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


Member Profiles, On the Cover

September International Musician Cover

In This Together — Sidney Hopson

Advocates for More Equitable Music Spaces By Cherie Yurco, IM staff writer Talking to Sidney Hopson of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) on a Sunday afternoon, he’s slightly groggy and recovering from a marathon gig in Orange County playing Danny’s Elfman’s show “From Boingo to Batman to Big Mess & Beyond!” “For the percussionists, it’s […]

August IM Cover

Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association

Hardworking Orchestra Committee Leads Effort to Save Season in Fort Wayne For orchestra musicians, the first line of communication with management is typically the orchestra committee (OC). Many times, the OC is also the first line of defense. Such was the case recently with Fort Wayne Philharmonic (FWP) in Indiana. The orchestra’s musicians, members of […]

July IM Cover featuring Cory Wong

Cory Wong: Two Halves Make a Whole

Growing up in a fairly traditional Chinese household, one might assume that guitarist Cory Wong of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN) might be drawn to more traditional forms of musical expression. That assumption would be incorrect. “When I was growing up, I was a Chinese kid,” says Wong. “My grandparents moved to the US and […]

Ray Chew: Jack of All Trades, Master of … Seemingly All of Them!

Growing up in Harlem and the Bronx, Ray Chew of Local 802 (New York City) was fortunate to be given opportunities that many other kids in those neighborhoods were not so fortunate to have. This, he says, is thanks to his mother. “My mom sent me to every music program in the city that I […]

Anjan Shah: Fusing Indian Culture with Western Sounds

For many musicians, drawing on their cultural background provides a wealth of material for creative inspiration. As a first-generation Indian American, saxophonist Anjan Shah of Locals 10-208 (Chicago, IL) and 40-543 (Baltimore, MD) understands this very well. However, it wasn’t an understanding that came to him until much later in his life. “Growing up in […]

Nicole Jordan: Advocacy Is Overarching Goal

Chatting with Nicole Jordan of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA), the first thing you learn is to dispel your assumptions of what an orchestra librarian is, or does. Hint: it’s not what you think when you hear the word “librarian.”  “For starters, we typically don’t have degrees in library science,” says Jordan, a Philadelphia native and […]

Jacqueline Pickett: Community Is Everything

Earlier this year, a new nonprofit called the League of Women Bassplayers (LOW B) held its first conference aimed at exploring community and addressing the needs of women bass players around the world. LOW B’s founder and president, Jacqueline Pickett of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA), says the organization is designed to explore community and address […]

Benjamin Wright Cover

Benjamin Wright: Recognizing—and Honoring—a Legend

You might be forgiven for not recognizing the name of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) staple Benjamin Wright, but you will almost certainly have heard his work. With a career spanning 60 years as a music director, arranger, songwriter, and producer, he has a staggering resumé of nearly 250 songs to his credit, either as […]

Way to Go, Leisa Way!

Leisa Way of Local 226 (Kitchener, ON) uses her platform as performer and concert producer to educate younger musicians on the power of unionism. Singers Aren’t Musicians, and Other Myths There’s a tired old saw passed around among instrumentalists that singers aren’t really musicians. Rather than arguing to the contrary, however, vocalist and producer Leisa […]

Dec 2022 IM Cover

Mary Corbett: Positive Energy Creates Positive Outlook

“It’s a remarkable thing that we get to do this for a living,” says Corbett, a violinist in The Florida Orchestra (TFO) since 1989 and member of Local 427-721 (Tampa Bay, FL). Her warmth and enthusiasm are infectious as she speaks about her good fortune. “Even after all these years, I know how tremendous it is that I am able to make my living doing this, and I never stop appreciating it.”