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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Member Profiles

Violist Wendy Richman Expands Her Experiences Through Contemporary Music

Violist Wendy Richman of Locals 802 (New York City) and 47 (Los Angeles, CA) has made contemporary music her main focus on both coasts.


The Reddcoats Are Coming: Industry Veterans Form Supergroup


The Reddcoats is a young band made up of veteran musicians: Matt Bissonette, Gregg Bissonette, Wally Minko, Andy Timmons, and Mike Medina. Collectively, they’ve logged thousands of hours touring and recording with industry icons. They share years of mutual admiration and bring an incredible depth of experience to their music.




Horn Player Tackles Diversity and Equity

Michiko Singh of Local 190 (Winnipeg, MB), a member WSO’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) committee, says that by reaching out to the community the orchestra is able to develop fresh ideas to bring people into the hall.


John Lofton: Approaching Diversity from Both Ends


Considering how to increase diversity in North America’s orchestras often leads to a chicken-versus-egg dilemma: Tackle it from the top down with recruitment in conservatories and colleges? Or is it best addressed from the bottom up, investing in and improving grade school music programs in underserved areas? Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member John Lofton, […]




Gilbert Sedeño: Jazz Pianist Has Thrived on Variety

It seems surprising that Gilbert Sedeño, a kid from San Angelo, West Texas—country music territory—would grow up to be a formidable jazz pianist. Sedeño, a member (and also longtime board member) of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) would agree. “My dad, uncle, and grandfather were migrant workers and played in a band that did a variety […]


Julie Landsman: Guiding Light for Women Brass Players


Horn player Julie Landsman of Locals 802 (New York City) and 47 (Los Angeles, CA) boasts a decades-long legacy of pioneering achievement in a male-dominated field.




Performer Keeps the Fun in Music for Kids

After nearly half a century of music education, Allan “Al” Hirsch of Local 76-494 (Seattle, WA) has firm and well-informed opinions about the best way to approach it. His first rule is to keep it fun. “Basically, I teach singing to children,” he says. “Kids learn how to do that naturally, but over time they […]


January Cover Ken Casey

Ken Casey: Old School Radio Needs a New Model


Among the supporters of the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) is bassist Ken Casey, member of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and longtime frontman of the Celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys. To sign the American Music Fairness Act petition, visit https://bit.ly/AMFA-fairpay




Leslie DeShazor: Variety Is the Spice of Music


The words “jazz” and “viola” aren’t two things you often hear in the same sentence. But busy working musicians need to find ways to keep things fresh, which can frequently lead them down some unconventional paths. Violist Leslie DeShazor of Local 5 (Detroit, MI) has enthusiastically embraced a wide variety of these paths, keeping her […]




Jeeyoon Kim: Pianist Reinvents the Onstage Performance

Jeeyoon Kim’s performances are unique among concert pianists. She walks onto the stage and up to a microphone. In a short, poetic introduction she invites the audience to go on a journey with her. There are no programs to leaf through during the concert; these are handed out at the end. Instead, Kim delivers the […]








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