September 2, 2015
By Tara Jesssup
New York, NY– The American Federation of Musicians has filed suit against French company KIDAM for their failure to pay more than 20 bands that were recorded at New York City’s Winter Jazzfest for commercial broadcast on French television. It has been more than seven months since KIDAM entered into an agreement to pay wages and benefits for music recorded at Winter Jazzfest, and yet these musicians have not received payment by the Paris company.
"These folks should not feel they can get away with filming, recording and widely broadcasting our work without meeting the terms they agreed to with Local 802 and the American Federation of Musicians,” said pianist, composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, who leads the group “Boss Level” Septet. “We walk a tightrope as musicians, trying to survive, and musicians should never be treated as KIDAM has treated us."
The lawsuit states that KIDAM signed a “Single Project Letter of Agreement” on January 7, 2015 in adherence to the American Federation of Musicians’ Television Videotape Agreement. The agreement details wages and benefits for musicians recorded at Winter Jazzfest for future broadcast on the commercial French television station Mezzo, which reaches approximately sixteen million subscribers in thirty-nine countries.
“The musicians of Winter Jazzfest do not deserve to wait indefinitely for payment as this company profits from their work,” said Local 802 AFM President Tino Gagliardi. “We must hold KIDAM accountable and ensure that these extraordinarily talented musicians get paid for their work.”