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.
April 15, 2016Sam Folio - former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
Amid the flurry of day-to-day activities—being immersed in bylaws, finances, budgets, audits, and convention preparations—we tend to forget what we’re here for, the creative forces we represent: music, musicians, performers, and art. At times, we must step back and enjoy the music. Spring is here. Take in a Broadway show and treat yourself to the finest in opera, at the Met.
Over the weekend, I attended Don Pasquale, a time-honored opera, which premiered at the Met in 1900. I found myself in the Family Circle, a modest ticket of $35. The usher assured me I would not be disappointed, and that the acoustics in these seats were exquisite. He was right. (It happens he was also a member of Local 802, New York City.) The orchestra sound was perfect.
Next, it was on to Broadway for An American in Paris. If there is a Broadway play with old-school charm it’s this one—a post-war romance of hope and reconciliation. A full pit orchestra, the score by Gershwin, and performances were staged to perfection. The voices and the dancing were simply fantastic. Again, I was not disappointed.
Apropos remembering music: I want to mention a giant in the music world we lost recently—Frank Sinatra, Jr., who was also a loyal union member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA). On three different occasions I was involved in his productions in North Lake Tahoe at the Cal Neva Resort and Casino. He always insisted on bringing in a full complement of musicians—fine players, all renowned in their own right. Frank, Jr., was gracious and worked around our dates, and never turned us down, saying, “Pops loved this place.”
Indeed, Sinatra, Sr., did love the Cal Neva, having been an owner at one time, hence, the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Showroom. Frank, Jr., was a true gentleman, a musician of the first order. As his father’s musical director and conductor, he understood composition and mastered the technical side of production as well. For instance, he selected lighting and a specific soundboard, which always guaranteed a flawless performance. After each and every run Frank, Jr., would take everyone involved in the show out for an evening of fine dining.
What a gentleman! He will be missed.