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 Updates Locals’ and Players’ Conference Delegates

Tino Gagliardi Photo

Following the Second Quarter AFM International Executive Board (IEB) meeting, held June 12-14 at the Motor City Casino in Detroit, Michigan, I have been reflecting on the considerable progress the Federation has made in the last 11 months. In April, the Education Committee launched the new AFM Officer Training program at the Western Conference of […]

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Secretary-Treasurer’s Message

Ken Shirk Photo

The article on page 6 of the July IM issue describes the many executive actions taken by US President Biden that have leveled the playing field between working people and their employers and that will operate to bring new good jobs as a reinvestment in the economy. These are actions that any US president may […]

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First 30 Days—Keeping the Negotiating Train Rolling

Typically, when a new administration begins, there is a target to achieve some positive momentum within the first 100 days. I want to take some time to share my first 30 days in office. Firstly, I have spent some individual time with all staff in the office. We have a small, but dedicated, group and […]

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Growth for Some, Scraps for Others

Ah, 2023—a year of dizzying highs and frustrating lows in the music industry. The money train kept rolling, driven by an 11.2% jump in subscription streaming revenues. But hold your applause because, despite this boom, many musicians are still stuck in the proverbial backseat, wondering when their turn will come. The latest IFPI Global Music […]

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A New Day for Union Organizing

by Gabe Kristal, AFM Director of Organizing It is no secret that organized labor has been in decline for several decades from its high point in 1954, when more than one in three US workers belonged to a union. However, there is new momentum for our labor movement. Buoyed by the Biden Administration and the […]

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Workplace Meetings Are Valuable Organizing Tools

by Gabriel Feldman-Schwartz, AFM Field Organizer There are two competing ways to view the workplace. There’s the boss’s way: a place where workers shouldn’t communicate with each other and should do whatever is assigned to them with no hesitation. This workplace vision is full of deference to management, isolation, and competition among coworkers. Separately, there […]

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