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


On the Cover


Musicians United! AFM Leaders Build Organizing Skills to Build a Movement

On April 28, the fifth “class” of AFM local officers, staff, and musician leaders—19 in all—made their way to the Tommy Douglas Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

john carter cash

John Carter Cash: Musician, Producer, Writer, and Guardian of a Legacy

A renaissance man, the Local 257 (Nashville, TN) artist has made a name for himself as a musician, a producer of both films and music, an author, a cook, and the caretaker of his parents’ legacies.

jennifer montone

Jennifer Montone: Mindfulness and Commitment Drive Success

Jennifer Montone of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) became principal horn for The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2006 at age 29. She teaches at two of the most prestigious music schools in the country and is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician.

jim self

Jim Self: The Tuba Takes Center Stage

Jim Self of Locals 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and 7 (Orange County, CA) has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral tubist, and studio musician for 43 years.

orbert davis

Orbert Davis: Opening Minds with Third Stream Music

While Orbert Davis developed his musical training and early career around studio work, for the past 15 years the trumpet player has made a huge impact on the lives of students in Chicago.

shooter jennings

Shooter Jennings: Child of 1980s Rock Culture Comes Home to Country

Shooter Jennings’ career is accentuated by shifts in style and retro flashbacks that eventually led to his latest album, Shooter. An homage to 1970s-1980s country music, he returns to work with Grammy-winning co-producer and Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member Dave Cobb who produced Jennings’ early albums.

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.