Labor Loses a Music Icon


David Winters, a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 153, passed away on December 15, 2014 with his wife and family at his bedside.

David served many years as an officer of his Local. In addition he served as the Sec/Treasurer of the Santa Cruz Central Labor Council.  He performed for many Labor events from small union halls and rallies to the stage of national conventions. For nearly 29 years David served as the Festival Coordinator of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival.

In addition to his dedication to the labor movement, he performed professionally for more than 30 years. He was an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and mandolinist. He has contributed instructional articles to Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine’s prestigious ‘Masters Series’. He was National Guitar Workshop’s Complete Guitarist (David was finger style specialist for the California campus of the National Guitar Summer Workshop) and authored the acclaimed book ‘Natural & Artificial Harmonics for the Guitar’.

He has directed children’s musical theater, and until his death, he led the Cabrillo College Stroke Center Choir. David taught a variety of music workshops through the years. In addition he filled some of his time as an instructor at Cabrillo College. 

A very adaptable performer both vocally and instrumentally, David presented solo programs of original music, jazz standards, traditional folk and blues, and classical music. On the mandolin, his specialties included Irish dance music and Italian classics.

Hi compositions have been used in productions by the Mamalution Dance Collective, Santa Cruz Actors Theater, Wallflower Order Dance Collective various children’s theater presentations and in his own articles and books.

David Winters will be remembered for his compassion, his quiet leadership, his gentle spirit, and for his uncanny musicianship.  He was 65 years old.