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


Recent News

AFM Members Among USA Fellows

Two AFM members of Local 802 (New York City) are among this year’s United States Arts (USA) fellows. Jazz saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter and composer, conductor, educator Tania León will each receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards.

Workers See Slow Gains for 2018

US workers continue to face uncertainty about health care and low $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage. However, 18 states gave minimum wage workers a raise for 2018 and several more have laws requiring sick leave and family leave.

8,000 Musicians Attempt Record-Breaking Performance in Korea

In mid December, more than 8,000 musicians gathered in Seoul, Korea, in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest orchestra. The orchestra was made up of amateur musicians from churches located around the country.

Singer Duke Fakir Calls for Passage of Classics Act

In a December 29 op-ed appearing in The Washington Post, singer Duke Fakir called on Congress for passage of the Classics Act to ensure digital radio cannot exploit artists by amending federal law to require the same digital royalties for all music, whenever it was recorded.

Tip Pooling Leads to Worker Exploitation

Tip pooling is when employers require, or strongly suggest, that tipped workers put a portion of their tips into a common pool. In the past, such practices allowed employers to take control over employee tips and retain part of the money for themselves or distribute it to other employees.

US CEOs Have Biggest Pay Gap Compared to Average Workers

Companies listed on the US exchange must disclose the ratio between a chief executive officer’s compensation and the pay of its median worker for any fiscal year starting on or after January 2017.

Sinclair Broadcast Fined for Running Paid Content as News

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has fined Sinclair Broadcast $13.4 million for running paid content more than 1,700 times as “either stories resembling independently generated news coverage that aired during local news, or as longer-form stories aired as 30-minute television programs.”

Solo Violinist Honored for Work with Homeless

Last month, Kelly Hall-Tompkins of Local 802 (New York City) was recognized in the New York Times as one of New York Today’s New Yorkers of the Year. Last year, the violinist earned praise for her performance as the fiddler in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof

New Rules Hinder Collective Bargaining

According to its website (, the five-member National Labor Relations Board is “an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.”

National Museum of Gospel Music Planned for Chicago

Chicago planners have announced that they hope to open the first major gospel music museum in 2020. The planned $37.2 million National Museum of Gospel Music will be housed on a site once occupied by Pilgrim Baptist Church, known as the birthplace of gospel.