Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Articles, Member Profiles

Peter Cho: Educating and Organizing in the Big Easy

At the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, where Peter Cho of Local 174-496 has taught for the last 20 years, he says, “We make sure music students are well-rounded.


The Power of Advocacy

In March, the AFM joined with more than 700 members of the labor and nonprofit communities to participate in the largest advocacy meeting of the year. Sponsored by Americans for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day has become a national benchmark for the arts community.


Officer Training—A New Day

At the 100th Convention in June of 2016, a resolution was put forward by the Canadian Conference, requiring that the AFM implement an officer training program, with a “… focus on membership retention and recruitment, as well as general office procedures, as a means of combating declining Federation membership.”


From Nashville to Paris: The Roots of a Jazz Musician

Andrew White is a quintessential artist. A sax player, classically trained oboist, composer, and arranger, a wildly eclectic and spirited genius who has transcribed 840 of John Coltrane’s free-flight solos.


It’s Spring—Finally!

As we wrap up our paperwork for last year, we are all provided with an opportunity to reflect back on 2016.


The Accidentals: Learning from the Challenges of Life on the Road


The first time then-teenagers Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, both members of Local 56 (Grand Rapids, MI) jammed together in 2011 they knew they had something special. The next five years were a blur of learning, creativity, and performing. They’ve graduated with the inaugural singer-songwriter major at Interlochen Arts Academy high school, produced three albums, and toured the country.




A Meditation for Nobodies and Old Mares

Playing classical music as a violinist in orchestras, and performing folk music, rock and roll, western swing, country, funk, and jazz on guitar, I have seen most of this country. I have seen most of the attitudes musicians display toward other musicians, whether friends, colleagues, or unknown nobodies.


Introducing the Audience to the Pit

As a rule, those shows used large orchestras. Oklahoma (1943) used 28 musicians in the pit and Carousel (1945) had an orchestra of 39. Not only did audiences expect a show to have an ensemble of this size, there was no viable technology that could replace musicians.


MPTF Co-Sponsored Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Brings Concerts to Southern California

The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) co-sponsors hundreds of free live events annually that enrich communities across North America with the talents of inspiring professional musicians. Here we shine the light on one of our outstanding partners: Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO).


Musicians Bid Farewell to the Circus Life

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circuses—the Red and Blue units—give their final performances in May. Here’s a look at the unprecedented musical legacy of The Greatest Show on Earth.






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