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.

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Articles, Member Profiles

Peter Cho: Educating and Organizing in the Big Easy

At the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, where Peter Cho of Local 174-496 has taught for the last 20 years, he says, “We make sure music students are well-rounded.


From Nashville to Paris: The Roots of a Jazz Musician

Andrew White is a quintessential artist. A sax player, classically trained oboist, composer, and arranger, a wildly eclectic and spirited genius who has transcribed 840 of John Coltrane’s free-flight solos.


Bobby Baird: The Man with a Horn

It was my pleasure recently to spend some time talking with Bobby Baird about his musical career—a career that has spanned most of eight decades.


Hamilton Cellist Anja Wood Follows Her Heart to Aid Families in Ethiopia

When Anja Wood of Local 802 (New York City) graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in the early 1990s, she headed east to carve out a life as a freelance musician.


Rick Robinson: Classical Music Delivered to the Masses

Just after the 2010-2011 Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike, and during an especially difficult time in his life (including the death of his father), longtime DSO bassist Rick Robinson of Local 5 (Detroit, MI) says it seemed like the time to take a risk. “You’ve got one life to live. I decided I should take it all the way.”


Chicago’s Stann Champion Has Deep Roots in Community

Stann Champion of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) has dominated Chicago’s vibrant Caribbean music scene for 30 years. His band, Roots Rock Society (RRS), has cultivated a wider community audience by redefining the performance venue and connecting with people where they live


Professor Jon Damian Taps into the Universe for Inspiration

At Berklee College of Music, professor and guitarist Jon Damian of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) says, “When I’m teaching, I’m composing. I have to be able to compose on the spot as an example. It’s important to be able to see it actually come alive in someone’s hands and face. Teaching and composing, writing, they work in tandem.”


Jerry Tachoir: The Good Vibes of a Jazz Percussionist

While a vibraphone is not often thought of as a lead instrument, that is how Jerry Tachoir of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) conceived his band, the Jerry Tachoir Group. The group also features his wife, pianist and composer Marlène Tachoir, bassist Roy Vogt, and drummer Rich Adams, all members of Local 257.


Laura Whitely: Longtime Secretary-Treasurer Retires at 92

Laura Whitely, secretary-treasurer of Local 123 (Richmond, VA) since 1981, has retired at age 92. She has kept the local office running for the past 35 years and for more than 30 years before that she helped her husband who also held the job.


Retired Chaplain Brigadier General Alphonse Stephenson Serves as Maestro

Father Alphonse Stephenson of Local 802 (New York City) is conductor and director of one of the most successful small orchestral ensembles in the country. Located in Providence, New Jersey, the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea recently marked its 30th anniversary.






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