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

Canadian Celtic Fiddler Natalie MacMaster Plays True to Her Roots

Artists and writers are taught that their work often has more truth when they create by using what they know. Acclaimed Canadian Celtic fiddler and step dancer Natalie MacMaster of Local 355 (Cape Breton, NS) has proven that truism and made it a way of life, writing and performing music in her native Cape Breton style.

St. Louis Symphony Bassoonist Felicia Foland: Music – and the Labor Movement – Are Both About Cooperation

Felicia Foland joined the AFM whe she was 16, and has now played bassoon in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for nearly 30 years.

Trumpeter Emma Stanley Talks Touring as a New AFM Member

Practicing gratitude is commonly acknowledged to be one of keys to living a healthy, balanced life. Trumpet player Emma Stanley of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) has this gratitude thing down: She not only practices it, she lives it. Stanley plays in the US national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 rock opera, […]

One-Man Show Benefits the Hudson River and Pete Seeger’s Legacy

Michael J. Miles, of Local 1000 (nongeographic), banjo player and writer, performed his highly acclaimed one-man show “From Senegal to Seeger” in January in Beacon, NY, to benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., an environmental nonprofit founded in 1966 by the late folk singer Pete Seeger. Through education, green initiatives, and the annual Great Hudson […]

A Quarter-Million Reasons You Should Record Under a Union Contract

Twenty Years After His Death, Violist Rollice Dale’s Residuals Continue to Fund Music Scholarships for College Musicians Since 2001, more than one dozen student musicians at the Thornton School of Music in California have benefited from a $230,000 endowed scholarship—all of which came from the posthumous residuals of one AFM musician. While violist Rollice Dale […]

Paul Preston

Reflections on a Lifetime of Music On Sunday, October 8, The Queen City Jass Society (QCJS) in Buffalo, NY, honored clarinetist, saxophonist, and member of Local 92 (Buffalo, NY) Paul Preston for his unparalleled achievements, unwavering dedication, and innumerable contributions to the Traditional Jazz scene in Western New York (WNY). As an interviewer, musician, band […]

For Jack Ashford and His Funk Brothers, Jazz Roots Ran Deep

Still playing at 85, Jack Ashford draws on those glory days of Detroit and the Funk Brothers to generate rare and in-demand soul music.

Hawaiian Oboe Legacy Project Creates One-of-a-Kind Instrument and Concerto

The Music of the Trees In August 2018, after waiting two years to see the instrument he commissioned from one of the world’s premier oboe makers, oboist J. Scott Janusch played for the first time an oboe unlike any that has ever existed—one made of rare, 300-year-old Hawaiian kauila wood. The instrument, with a reddish-brown […]

A New Standard: Holly Hofmann Takes Flute to the Front-line of Jazz

Holly Hofmann is the rarest of musicians: A flutist who has made a successful career as a jazz player who capitalizes on the instrument’s versatile palette.

A New Kind of Gig: Thomas Kluge Talks Best Practices

Local 70-558 President Thomas Kluge, who initiated the changes, loves his job as a symphonic violist and his musical community—which is ironic, since, as a young student he was told by a violin teacher not to pursue music as a career.