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Careers: Music/New York City Cabaret Card


Todd, u are perfect 4 asking this question 2 Bro, & God Bless u & continued musical success my man. I remember back in the day ( My dad's age / Prohibition era ), musicians used to have a New York City Cabaret Card. Is it still like that today ? I'm a drummer & about to complete my education @ S.U.N.Y. Purchase in Westchester County, where I live, in Music Performance - Jazz Studies, & dream, every night on meeting wonderful musicians like myself @ school & elsewhere to gigging in N.Y.C. Sir. Blessings again & Much Stuff Smithism 2 Ya Bro !

Adam C. Johnson ( Aspiring Professional Drummer )

Hi Adam,

Great to hear from you about your work.  The Cabaret Card was abolished decades ago, and no one in my lifetime has worked under that system.  The local musician's union has exclusive contracts with the major concert venues and Broadway theatres, so you would need a union card to work these types of gigs, but most off-broadway, cabaret, and club performances do not require union membership to play.

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Todd Sullivan


I am a full-time violinist/violist for Broadway/musical theatre, opera orchestras, and symphony orchestras in New York City. Any questions you have regarding your pursuit of a career in music performance or your study of an instrument are welcome! I am not qualified to field questions concerning careers in music education other than private tutoring.


12 years of professional experience in musical theatre, symphony orchestras, opera, and celebrity acts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Violin) Carnegie Mellon Univ. '99 Pierre Monteaux School for Conductors '00 Encore School for Strings (Viola) Teachers/ Violin: Daniel Heifetz (solo artist), Viola: Karen Tuttle (LA session player/Curtis faculty), CJ Chang (Philadelphia Orch.)

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