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



Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Names New Co-Chair of House Arts Caucus

Following a memorial service for representative Louise Slaughter, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi moved swiftly to reconstitute House Congressional Arts Caucus leadership with long-time caucus member and friend of the arts Chellie Pingree (D-ME).

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Remembering Arts Leader Representative Louise Slaughter

Eastman School of Music Alumni String quartet comprised of members of AFM Local 161-710, under the leadership of AFM 161-710 President Edgardo Malaga and Secretary-Treasurer Marta Bradley, performed the prelude and postlude at the US Capitol Sanctuary Hall April 18 for a Congressional Memorial Ceremony for the late Honorable Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

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Coalition of Unions Stands Up to Disney

For at least 30 years, we at Local 7 (Orange County, CA) have been scratching our heads wondering why unions that bargain with Disneyland don’t put their heads together, exchange information, and support one another. As it turns out, other unions have been thinking the same thing.

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Advocacy and Pension Reform Take Precedence in Washington, DC

As AFM members are confronted with the uncertainties of both tax and pension reform, AFM President Ray Hair has refocused the work of the union’s Office of Government Relations to maximize its visibility and effectiveness relating to issues that impact our jobs and lives.

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Fiddler David Varnado Reels in Awards

A third-generation fiddler, David Varnado knew at five years old what he was destined to do. Looking over his father’s shoulder, he says, “I’d see where he was laying his fingers. That’s how I learned to play.”

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CFM Continues to Lobby for Musical Instrument Passenger Rights

Canadian Federation of Musicians continued to lobby the Parliament of Canada to include the carriage of musical instruments as part of the Passenger Rights Proposals on Bill C-49

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Sam Bush: Storyman

Bush, a Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member, cherishes the art of co-writing, and for Storyman he co-wrote every song. Among his collaborators were Jeff Black, Emmylou Harris of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) and master of songwriting, the late Guy Clark. And, Bush’s entire band contributed to the tune “It’s Not What You Think.” Among guest […]

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Canadian Multi-Instrumentalist Performs on Both Sides of the Border

A versatile instrumentalist, Suzie Vinnick of Local 180 (Ottawa, ON) has won 10 Canadian MapleBlues Awards for vocals, acoustic artist, bassist, and songwriter and a Canadian Folk Music Award for contemporary vocalist. Though she considers herself a roots musician, she dabbles in many styles.

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Electronic Guitars Design and Invention: Groundbreaking Innovations

Designers of today’s electric guitars draw heavily on great instruments created in the ’50s and ’60s. This book details how those masterpieces happened, why they are still relevant, and the effects they continue to have on modern guitar design.

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Steel Drums Minus 1 Play-Along: Arrangements with Recorded Steel Band

Alfred’s Pop Steel Drum Series book and CD set includes medium to difficult traditional calypso and pop classics with “virtual” steel band backing tracks and treble clef lead sheets for any melodic instrument.

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