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.
Music Is an Underrated Path to Social Justice When trumpet player Herb Smith of Local 66 (Rochester, NY) read the news about a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally being organized in downtown Rochester last summer, he knew he needed to take part in some way. This wasn’t a new feeling for him. Tall and dreadlocked, […]
Getting Off the Ground Through Music—And Staying There Elaine Douvas fell in love with classical music as a first grader in ballet class. The “Sleeping Beauty Waltz” by Tchaikovsky made her spirit soar, and by age seven she knew she wanted to be a professional musician. She started on piano, changed to violin, and in […]
The Value of Networking and Niceness in the Music Game As a child growing up in Santiago de Cuba, Luis Conte was surrounded by music. The radio was always on in his house, and someone was always playing guitar, piano, percussion, or singing. There was music everywhere, and it seeped into his pores, into his […]
Composing the flavor of her cultural heritage Jazz cellist and composer Akua Dixon has been playing music professionally for nearly 50 years, with world-class musicians at venues around the globe. One thing she has learned—and one thing she believes—is that you are what you hear. “The music I compose is a product of all my […]
Flutist and world woodwind player Pedro Eustache on El Sistema, the preciousness of family and heavenly grace.
Canadian Keyboardist and Composer Discusses His ‘Union Movie About a Union Story’ When composer Danny Schur started the research to compose his 2005 musical—a love story within and around the events of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike—he realized immediately it was a story that was made for him to tell. It was redolent of his […]
Engineering a Musical Community Mike Muszynski loves music. But he also loves to understand how things work. This double passion has guided his life, and is why he is a professional musician who also has an engineering degree and two music-related iPhone apps to his credit. This also goes to the heart of why he […]
Bassist Leland “Lee” Sklar has guided his career by a simple tenet: “Be cognizant of the song.”
Wynton Marsalis once introduced his friend and jazz orchestra drummer Herlin Riley to an audience as, “A master of the New Orleans drum cadence, tambourine, washboard, cowbell, and many other things that can be hit and grooved upon.” And that is certainly a fitting description. Because to Riley—who has been playing drums since he was […]
The Power of Music to Soothe the “Savage Breast” In a time such as now filled with so much strife and anger, it’s comforting to think that music can soothe the soul (or the “savage breast,” as was written in 1697). It was this power of music, in fact, that ignited in Emily Levin when […]