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


President’s Message


Ray Hair – AFM International President

    Status Report—AFM Pension Fund

    If you’ve been
    following the status of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’
    Pension Fund (AFM-EPF), you know it has been facing severe funding problems
    since the Great Recession, despite earning relatively good investment returns
    since then and receiving a significant contribution increase. As detailed more
    below, however, these have not been enough to “right the ship.” As a result,
    the trustees are preparing for a critical and declining certification in the
    spring and an application to the Treasury Department under the 2014 federal law
    known as “MPRA” for approval to reduce benefits to the extent necessary to
    remain solvent for the next 30 years.

    Read More

    Recruitment, Retention, and Organizing with a Revitalized Music Performance Trust Fund

    If you missed the excellent article by Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) Trustee Dan Beck in our January 2019 issue of the International Musician, entitled “Accelerating the MPTF Mission for 2019,” I encourage you to go back, find it, and read it. Dan’s article can be read together with my June 2018 column about the employment, audience-building, and community recognition advantages that can be realized through smart MPTF programs.

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    Live Concert Venues and Media Rights: Are Musicians Sold Short?

    When we consider fair wages and working conditions
    for musicians working roadshows, the Federation’s Pamphlet B and Short
    Engagement Tour Agreements (SET) are the gold standard. Pamphlet B establishes
    fair conditions for musicians on the road in touring theatrical musicals, where
    the shows are booked for a given number of weeks. The SET contract was
    structured to cover tours where most engagements are one-nighters or run for
    less than a week.

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    Streaming: The Economy of Listening

    Guest Column by Mike Huppe, President and CEO, SoundExchange

    Below are excerpts from a keynote speech given by SoundExchange President and CEO Mike Huppe at the AFM-FIM International Streaming Conference held in Burbank, California, October 2-3. SoundExhange ( is the world’s premier digital rights organization, and has distributed more than $5 billion to recording artists and rights owners.

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    Rallying in Support of Striking Lyric Opera Orchestra Musicians

    Following is the text of a speech I gave October 12, in Chicago’s Daley Plaza in support of striking Lyric Opera Orchestra musicians.

    Hello Sweet Home Chicago! It’s a privilege to be here with officers of our great affiliated Local 10-208, the Chicago Federation of Musicians, folks from the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Illinois State AFL-CIO, and of course, members of our Lyric Opera Orchestra.

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