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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Articles, On the Cover

Grown Up Music: Punch Brothers 12 Years Later


Today, each of the Local 257 (Nashville, TN) members remains steadfast in his dedication to Punch Brothers, which released its fifth studio album, All Ashore, in July. Their first self-produced album is a nine-movement suite of interconnected themes and stories.




Lawrence Goldberg: The Best of Both Worlds on Broadway and Touring


Music director, conductor, and keyboardist Lawrence Goldberg of Local 802 (New York City) has worked on dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, as well as national tours. Since wrapping up work as music director for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in 2017, he’s been subbing for Phantom of the Opera and the Cats revival on Broadway.




gemma new

Gemma New: Getting a World View from the Podium


Gemma New, Local 293 (Hamilton, ON) member, is music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, resident conductor for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and her guest conducting engagements have her circling the globe.




cleto and the cletones

Cleto and the Cletones: Late Night Family Demands Respect


When Cleto and the Cletones band leader Cleto Escobedo, III, says that his team on Jimmy Kimmel Live! is like a family, it’s no exaggeration. His father, Cleto Escobedo, Jr., is a part of the band. Plus, he’s known Kimmel since childhood, as nine-year-olds in Las Vegas.




Ruth B

Ruth B: Career Launched on a Fairy Tale


At just 23, Ruth Berhe, who goes by Ruth B., still seems stunned by her own sudden success. A talented vocalist and pianist with a longtime passion for music, she was planning to become a lawyer when music took over her life.




michael lisicky

Oboist Michael Lisicky Builds Bridges Between Baltimore and Its Orchestra


Oboist Michael Lisicky of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD) was schooled in collective action during his first full-time orchestra position with  the Savannah Symphony. “It was the most supportive and organized group of musicians,” he says. “To be part of a union body in a very nonunion town was a great bonding experience. That’s how I came to understand the power of a union and how to work collectively.”




From First Call Keyboardist to Composer: Randy Kerber’s Life in Film


While Randy Kerber may not be a household name, if you’ve watched any movies over the last four decades you’ve likely heard his work.




Belinda Whitney

Belinda Whitney: Tapestry of Support Shapes Compelling Career


Violinist Belinda Whitney of Local 802 (New York City) has forged an exciting and diverse career. She’s currently concertmaster and personnel manager for The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster for the Broadway show My Fair Lady, performs with the Harlem Chamber Players, plus does a wide range of commercial gigs.




Sam Bush: Storyman


Bush, a Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member, cherishes the art of co-writing, and for Storyman he co-wrote every song. Among his collaborators were Jeff Black, Emmylou Harris of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) and master of songwriting, the late Guy Clark. And, Bush’s entire band contributed to the tune “It’s Not What You Think.” Among guest […]




Sound. Words. People. The Intentional Practice of Alexander Laing


Alexander Laing thinks a lot about diversity, inclusion, and equity, especially in the context of the culture of orchestras and classical music. He’s spoken on the topic at symphonic conferences in the US and in the UK. Through a practice focused on sound, words, and people, the Phoenix Symphony principal clarinetist is hoping to be […]










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