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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Executive Board Members, Officer Columns

Why the AFM Player Conferences Are Important

by Terryl Jares, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) This issue of the International Musician features reports from the AFM player conferences that took place during July and August. These are extremely important organizations within our AFM. From 1962 through 1995, the five player conferences were established and obtained recognition […]


Big Tech’s Big Fight

More and more, artists are tiring of the notion that platforms such as Spotify pay a ridiculous 3/100 of a cent per stream. And, because of the way payout is weighted, the majority of the money goes to only the most heavily streamed artists. This is part of the “value gap.” Online content sharing platforms […]


Broadway Is Back on the Road

by Ray Hair, AFM International President I am pleased to report that the Federation has completed negotiations with the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions for an extension to the Pamphlet B Touring Theatrical Musicals and Short Engagement Touring (SET) Agreements and for a comprehensive Health and Safety Manual (“Safety Manual”) applicable to all musicians […]


The Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

by Jay Blumenthal, AFM International Secretary-Treasurer On Thursday, August 5, we were all stunned to learn that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away unexpectedly at the age of 72. Rich was the president of the AFL-CIO for the past 12 years. During the four terms he served as president, he built a strong AFL-CIO leadership […]


The Bad, the Good, and an Election

by Alan Willaert, AFM Vice President from Canada The Bad Despite the fact that we are all completely fed up with the pandemic, we continue to be hampered by the new realities COVID has served up. Venues are still limited, in terms of occupancy, and now access is often restricted to those who have received […]


Time to Ask “The Question”

by Dave Pomeroy, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) Over the past few decades, even before the pandemic, almost everything about the way we make records has been transformed. Hit recordings are being made in bedrooms and basements as well as big commercial studios. Music consumers have more choices than […]


The Reopening: Anxiety, Excitement, Uncertainty

It’s been 17 months since the COVID pandemic brought live entertainment to a screeching halt around the world. Emergency government regulations, mask mandates, and social distancing regimens are being relaxed in the US, but conditions are still in flux. Canada is only now beginning to ease lockdown restrictions. One of the longest indoor-dining bans in […]


White House Covid-19 Task Force

This July, it became increasingly clear that the Biden Administration’s goal of having 70% of the US population fully vaccinated by July 4th was not going to be achieved. While vaccines have been available, vaccine hesitancy has slowed the rate of getting shots into arms. As of July 14, 56% of the US population had […]


Unions – Not a Spectator Sport

The AFM in Canada has members from many different backgrounds, resulting in similar diversity in their politics. The polarization of right and left in the United States over the past few years has influenced Canada, both in how politicians present their platforms and in the manner in which information is filtered prior to public ingestion. […]


What Is Organizing, Anyway?

Welcome to the first Organizing-focused issue of the International Musician. You may be familiar with the phrase “organizing is the lifeblood of labor unions,” but what exactly is organizing? Broadly, it is people joining together around shared issues to build collective power and win positive change. In my early career as a touring theater musician, […]








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