By: Ryan Tejero
Formed in October 2013 and formally established in 2014, Filipino Musicians of Chicago (FMOC) became a 501(c)4 and is organized exclusively as a charitable, artistic and social organization. The name, Filipino Musicians of Chicago, was conceived when one of the original members, who was a Filipino drummer passed away, and the family had little to no resources to spend for funeral expenses. To respond to the family who’s in need, a few members of FMOC met at a music bar, where everyone joined in to jam and perform to collect monetary donations for the family. The group became an instant hit and got inspired in bringing in more performances later.
As a corporation, FMOC is built on the basic tenets of promoting camaraderie among Filipino musicians in the Chicago area, giving each artist an opportunity to share their talents, and performing, with a purpose of raising money for musicians who are struggling or undergoing hardship in life.
FMOC has about 50 active members. They are mostly musicians. Its membership is open to non-musicians and non-Filipinos who play in a band; those who are members of a Filipino band, and those who have the passion in music. They are categorized as associate members and they cannot participate in voting as indicated in the bylaws of the organization. Each member pays an annual membership due of $10.
As part of its annual fundraising, FMOC presents every Spring of the year its Spring Jam. This event features various bands performing in one stage. In 2015, FMOC organized an additional event in August to benefit three very ill musicians. The next Spring Jam is scheduled in May 2017, and a picnic tentatively set in August 2017.
Currently heading FMOC is Rudolfo Campos. He started performing at a tender age of 18, where he became a regular performer and night club singer in Cebu City. At that time, he was also pursuing his educational goals at the University of the Visayas. In 1969, he was recruited as a singer for the Kiko Gatchalian’s Big Band at Clark Air Force Base.
In February of 1972, Rudy came to the United States, and had the opportunity to join the Sundown Band in South Bend, Indiana. With so many band affiliations and performances in the US, Rudy finally decided to form his own band called Pacific. The band played all over the Midwest, and mostly in the Chicago area in the late 70s and 80s.
Rudy said, “I was forced to retire in 1990 due to my heart surgery. I had an aneurism in my aorta which was caused by a car accident 10 years prior and my left vocal chord became paralyzed from the surgery.” In 1999, Rudy had to undergo a surgery to have his paralyzed vocal chord placed closer to his good vocal chord, which allowed him to sing again parttime. Rudy pursued working for the US Postal Service until he retired in 2015.
He is currently active in other community events. He is a member of the Amihan Club of America, as one of its board members.
Rudy is a proud father and family man. He is married to Marissa, who is an American Italian descent, and works in the mortgage business. Together, they have been blessed with four beautiful daughters: Christina, 32, married to Rich, and has 3 children Iliana 14, Orion 13 and Magnus 7 years old: Alexandra 29, Amanda, 28, is married to Dan, and Samantha, 26, and she is based in California. Rudy has also been blessed with three other children from his previous marriage: Clark, Claire, and Mark, who are all married. Rudy enjoys his spare time with his six adorable grandchildren, Lauren 15, Ethan 12, Nolan 10, Olivia 12, Caiden 10, and Chloe 6.
Rudy recently received the most prestigious and deserving award of 2016 Excellence in Music LeadershipAward given by the Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame last November 2016.
Please contact Rudy Campos to join and support FMOC at rudolfocampos@ yahoo.com.##
Rudolfo Campos, President of FMOC
The original Pacific band: (L-R) Kerry Shead, Rudy Campos, the late Jimmy Briones, the late Romeo Rabillas, and Manny Briones.