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


Member Profiles

Neil Balm: Trumpeter’s Career Hits the High Note

Neil Balm of Local 802 (New York City) is co-principal trumpet of the New York City Ballet and principal trumpet for the New York Pops and Mostly Mozart Festival.

Longtime Local 126 Member Francis Higgins Prepares to Celebrate His 100th Birthday

Francis (Frank) C. Higgins, longtime trumpet player and member of the North Shore Musicians Association, Local 126 (Lynn, MA) will celebrate his 100th birthday November 22

Papa John Talks About His Keys to Success

Keyboardist John Defrancesco of Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ) started on clarinet. “But I saw Louis Armstrong play, and I said, ‘Man, I want to play the trumpet!’ Louie inspired me on the horn. I had all those old 78s. There was one called the ‘12th Street Rag.’ I’ll never forget it.” He hums, “Babaa do ba dupe.”

Maggie Scott and the Great American Songbook

In a career that has spanned seven decades, jazz vocalist and pianist Maggie Scott of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) still draws inspiration from the music she grew up with, in an era when the big bands were in full swing.

Pablo Diemecke Playing with Heart: Violinist’s Versatile Career

Violinist Pablo Diemecke’s wide-ranging career has taken him around the world, throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Russia, and Iceland. After two decades as concertmaster with the Victoria Symphony, he opened a private music studio, and founded his own group, the DieMahler String Ensemble.

Johnny Cowell: Toronto Trumpet Soloist Still Performing at 90 Years Old

Johnny Cowell, a 73-year member of Local 149 (Toronto, ON), is considered to be one of Canada’s most renowned trumpet soloists. Over the years, he’s worked with many of Canada’s symphony orchestras and concert bands.

Jimmy McIntosh Creates CD with His Heroes

You could say that Las Vegas guitarist Jimmy McIntosh has built his life and career around music business connections. The best example may be his latest CD, Jimmy McIntosh and … which features McIntosh exchanging licks with some of his personal heroes…

Robert Earl Keen: A Unique Perspective on Songwriting and Success

Texas troubadour whose witty words and infectious melodies have proved a winning combination, says he stumbled onto the musical side of word-smithing by accident.

St. Kitts Musician Settles in Florida

St. Kitts Musician Settles in Florida — Though multi-instrumentalist Van Bertie of Locals 427-621 (Tampa Bay, FL) and 655 (Miami, FL) was born on a small Caribbean island, his career has brought him all around the world, performing at a wide variety of events.

David Amram: Wisdom from 65 Years of Hanging Out

David Amram: Wisdom from 65 Years of Hanging Out — David Amram ended 2015 by celebrating his 85th birthday in grand style, with festivities in New York City, Toronto, and London, among other places. Looking back on those 85 years there is plenty to celebrate.

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