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

The Ancestors Are Calling

At 72, singer and songwriter Laura Vinson has lost none of the natural beauty of her voice. In her striking visual performances, images of elders hover above Native dancers, as ancient drum rhythms summon the past. Her music is not characterized by gritty protest, but the emotional pull is palpable: part dissent, part nostalgia, part […]

eugenia zukerman

Eugenia Zukerman: Renowned Flutist Reflects on What Comes Next After Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Eugenia Zukerman, now 75, has had a long and successful career as not only a musician but also an author, journalist, and music director.

Kenny Seymour: Bringing the Music of The Temptations to Broadway and Beyond

Music Director Underscores the Universality of Music Ain’t Too Proud is the story of the influential Motown group The Temptations, and their journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during the turbulent times of the 1960s. It is a show filled with the group’s signature dance moves and […]

vijay gupta

Vijay Gupta: Encouraging Musicians to be Empowered by Their Artistry

Violinist Vijay Gupta was awarded a MacArthur fellow late last year, resigned from the LA Phil and now works full time at his non-profit, Street Symphony.

dave eggar

Cellist Dave Eggar on His ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Creating Music

Cellist, pianist, and composer Dave Eggar has been given many labels—including prodigy, virtuoso, musical genius—but he prefers to see himself as a storyteller.

jimmy capps

Jimmy Capps: Hall of Fame Guitarist Celebrates 60 Years Onstage

Jimmy Capps’ image may be low-key, but his prolific career has earned him a place as one of the most accomplished and respected guitarists in the history of country music.

boise philharmonic

The Boise Philharmonic: A Textbook Example of How to Organize

After six months of hard work on the part of the BPO Organizing Committee, the Boise Philharmonic has become the newest member orchestra of the AFM.


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.