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


AFM Launches Workplace Safety Initiatives

Tino Gagliardi Photo

Since becoming AFM president, I have met with members all across the Federation and there is one common theme: if we want to grow, if we want more work opportunities, and a more inclusive industry, we need to change the culture and how we do business. Safe Workplaces In the following months the AFM will […]

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When Crisis Is Opportunity

Ken Shirk Photo

Whether it be on a local or national level, changes in industry practices—or in a union that represents the employees in that industry—generally come slowly. An institution with many constituent parts will rarely move far from the status quo, lest that institution get too far away from its perceived existential center and thereby alienate the […]

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Harness Collective Power to Organize Work in Venues

For professional musicians who perform in nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants, access to the protections and benefits of AFM contracts suffered a setback decades ago, which remains with us to this day. A 1982 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling, known as the Caribe Hilton decision, dealt a major blow to the AFM’s ability to bargain […]

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AFM Federal Focus: NEA Funding and International Travel with Instruments

Alfonso Pollard headshot

This month’s column focuses on two critical issues that directly impact your business as an artist. The first is funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The second relates to updates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) […]

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Groban Signs AFM Agreement

The AFM is pleased to announce a new agreement with singer and songwriter Josh Groban. Signed in March, the agreement stipulates that Groban will sign union contracts for all of his live performances and tours that engage accompanying or background musicians. The contracts will be executed through the AFM local in whose jurisdiction the performance […]

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The Chess Match Between Canadian Airlines and Government

by Allistair Elliott, AFM International Representative for Canadian Locals In 2019, a new Passenger Bill of Rights provided musicians some protection when travelling with instruments on airlines in Canada. This was a significant step that, for the first time, recognized musicians with instruments on Canadian airlines as a specific group. It created an accountability structure […]

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