umea University in Sweden shows that musical ability increases the attractiveness of mates. Musical ability affected women more than men, and women perceived men to be more intelligent when compelling music was playing in the background.

Steve Sybesma and Paul Peck, the founders of the Okeechobee Music and Art Festival, are proposing the "Miami Beach Pop Festival," a three-day festival similar to Coachella. The event would premiere December 14 through 16, 2018 between Fifth and 10th Streets in Miami Beach. The city is currently seeking public input before deciding whether to grant permits for the Festival.


The 2017 box office receipts fell about 2.5 percent from last year's high, a drop of about $270 million. However, earnings still exceeded $11 billion for only the third time in history.

A company representing artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young, and The Doors is suing Spotify for $1.6 billion. The company alleges that Spotify did not secure composition rights for some of the songs it hosts online.

The record industry earned $4 billion in revenue during the first half of 2017, a 17 percent gain and the first increase in 20 years. Billboard estimates that revenue for the year could reach $9 billion, a level not seen in over 10 years.


Musicians of the Charlotte Symphony have ratified a new five-year agreement. While there will be a temporary reduction in orchestra size from 62 to 58 musicians, all 62 positions will be restored by the final year of the agreement. Musicians will receive raises of one percent in each of the first two years, 1.5 percent in each of years three and four, and two percent in the final year.

The roller coaster that is the San Antonio Symphony is back in business for now. The donors that were set to take over the Symphony on September 1 pulled out of the deal after discovering $8.9 million in pension liabilities. The existing Board began the season but then announced a cancellation of the season in January, only to resurrect the season a few days later after an infusion of cash and a new agreement with musicians. Bexar County has also announced a matched funding grant to help get the Symphony back on its feet.


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