Tag Archives: music business

Touring and Theatre Special

Manleyby Michael Manley, Director AFM Touring/Theatre/Booking and Immigration Division and Assistant to the President

Welcome to the 2015 International Musician special section on the AFM’s Touring, Theatre, Booking and Immigration Division. In my work as this division’s director, I intersect with nearly every facet of the professional music industry—not only those in the US and Canada, but musicians from all over the world. With so many words and commas in our division name, the only thing that doesn’t cross our desks is boredom. Here’s a partial list of what my hard-working staff and I are up to:

  • Negotiating and administering touring agreements for theatrical, circus, and pop musicians.
  • Assisting locals in organizing theatrical and “pick-up” orchestra work in their jurisdictions.
  • Conducting on-site union meetings with touring AFM musicians and bands.
  • Evaluating foreign musicians and groups seeking to enter and work as artists in the US.
  • Advising and advocating for musicians traveling with musical instruments as carry-ons.
  • Representing the AFM national and touring theatre musicians within the coalition of Broadway unions and guilds.

In any one workday, we might come in contact with a symphony orchestra, an African drumming ensemble, a touring Broadway show, or a star’s back-up band. Just as our work brings a diverse array of challenges, it also touches nearly every musician regardless of genre or instrument. Whether your instrument is a trumpet, banjo, or violin, your concerns about transporting it as an in-flight carry-on are the same. Whether you are “on the road” playing Mozart or metal, you want to know where the great after-show eats are. And from the circus to The Sound of Music, musicians need overtime and travel protections in their employment contracts.

In this issue, we take an in-depth look at the life of a touring musical theatre conductor, as the new Beautiful tour launches. We also feature a “how to” on negotiating overscale pay, and an update from our Canadian colleagues on US-Canadian Border-crossing concerns. We hear from the Theatre Musicians Association, and finally we wish “Happy Trails” to the traveling musicians of the Ringling Gold Circus.

We in the Touring, Theatre, Booking and Immigration Division are grateful to connect with such a wide variety of our AFM professional musicians, as well as the community of international musicians. It gives us a unique bird’s-eye perspective on music as a whole. Join us on Facebook, at the “AFM On the Road” page, for day-to-day updates from the traveling musician community.

FMSMF Update

Kim-RobertsWinding Up 2015 and Moving Forward into 2016

by Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, Executive Director Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund

The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) works to serve the film, television, and music communities. To this end, the FMSMF is pleased to provide ongoing updates for the benefit of AFM members.

On September 30, the FMSMF completed the first six months of its 2016 fiscal year. It’s a great opportunity to look at the final results from fiscal year 2015 (ended 3/31/2015) and to look ahead now that we’ve reached the halfway mark of the fiscal year 2016.

“New” Films: For FY2015 the FMSMF received residuals for 274 “new” titles! Most of these newly reported titles were films and TV shows first released in 2012, 2013, or 2014, although some were older films and series that generated secondary market receipts and residuals for the first time.

The “new” titles for FY2015 included feature films such as Earth to Echo, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Million Dollar Arm, Jersey Boys, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Among the TV titles reporting for the first time during FY2015 were Arrow (2013-14), The Normal Heart, and Red Band Society, to name a few. FMSMF will post the FY2016 new titles on our website at www.fmsmf.org/filmtitles/new-films.php as we get closer to the end of this calendar year.

New Musicians: There’s an urban myth that suggests the same small handful of musicians continue to participate in the residuals collected. That’s not true! Each year, musicians are enrolled into the fund for the first time because they were credited with secondary market residuals for the first time. For example, in FY2015, 751 new musicians were added to the rolls. 670 musicians earned residuals and were added for the first time through their work in original scoring, sideline, or music prep. Another 81 musicians earned residuals for the first time because of new use of their sound recording in a film or TV program.

2015 Distributions: More than15,600 payments were issued to musicians and their beneficiaries in the July 1 Regular distribution, and more than 830 payments were issued in the September 15 Omissions distribution.

More musicians are now enrolled in direct deposit and “go paperless.” Almost 4,000 musicians participate in the services, and more enroll each month. Going paperless saves money and is good for the environment. So, if you haven’t signed up yet to go paperless, sign up at http://www.fmsmf.org/gopaperless and join your fellow musicians who are helping us go green!

Website Upgrade: The upgraded FMSMF website went live July 1, with a new look, better organization of pages, and some new features to make access to services easier. We will continue to upgrade the website in the months and years to come. If you’ve not visited the website since July 1, check out the new look at www.fmsmf.org.

Tax Time: The tax season is just around the corner! Remember that FMSMF will send out W-2s and related tax forms in January. Please make sure we have your correct address! To report an address change, please visit the website https://www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/address-change-form.php. Also a reminder for next year: if you intend to change your withholdings for the next distribution in July 2016, you must provide an updated W-4 to the FMSMF on or before June 1, 2016. NO changes will be accepted after June 1, 2016 for the July 1, 2016 distribution. For more information, please see www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/fund-dates.php.

Do We Have Money for You? Don’t forget to check our website: www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/unclaimed-checks.php to see if we have unclaimed residuals for you or a musician you may know. Please spread the word to fellow musicians to check this website.
As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, best wishes from all of us at the FMSMF.

Getting Paid Fairly Is Part of Our Jobs

When somebody tells you that you should consider playing for less, because you are doing something you enjoy, remind them of how long you had to practice to get where you are. Tell them about the perfection a professional musician strives for, and that it’s not your hobby, it’s your job. This goes for casual dates, symphonic work, recording, concerts and any type of venue—it goes for every type of musical performance as a professional musician. We do it because we like it, we are good at it, and it’s our life. We’re members of the American Federation of Musicians. We want to make sure we get paid fairly and get proper acknowledgement for what we do.

The late author George Plimpton wrote Paper Lion, a classic 1966 book about football. It was a great literary piece, and even those who didn’t know a fullback from a field goal applauded his work.
Plimpton was best known as a writer for Sports Illustrated. He was a “participatory journalist.” He got involved in what he wrote about. He ran some plays as a quarterback for the Detroit Lions, boxed with Archie Moore, played hockey with the Boston Bruins, fought in a bullfight staged by Ernest Hemingway, and threw some pitches for the New York Yankees.

One of the quotes in his last book was: “People criticize me because when I work it looks like I am having too much fun. I have never been convinced there is inherently anything wrong in having fun … I also want to get paid well when I do it.” Good point. The AFM helps to ensure that, even if we are enjoying what we do, we get paid well at the same time.

One of the things Plimpton tried and that terrified him the most was playing with a symphony orchestra. The USA Today recounted the story in its eulogy to Plimpton who died in 2003.

Plimpton convinced the conductor of the New York Philharmonic that he could play the triangle as part of the percussion section. He found out that,  “Music, unlike sports, tolerates no mistakes.” He said that when it came time for him to hit the triangle, he came in at the wrong time and suffered the rathe of the entire orchestra. It was devastating. He felt like a real loser. When he finally got it right he said “the entire orchestra kind of shuffled their feet” because they were pleased it was finally done correctly.

Plimpton said: “Symphony musicians are the epitome of perfection … There is no chance for error when performing with that caliber of talent.” He said that an amateur blundering into the brutal world of professional football could get slaughtered. But an amateur entering the world of the professional symphonic musician could cause the entire orchestra to suffer. Music tolerates no mistakes.

I have a real problem with people who want musicians to play for free because they think musicians are having fun, or under scale because musicians enjoy what they do. Maybe we should just hand them an instrument and ask them to see how good they are at it. Plimpton found out that playing professionally with no serious training can be terrifying. “Outsiders do not belong,” he said. The AFM pulls us together as professional musicians.

Think about it the next time someone asks you to play at an unfair price.

90 Years Ago—1925

locomotive-shop-741985_64090 Years Ago—1925 —German trade union officials arrived in the US to study the industrial conditions and American trade union methods. Welcomed by the American Federation of Labor (AFL), officials were also invited to attend the AFL Convention. President Schumann of the German Traffic Union admitted he heard good things about the AFL and that’s why the committee chose to study in the US.

TOP SONGS: “Oh, How I Miss You Tonight,” The Cavaliers; “I Miss My Swiss (My Swiss Miss Misses Me),” Ernest Hare and Billy Jones; “I’m Tired of Everything But You,” Isham Jones

Tips on Media Releases and Photographs

guitar-944262_640As a working musician, you’re used to expressing yourself through music. Just as important for your career is expressing yourself through words and pictures. Get the message out about your act, and get the media on your side, by writing effective press releases and taking media-ready photos.

  •  In general, there are two types of press release. If you are contacting the media ahead of an event, print the words “MEDIA ALERT” in the top left hand margin. For all other press releases, print “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.”
  •  Follow this alert line with relevant contact information: name, title, address, phone number, e-mail address, and website.
  •  Create a headline and write it in bold type or caps above the body of the release. Use active words: headlines typically highlight the most important or significant fact in the release.
  •  Create a “dateline”–the first sentence of your release should begin with the city where the release is generated and the date (i.e. LOS ANGELES, CA.–July 1, 2006).
  •  Put your main point and vital information in the first paragraph. If alerting the media to an event, break out and bullet point the who, what, where, when, why, and how information.
  •  In the second and possibly third paragraph of your release, add information that will entice a reporter to come to your event (if your gig is for charity, for instance, or celebrating a CD release) or that will help him or her write the story.
  •  The final paragraph should include biographical and other information about your act. Although not always included when a newspaper or magazine runs your release, this information nevertheless gives an editor some useful background information.
  •  Wrap up the last paragraph with a “for additional information” line–a phone number, e-mail address, and/or website to which the reporter can turn to.
  •  Do not send a release that is more than one page. If a draft runs over a page, re-work it. Traditionally, three centered hash marks (# # #) indicate the end of a press release.
  •  Send your press release to the reporter or editor who covers your beat. Most often, this will be the arts and entertainment beat. Refrain from calling a reporter to “see if you got the release.” A follow up should ask the reporter if anything else is needed to cover the story.

Remember the Photos!

  •  Print media are more likely to use your release if you also send good quality photos. It’s always worth hiring a photographer (or finding a friend of the band who knows how to take pictures) to record your event, in case a newspaper can’t send its own photographer.
  •  Print photos and headshots must be in focus, shadow free, and sent in large format (5 x 7 inches or larger). Digital photos should be in high resolution (ideally, 300 dots per inch) and in .jpg or .tiff format. Be prepared to send digital photos as e-mail attachments or on a CD. Never send the only copy of a photograph you want to keep.
  •  If you have a website, consider creating a “media room.” There you can post news and releases about your band that will be useful to a reporter writing a story. You can also post media-ready digital photographs. Note that newspaper and magazines probably won’t be able to use low resolution photographs most commonly posted on websites either in .jpg or .gif format.
  •  Avoid these common mistakes that might make a editor refuse your photo: frame not filled (the band is too small or too far away); subject too dark (a light source behind the band has put them in shadow); photo too dark (there’s not enough lighting or the camera’s flash is too weak); grip ‘n’ grin (the subjects are static, as if having a mugshot taken).

How Accessible Are You?

You’re a professional musician. You belong to the AFM. As a working musician, you probably compete against others who will play for the door, or bands who will pay club owners to let them play for a piece of the door. Don’t play their game. There are a lot of wannabe, has been, and never-will be musicians out there who want to work, fight for radio airplay, and deal with recording and contractual issues where sometimes money is secondary. You not only want to compete, you want to excel. You want people to know about you, and for them to be able to reach you quickly and effortlessly.

Most musicians have their own websites and downloadable demo tracks. Everyone has PR kits and demo CDs. You need business cards, and you need to be readily accessible. Every promo piece I’ve seen has an email address. It’s good that someone can email you, but what if they need to get a hold of you right now? Maybe it’s a corporate gig that a committee is meeting on. Maybe it’s a group that has a job starting at 9:00 p.m. tonight and needs a replacement for someone who can’t make it. Make sure your cell phone number is listed. Email is not going to do it.

In Nashville recently, an artist at the NAMM Show gave me her CD, along with a business card and asked if I would give her my opinion on it. There was no phone number on her card, just an email address. I asked how I could call her, if there is no phone number on her card. She said to email her. She told me she doesn’t list her phone number because she travels constantly and she didn’t want to get a lot of weird calls from guys who were interested in something other than booking her. I could understand that, but no phone number can hurt a career. The easiest thing would be to list a cell phone number, not a land line (even if you have one). Cell phones give you caller ID. A caller doesn’t know where you are when they are calling.

How easy is it for someone to reach you? Here’s a little checklist for things you need to make yourself accessible to someone who wants to book you:

  1.     A phone number where you can be reached. The more numbers (cell, home, agent, etc.) the easier it is to be found when someone needs you to play.
  2.     A voice mail message with your name, group’s name, and best time to reach you.
  3.     An address—street or PO box/city/state, so people know if you are local and where you are travelling from.
  4.     An email address set up with auto email response for when you can’t check frequently, but want to get a message to people to let them know when you will get back to them, and other ways to reach you.
  5.     Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media handles that are clever, simple, and easy to remember.
  6.     A professional website with contact information, demo tracks, a calendar of appearances that is updated regularly, and links to you on social media.
  7.     A decent business card with all of the contact information listed above and social media handles.
  8.     A postcard-size handout with info on your upcoming gigs that you can give to anyone interested in you or your group. (It should contain all the contact information listed previously, as well as social media links.)
  9.     A PR kit with a YouTube link to your band and/or a demo CD or DVD. Each piece of your PR kit should contain contact information and social media handles. Make sure it defines your act and makes you stand out from the competition.

Okay, there are nine things to make you more accessible when someone wants to book you. How many of them do you have? As a professional AFM musician, you don’t want to hide your light under a bushel. Let yourself shine out there. Make yourself easy to find.

The Best Defense Against “Right to Work”

The Best Defense Against “Right to Work”: Organize!

Todd Jelen, Negotiator, Organizer & Educator, AFM Symphonic Services Divisionby Todd Jelen, Negotiator, Organizer & Educator, AFM Symphonic Services Division

It has been my privilege to visit orchestras around the country to discuss so-called “right to work” legislation. This simple slogan does not explain the resulting destruction to the middle class and working people in states where “right to work” laws are enacted. When a state passes a “right to work” law, there is an immediate decrease in the average wage. This translates to about $6,000 less per year than the wages in free bargaining states. “Right to work” states also consistently report lower household incomes, less employer sponsored health insurance coverage, and weaker unemployment benefits, than states without “right to work” laws.

In addition to taking money out of our pockets, “right to work” laws undermine democracy in our workplaces. When we decide to form or join a union, we vote. To choose our representatives, we vote. For all of the union’s business, we vote. “Right to work” laws seek to weaken our collective will by purposely providing loopholes in the membership requirements that workers have negotiated with their employers—agreements that the Supreme Court has upheld in free bargaining states. Proponents of “right to work” legislation often cite contractual freedom as a reason to pass these laws, but this is ironic considering that they are actually stifling workers’ freedom to make agreements with their employers.

Without a union contract our workplace rights are at the whim of our employers, whereas we can personally oversee the maintenance and enforcement of our agreements, if we are unionized. Employers know this, and that is one of the reasons behind the current wave of “right to work” legislation. By dividing us into different categories, employers are attempting to weaken our will and effectiveness as organized workers. We must realize that there is nothing that says we have to opt out of union membership. We can and should refuse to be divided by these laws! If we see past the laws in our states and learn about the Federal protections offered to us, we realize that we have a larger toolbox than we thought we had. Too often, orchestras don’t embrace the tools they already have to manage their own contracts.

“Right to work” does not have to mean the destruction of our workplace rights, if we work to ensure that we are organized. You may be thinking, “this won’t work in my city or state,” but I assure you that it will. I have found models for organization that exist in places considered unfriendly to labor. As a result, these locals enjoy more activity, visibility, and greater membership density. Together we have been able to begin to change the culture and perception of the local towards greater respect and congeniality. If you would like to learn how you can organize your orchestra and make your local more relevant in the eyes of your musicians and management, please contact me. Together, we can turn the tide of “right to work” laws toward a brighter future for orchestra musicians!

Orchestra Committees

The Role of Orchestra Committees

by Christopher Durham, Chief Field Negotiator, AFM Symphonic Services Divisionby Christopher Durham, Chief Field Negotiator, AFM Symphonic Services Division

Employees who work under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) are represented by a labor union that was authorized by the first employees who worked under the original agreement. When the union was established, the membership elected officers to handle the negotiation, enforcement, and administration of the agreement. Other union responsibilities and procedures are prescribed by either law or internal bylaw. The musicians who perform in orchestras elect orchestra committees and ancillary committees to assist the union in the negotiation, enforcement, and administration of the agreement.

This structure, while common in our union, is somewhat unique to the labor movement. Over time, symphonic bargaining units have assumed, through their various committees, a prominent role in the day-to-day governance of the agreements. A consequence of this expanded role should not be to disregard, ignore, or place the union in a subordinate role. The union, as the certified bargaining agent, has the legal responsibility to oversee the performance of the agreement as well as the liability for the action of its agents. It’s important to have an effective working relationship between a rank-and-file committee and the union in order to provide strength through communication and unity. The union is the pivot for members who may not work in the bargaining unit. It has important relationships in the greater community that, when properly networked, can make the difference by providing outside influence during times of hard bargaining.

Orchestra committees who seek the authority to administer the agreement must also acknowledge the responsibility and liability for decisions made under their watch. There is no hiding, denying, or abstaining from the same duty of fair representation that is expected from the union. Symphony orchestra committees are not your fathers’ civic or fraternal organizations, where you serve your time or complete your project and all is well. Representing the business interests of your colleagues and their families is a huge responsibility.

In all matters relating to the agreement, the committee must measure when and what to report to the membership. It is responsible for handling day-to-day business, including variances, and processing and investigating grievances in a timely and thorough manner. Committees must also bring experience to the bargaining table. They are responsible, by their recommendation, for directing the unit to accept or reject tentative agreements or final offers. Committee members don’t have the luxury to pick and choose the grievances that they want to handle nor to limit themselves to decisions that won’t cause confrontation. Conversely, the rank and file is well-advised to listen to the debate respectfully and to not attack a committee they have elected when it is serving in their best interest.

7 Tips for Using Word of Mouth Marketing

7 Tips for Using Word of Mouth Marketing: The Original Social Media

7-tips-for-word-of-mouthWord of mouth marketing (WOMM), or peer-to-peer marketing, is genuine, emotional conversations people have with their friends about your gigs and music. Creating this type of “buzz” is particularly effective for building a following in your local area. Think of WOMM as the original social media.

Unfortunately, few artists use WOMM as effectively as they could. The problem is that they become too focused on collecting fans, instead of connecting with fans. Having 10,000 fans who at one time liked a video you posted, is not nearly as effective as having 100 really passionate local fans who drive others to attend your shows.

Here are 7 tips for using Word of Mouth Marketing effectively:

  1. Make sure your music stands out. Engage with the audience and get them talking. Be a presence in their lives by keeping them up-to-date with your life both on and off stage. Strive to be exciting, outrageous, and exceptional, both on stage and online. Take time to interact with everyone who posts something about your band or comments on your social media site.
  2. Provide your fans with different ways to talk about your band and share their experiences with friends. Encourage them to post on your social media sites, and take lots of show photos that they can comment on. Provide them with hashtags to use. Ask them questions about your set list and latest gig to get a conversation started.
  3. Building a strong fan base that goes beyond “likes” requires a strategy and some insight about what type of fans your music attracts. What other things do they tend to be passionate about? A good WOMM strategy is credible, social, repeatable, measurable, and respectful. Never deceive your audience/listeners by claiming to be something you are not.
  4. Make your communications special and memorable. Use “trigger words” like “sneak preview,” “exclusive footage,” “new release,” and “never before heard.” Surf the Internet for other phrases that seem to generate interest and write them down to use similar phrasing in the future.
  5. Hold short-term contests and tease them with upcoming info to get them to follow you more closely. Ideas include: “Indianapolis gig will be announced on Monday,” “win a free music download,” or “like this post to be entered in a drawing for a backstage pass (or VIP seating.” Alternatively, send them a link to a free song download on your site and say, “If you like what you hear, please pass it along to a friend.”
  6. Humor, sex, or shock appeal can stimulate and accelerate natural conversations among fans. Do you remember the funny “United Breaks Guitars” song and video posted by Dave Carroll of Local 571 (Halifax, NS)? Alternatively, use Photoshop to put yourself on stage with a celebrity, or make some other interesting, funny, and unbelievable photos to post.
  7. Utilize journalists and other people involved in your local music scene to help spread the word. Send them press releases and keep them informed about your latest releases and major gigs. Develop a press kit with your bio and interesting stories about your band.


Solidarity and Arts: Know Your Rights!

by Laurence Hofmann, Contract Administrator, Communications & Data Coordinator, AFM Symphonic Services Division 

know-your-rightsKnow your rights! As obvious as it might sound, it can’t be overemphasized.

There is a type of question asked by symphonic musicians about the desired collaborative relationship with local representatives and the orchestra committee, and how to solve disagreements with management. Queries may include topics such as dismissal without “just cause,” too short of breaks between run-outs, arbitrary seating, hiring orders, discrimination, wages, etc. Other strictly union questions might pertain to membership dues, rights involved, grievances, benefits, etc.

Of course, this is just a sample of the specific questions  from symphonic musicians. The AFM handles a larger array of questions. Some of these are also common to other music genres, like: Can I fly with my instrument as carry-on? Is it banned under endangered species regulations? When will I receive payments for new use? And, why do film productions still go abroad to record soundtracks?

One of the sources of answers that is immediately available to you is your Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). You can also search the AFM document library, Opus 2012, Opus 2015, and/or watch the union educational video webcasts (covering healthcare, grievances, or many other important topics) in the SSD Resource Center on afm.org.

And don’t forget to check AFM Facebook and Twitter accounts for current information. Additionally, the AFM publication International Musician offers in-depth details. Your local bylaws and AFM Bylaws might provide guidance on a more general basis. AFM locals and symphonic player conferences publish their own newsletters. And, of course, there are other organizations with information for musicians like Content Creators Coalition and MusicFirst (my personal favorites).

To be your own best advocate, you should know the CBA for your orchestra. Your CBA alone gives directives to understand your rights (and obligations) within your orchestra. A comparative analysis of CBAs will help to put your situation in perspective with the national (and international) industry. For several decades, ICSOM, ROPA, and OCSM wage charts have provided an amazing tool to get a comparative look at CBAs. Data has been collected from CBAs and complemented by data from local unions (for example, dues) and orchestra managements (expenses, public and private funds, management salaries). At a glance, you can learn about the economics and working conditions in various orchestras. What kind of performances are guaranteed by the contract? What do they pay? What benefits are provided to musicians and at what cost to them? These are just a few examples.

The current 2014-2015 wage charts are now available to AFM musicians in an innovative format. The digital charts can be downloaded, saved, and/or printed, as needed, from our new website: wagechart.afm.org. In the coming months, this dedicated website will acquire new features to allow dynamic and interactive use of the charts, both current and past.

For example, the charts will soon be updated in real time with delegates able to change their data immediately after successful negotiations or upon receiving data for the tax year from the union local or management. Gradually, historical data will be made available, providing an opportunity to observe an orchestra’s progress. Furthermore, AFM members will be able to search, extrapolate, analyze, and compare several orchestras and report on specific subjects. Some searches will generate tables and graphs. Every single document (charts and reports) can be saved and printed.

One of the main advantages of up-to-date searchable data is that it empowers your arguments for wage increases and working condition improvements. These wage charts are essential negotiating tools. They will provide a look at past and current information to help you change the future.

The creation of this innovative, dynamic, and interactive website was made possible through the collaboration of ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge, ROPA President Carla Lehmeier-Tatum, and a task force composed of ICSOM Secretary Laura Ross, ROPA Secretary Karen Sandene, Richard K. Jones, and OCSM President Robert Fraser. I thank all of them for their valuable input in support of this alternative to printing the charts, which was initially motivated as an environmentally friendly alternative. All the other benefits of a digital wage chart are value-added advantages that evolved from having made this decision.

Knowing your rights is the first step in being able to claim your rights. Communicating with local officers and/or consulting with the orchestra committee and union stewards are also key. United we have a stronger voice as evidenced in the Minnesota and Atlanta orchestras, which are coming back stronger than ever.

The AFM and its Symphonic Services Division (SSD) have been joining forces with other organizations and government representatives to tackle the issue of the ban on endangered species. This ban resulted in difficulties for musicians traveling with their instruments. In an attempt to ease the understanding of this complicated issue, I have edited various IM articles by AFM Political Director and Director of Diversity Alfonso Pollard into a specific guide for musicians who might have instruments containing components of endangered species—elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, pernambuco, and Brazilian rosewood. It is part of the AFM Complete Guide to Flying with Your Musical Instrument available on the AFM.org website Member’s section Documents Library, in the Legislative folder.

I’ll tirelessly keep my commitment to musician’s causes. If you have any questions contact me at (212) 869-1330 x211 or lhofmann@afm.org.

You are not alone. We all support each other. That’s why, together we are the union!