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


Recent News

AFM-EPF Submits MPRA Application to U.S. Treasury Department

On December 30, 2019, the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) submitted an application to the U.S. Treasury Department to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) in order to prevent the Plan from becoming insolvent. “We know that our participants have anticipated this difficult moment for some time. Now […]

Manhasset Specialty Company Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Manhasset Specialty Company, a leading manufacturer of music stands and accessories, is celebrating 85 years of producing quality music stands and accessories for use by musicians of all levels — from beginners to professionals who are members of world-famous orchestras all around the world. The Manhasset Specialty Company dates back to 1935, when inventor/musician Otto […]

Want to Read About Labor and AFM history? Here are a Few Titles We Recommend

Robert D. Leiter, The Musicians and Petrillo (Bookman Associates, 1953)The first complete study ever made of the American Federation of Musicians, this book traces the development and growth of the union as an economic force. It begins with the earliest attempts to unionize musicians in the US and continues up to the book’s publication in […]

Local 444 Honors Musicians for Dedication to Big Band Jazz

In 2009, three professors from the University of North Florida decided to form a rehearsal, or kix, band that would perform contemporary big band music. The band, called the TBA Big Band, has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and two of the founding members who are still with the project were honored by their AFM […]

Wynton Marsalis to Receive Ken Burns American Heritage Prize

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, of Local 802 (New York City), has been named the recipient of the 2020 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. The award will be presented May 6, 2020, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Named in honor of revered visual historian and filmmaker, the Ken Burns American […]

Legislation Introduced to Pay Musicians for Radio Play

The AFM joined with other members of the music community on November 21 to celebrate the introduction of bipartisan legislation in Congress that would end big radio’s ability to use music without first obtaining any form of permission from the people who recorded it. “All musicians should be paid for all their work all the […]

Joni Mitchell to Receive Les Paul Innovation Award at 35th Annual NAMM TEC Awards

Folk artist, pioneer, and 45-year member of the AFM Joni Mitchell will receive the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award at the 35th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards (NAMM TEC Awards), being held Saturday, January 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. The award is given on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation to honor individuals that have set the […]

Joseph Conyers Named Finalist for Lewis Prize for Music

AFM member Joseph Conyers has been named as one of the 10 finalists for the inaugural Lewis Prize for Music. The mission of the Lewis Prize is to partner with leaders who create positive change by investing in young people through music. Each finalist is dedicated to strengthening young people in their communities through rigorous […]

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Reports Operating Surplus

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) has reported an operating surplus in fiscal year 2019, for its third consecutive year. Total operating revenue was $29.5 million compared to operating expenses of $29.4 million, generating a surplus just over $100,000. Annual fund gifts exceeded $8 million for the first time in the orchestra’s 139-year history, and […]

Baltimore Symphony Musicians Back on the Stage

On September 23, the Baltimore Symphony Musicians, members of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), returned to the concert hall after a 14-week lockout. We made a very difficult decision to accept the terms of a one-year agreement that maintains our annual salary while working only 40 weeks out of the remaining 50 weeks during the 2019-20 […]