January 14, 2020

BLUE STATE BLUES: California’s new gig worker law is disrupting the music industry and threatening all performing arts.

Under AB 5, we will be required to inform all U.S.-based musicians that they must now become employees of San Jose Jazz, or incorporate themselves before they will be allowed to perform for us.

If band leaders choose to pursue incorporation, they will then need to take on the responsibility of payroll and HR administration for the rest of their band.

In many performing arts disciplines, such as jazz, musicians are constantly reconfiguring line ups, performing as sidemen in various bands, and as one-time special guests for specific performances.

We will now be obliged to devote tremendous time and resources to constantly hiring, managing and tracking of musicians through this cumbersome process.

AB 5 unnecessarily complicates other work arrangements found in community cultural programming such as small festivals, neighborhood street fairs, parades and summer music series in our local parks.

San Jose Jazz is best known for producing our large Summer Fest which brings tens of thousands of visitors and requires hundreds of temporary roles to execute.

Getting what they voted for, good and hard.

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