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

Keb Mo on cover

Keb’ Mo’: Modern Master of American Roots

Musician Kevin Moore of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) paid his dues as a session musician, struggling to find his voice, before finally discovering the blues infused roots music he is recognized for today. When he debuted as Keb’ Mo’ two decades ago, he embarked on music that he admits is “too happy for the […]

Steve Gadd: Secrets for a Successful Freelance Career

If there is one drummer you could say has literally kept the beat for “everyone,” that drummer would likely be Steve Gadd, a member of Local 802 (New York City).

Herbie Hancock: Endless Possibilities

Iconic keyboardist and composer Herbie Hancock of Local 802 (New York City) is a living legend. The list of artists he’s performed with, from Miles Davis to Quincy Jones to Joni Mitchell, almost seems endless. Throughout his career, he’s eagerly embraced new technology while steadily expanding his own musical focus. His recordings have won him […]

On the Road with Musicians of Disney’s The Lion King

At any given week each year, there are an average of 150 full-time AFM musicians touring throughout the US and Canada, in 20-plus musicals and three circuses. In addition to these traveling artists, touring shows provide part-time employment to hundreds of local musicians. Most productions travel with only a small core group of musicians, and […]

Melissa Etheridge cover

Melissa Etheridge’s Musical Journey Takes Her To New Territory

At age 53, Local 47 member (Los Angeles, CA) Melissa Etheridge has newfound freedom to create and challenge herself in the modern music industry in ways that were not possible just a few years ago. The seasoned rocker with 17 Grammy nominations and two wins, just launched her first album as an independent artist. Now, the same […]

Neil Sedaka cover of IM

Neil Sedaka: Prolific Songwriter Goes Back To The Basics

Over Neil Sedaka’s long career he’s been known for writing songs that catch your ear and make you want to sing along. Hit recordings like “Calendar Girl” (1961) “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (two versions 1962 and 1975), “Laughter in the Rain” (1974), and “The Immigrant” (1975) made him a household name for several […]

Minnesota Orchestra Lessons Learned from a Lockout

Minnesota Orchestra Lessons Learned from a Lockout After a 16-month lockout, the longest endured by any American orchestra in history, the Minnesota Orchestra is back on stage. Music is once again filling Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis to rave reviews from both the critics, and more importantly, the audience. After resigning from his post last October, […]

Nathan East on cover of IM

Nathan East

Grammy winning Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) member Nathan East is one of the most prolific working bassists of the last few decades. In 1984 he co-wrote the hit single “Easy Lover” with Phil Collins and Local 47 member Philip Bailey, launching a mind-boggling progression of successful, award-winning collaborations.

Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau: Ceaseless Creator of Fresh Sounds in Music

Ceaseless Creator of Fresh Sounds in Music Al Jarreau’s innovative vocal style and vibrant personality have earned him wide appeal and Grammy Awards in three different genres of music: jazz, pop, and R&B.

Deacon John Moore

Deacon John Moore,72, president of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) says he’s proud that he’s managed to make a comfortable living as a musician for his entire life. He credits his versatility, business sense, and union membership for much of his success.