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 www.afm.org/join.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AFM

Stephen Laifer



Strength of Unions: Cellist Inspires and Educates the Next Generation

Giovanna Moraga Clayton didn’t set out to be on the Local 47 (Los Angeles) executive board. But here she is. “Honestly, I never necessarily wanted to do it,” says the freelance cellist, who has been working in Los Angeles film and television studios for the last 14 years. “But when someone asked me to consider it, I had […]

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Dominic Trumfio

Chicago Theater Musician Creates Art in Every Color of the Rainbow Musicians often don’t wind up where they started when embarking on a chosen career path. And sometimes the place they wind up is even more fulfilling than the one they imagined. As a high school flutist, Chicago native Dominic Trumfio of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) might not have […]

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Buffalo Tubist Keeps Traditions Alive Through the Arts

Throughout his professional years, Harry endeavored to maintain tribal traditions and cultural pride. He is a past president (for 10 years) of Neto Hatinakwe Onkwehowe, Cayuga for Here Lives the People. “Neto is an American Indian arts advocacy group in Buffalo representing the Six Nations group, the remains of the Iroquois Federation and the Tuscarora from North Carolina,” he says.

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Herb Smith

Music Is an Underrated Path to Social Justice When trumpet player Herb Smith of Local 66 (Rochester, NY) read the news about a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally being organized in downtown Rochester last summer, he knew he needed to take part in some way. This wasn’t a new feeling for him. Tall and dreadlocked, […]

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Scott Robinson

Creating New Life in the Lab Frankenstein’s monster lurks in the corner of the lab, seven feet tall, looming over the lab equipment. Except, in this case, the “monster” is a rare contrabass saxophone. And the “lab” is a music studio—aka, ScienSonic—belonging to jazz saxophonist Scott Robinson of Local 802 (New York City). Robinson says […]

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Kate Foss

Boston Musician Kate Foss Lays Down the Foundation on Tuba and Bass Aside from sharing the same clef, you’d think the tuba and the upright bass couldn’t be any more different. You’d be wrong. According to Kate Foss of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and Local 802 (New York City), both allow her to do what […]

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Alex Acuña

For Drummer Alex Acuña, His Storied Career Has Been a Mix of Talent and Opportunity Some say the term “living legend” gets tossed around a little too often. But when you’re the drummer of choice to lay down the beat behind household names for more than half a century, the title is not only accurate—it’s […]

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Bass Clarinetist and Activist Beverly Setzer Believes Unions Help Both Sides

Most musicians involved in unionism can point to a moment that clearly illustrates why they believe in the power of organized labor. For clarinetist Beverly Setzer of Local 76-493 (Seattle, WA), that moment came shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. “Back when we were still playing live performances, I worked at a jazz club in Seattle,” […]

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The Many Jazz Hats of Leigh Pilzer

A DC native and longtime member of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC), whose arrangements have been widely adopted by big bands.

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Catherine Sheridan

For This Trumpet Player, No Such Thing As Too Busy In case you think you’re doing too much, consider trumpet player Catherine Sheridan: a full-time civil engineer who heads up major infrastructure projects for New York State, she is also a near-full-time freelancer in pit orchestras for Broadway touring productions and a member of two […]

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