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


Sam Folio

former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

My Final Column

This will be my final International Musician column as leave office August 1. I wanted to thank the many people who have supported me over my six-year tenure as secretary-treasurer of the AFM.

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10-Plus Years of Improvements

In 2005, when I was elected Secretary-Treasurer, my goal included streamlining the operations of the office, consolidation of the computer systems, and creating a process for better management of working capital

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Secretary-Treasurer Annual Report Synopsis

At the close of business 2015, I was pleased to report income over expenses of more than $1.3 million. This is the fourth year that the AFM has net income of a million. AFM Comptroller Michelle Ledgister and her staff are to be commended for keeping Federation finances on track, while working extremely short-handed.

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Getting Back to the Music

Amid the flurry of day-to-day activities—being immersed in bylaws, finances, budgets, audits, and convention preparations—we tend to forget what we’re here for, the creative forces we represent: music, musicians, performers, and art.

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An Empty Seat on the Supreme Court: What It Means for Unions

With the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, I’m reminded of a time when I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending time with the late Justice many years ago.

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International Musician Looking Forward to Changes and Growth

International Musician Looking Forward to Changes and Growth —

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What Does the Friedrichs Case Really Mean for Working Americans?

What Does the Friedrichs Case Really Mean for Working Americans? — Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA) goes to the heart of public sector workers’ ability to unionize and lobby for standards that protect every American.

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News and Notes from the Secretary-Treasurer’s Desk

2016 AFM Budget – The AFM International Executive Board (IEB) held its third quarter board meeting in November. As per the AFM Bylaws, the third quarter is the budget meeting, and according to the Bylaws the IEB is required to have a balanced budget. The IEB approved a balanced budget for 2016.

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A Combination of Sun Tzu and Will Rogers

Needs to be said and I’m the one to say it! I remember the AFM Convention in 1983 very well. First, because it was when I first ran and became a member of the AFM International Executive Board (IEB), and secondly, because it’s when I first met my friend Ray Hair. You know when you […]

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Are You Getting the Most from Health Care Reform?

It’s been five years since Congress passed health care reform, but many people are still missing out on possible savings, like lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, just because they don’t know about them.

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