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


Officer Columns

The AFM and Civil Rights

by John Acosta, International Executive Board and Member Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and Local 1000 (Nongeographic) “We were investigated three times by Congress. Some senators would say to me, ‘You are bragging about a great democratic union. Why do you have two locals in many cities, and especially here in Washington, DC?’ The AFM […]


One of the core services of the Federation is collective bargaining, headed by our national offices or within the locals. In Canada, locals have autonomy to bargain within their jurisdiction. Exceptions to this are the events which move from province to province on a yearly basis. To provide continuity, the Canadian Office is responsible for […]

Sound Recording Discussions Resume

The Federation will meet with sound recording industry representatives this month to continue discussions toward a progressive successor Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA). The existing predecessor agreement covered the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2020. It was extended by written agreement between the parties on the eve of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that […]

Looking Toward Our AFM Convention in 2023

by Jay Blumenthal, AFM International Secretary-Treasurer The 102nd AFM Convention will take place Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29, 2023 at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Delegate registration will be Sunday, June 25, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, June 26, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please see the 2023 Convention […]

The Power of Music Versus the Power of Musicians

Have you heard conversations about “third-partying” the union? The concept separates the union from its members as another entity, a third party. It is a deliberate narrative that undermines our collective power. The power of the union is in our numbers, musicians banding together using consensus to work toward common goals. Hopefully, you understand that […]

Update on Bill C-11

As I reported in October, a last-minute amendment to Bill C-11, the proposed update to the Broadcasting Act removed the application of Status of the Artist legislation from online undertakings. In other words, the ability for artists’ unions to compel big tech to bargain collectively was suddenly excised. The bumbling and embarrassed excuses from the […]

A Restructured MPTF Resulted in Pension, Film, TV, and Sound Recording Residuals

Part 2 of 2: Last month, my column discussed how former AFM President James Petrillo’s proposals to end two strikes against US recording companies—in 1942 and in 1948—led to the establishment of the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF). This month, I will describe how MPTF became a royalty feature of other major Federation media agreements, […]

Much Accomplished—And Much Remains to Be Done!

Happy holidays to all. I don’t know about you, but every passing year seems to go by more quickly than the one before. Where did this past year go? We experienced some legislative successes in 2022 but there is still much work to be done in 2023. The mid-term elections have resulted in the Democrats […]

Racism and Labor: Important Training to Eliminate Racism from Our Union

For some time, the Officer Education Committee, which I chair, has been working in conjunction with the Diversity Committee to put together a training program for AFM leadership, senior staff, local officers, and boards. This will eventually flow through AFM leadership to our members at large. The AFM, as well as most unions over our […]

Wooden You Know It … Canadian Office Lobbies for Less Restrictive Pernambuco Regulations

As a member of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), Canada was asked to participate in lobbying our government representatives who are attending the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to vote against a proposal by Brazil (CoP19 Prop. 49) to move Pernambuco trees from Appendix II to […]