Info Session: How SAG-AFTRA Creates Music Legislation That Helps You

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*This event will be held on Zoom. An email confirmation will be sent from Eventbrite with a link to connection details.

Join Janice Pendarvis, Berklee professor and SAG-AFTRA vice president, and Jeffrey Bennett, general counsel for SAG-AFTRA, for an exploration of the history of sound recording copyrights, performance rights, and the related music legislation that SAG-AFTRA has championed, and how that legislation affects singers, recording artists, and the music community at large.

Participants will:

  • gain a greater understanding of how music legislation is really created and how it gets passed
  • hear perspectives from SAG-AFTRA leadership about the current landscape of music legislation
  • receive a brief overview of what SAG-AFTRA does and why it’s important to the music community


SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. 

Janice Pendarvis is part of the soundtrack of our lives. Her singing and speaking voice is on countless recordings, commercials, TV shows, and films. She has sung with David Bowie, Sting, Steely Dan, Roberta Flack, Philip Glass, the Rolling Stones, the Naked Brothers Band, the O’Jays, Jimmy Cliff, and many more. There is a chapter dedicated to her speaking voice in one of the most definitive texts on voiceovers, Secrets of Voiceover Success.

As the first background singer to speak in the 2014 Oscar and Grammy-winning documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom, she sets the tone for the film with warmth, energy, knowledge, and insight. She is featured in Bring on the Night, the 1985 documentary focused on Sting and his legendary all-Black band; Laurie Anderson’s 1986 concert film, Home of the Brave; and in Sting’s DVD, All This Time.

One of Janice’s great passions is advocating for the music community. Through her work with SAG-AFTRA on the national board, negotiating committees for various collective bargaining agreements and committee work, Janice has been advocating for the singer/recording artist community since the 1980s. She is currently SAG-AFTRA’s national vice president for recording artists/singers, a member of SAG-AFTRA’s national and New York local boards, chair of the National Singers Committee and chair of the New York Singers Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of the newly-formed Hip-Hop Alliance. She was on the Recording Academy’s New York Chapter Board of Governors for years.

Janice is committed to passing on what she has learned to the next generation. She is a professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music and an adjunct professor at NYU-Steinhardt in two programs: songwriting and vocal performance.

Jeffrey Bennett is general counsel for SAG-AFTRA. His responsibilities include oversight and management of SAG-AFTRA's legal, government affairs and public policy, professional representatives, foreign royalties and residuals analysis, and international affairs departments.

Bennett's work at SAG-AFTRA has encompassed a wide variety of matters, including collective bargaining agreement enforcement, union governance, and advocacy at the federal and state levels. He played a pivotal role in SAG-AFTRA's landmark film foreclosure project, where, for the first time, the union used its security interests in films to effectuate payment of uncollected arbitration awards. His government affairs and policy work includes huge wins for members in the areas of copyright advocacy, music royalty payments, rights of publicity, production tax incentives, pandemic assistance, child performer protections, and more.

Prior to joining SAG-AFTRA, Bennett worked at William Morris Endeavor, in private practice representing creative talent in Los Angeles, and as a policy analyst for the governor of Alaska. He served as an adjunct professor of entertainment law at Western State University College of Law and was a longtime BookPAL for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

Bennett received his Bachelor of Arts in history from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California. He received the Judge Barry Russell Award for Outstanding Achievement in Federal Courts and Practice, presented by the Federal Bar Association. He is licensed to practice law in California, New York, and the District of Columbia.