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


Articles, Member Profiles

Music Lost a Champion – Tommy Banks

On January 25 we suffered the great loss of Tommy Banks at 81 years old. He was a close friend and I find it difficult to sufficiently honour him.

Big Tax Changes for Musicians in 2018

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December presents the most sweeping changes to US tax policy in 30 years and will have a significant impact on working musicians.

The Beauty of Variety: Christina Linhardt Covers the Artistic Gamut

Christina Linhardt of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) is a musical chameleon. Her talent spans classical music, high opera, folk dance, cabaret, and when called for, the occasional circus performance. Her artistic upbringing meant traveling the world, spending summers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, among artists and musicians, notably the Arnold Schoenberg family.

Union Plus Mortgage Company: New Mortgage Option for Union Members

There is a new and different mortgage brokerage company available to many AFM members: the Union Plus Mortgage Company (UPMC). What makes it different from other mortgage companies is that it is owned by the AFL-CIO, Union Plus, and a group of affiliated unions (including the AFM).

Sound. Words. People. The Intentional Practice of Alexander Laing

Alexander Laing thinks a lot about diversity, inclusion, and equity, especially in the context of the culture of orchestras and classical music. He’s spoken on the topic at symphonic conferences in the US and in the UK. Through a practice focused on sound, words, and people, the Phoenix Symphony principal clarinetist is hoping to be […]

The Freedom to Play: How Jazz Saved Lennie Cuje

Lennie Cuje has been a fixture on the jazz scene for more than 60 years. A Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) member since the 1950s, the celebrated vibist has experienced life on a grand scale—in music, in war, and in two homelands.

To Mongolia, with Love

Last summer, Mongolia’s Morin Khuur Ensemble, performed the world premiere of Postcards to Mongolia, by American composer and conductor Thomas A. Blomster of Local 20-623 (Denver, CO)—a first for both maestro and orchestra. The concert was broadcast live on Mongolian TV and the score was placed in the Mongolian national archives.

Social Media Campaign Recovers Stolen Cello

French soloist Ophelie Gaillard’s was robbed of the 18th-century cello she plays at knifepoint outside her home in a Paris suburb.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces 100th Anniversary Season: LA Phil 100

Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced an ambitious season to mark its 100th anniversary. Aside from an exciting centennial program, the orchestra will mark the milestone with educational and social-impact initiatives, as well as public celebrations.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Five-Year Contract

The musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, represented by Local 16-248 (Newark, NJ), have ratified a five-year contract, retroactive to September 1, 2017.