Austin Federation of Musicians

Respect The Band Campaign

  September 28, 2018  

Musicians on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, The Voice and other live television shows are not paid when they appear on YouTube and network websites.

Right now musicians working on late-night, award, and other live television shows aren’t paid when shows or clips are “free” to watch online. But these “free” shows aren’t really free—they are supported by paid advertising just like broadcast television. Other performers are all paid residuals when live television shows stream.

Union musicians have been negotiating a new contract for almost two years, but the networks refuse to pay musicians for all of their work. The contract covers musicians who have regular gigs—but it also includes hundreds of other musicians performing on live shows as guests, as subs, on awards shows, or at sporting events.

That’s why musicians and music lovers are joining together to demand the networks negotiate a fair contract and respect the band. Add your name to urge ABC, CBS, and NBC to pay musicians when shows stream on YouTube & similar platforms.


Sign the petition here:

AFM Fair Play Fair Pay

  March 17, 2018  

While radio used to be one of the only ways we could hear music, times have changed. The explosive growth of streaming services, combined with the diversity of listening options have transformed the music landscape. Yet, the current laws governing music were designed for a media landscape that no longer exists.

The United States antiquated system treats musicians and their music differently depending on how we hear it—especially for AM/FM radio. While streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music pay performers for their songs, traditional radio stations don’t pay a cent for playing creative property and using it to sell advertising.

The bipartisan Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2017 aims to restore a core principle of fairness to music: People who work should be paid for their work, particularly when others are profiting from it. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act:

  • Treats music the same, regardless of how we listen to it. Under the legislation, all forms of radio, regardless of the technology or platform used, would pay a fair market value for music performances. This would ensure that big AM/FM radio broadcasters receive equal treatment with digital radio platforms that pay performance royalties to music creators whose songs are broadcast through the internet, cable and satellite channels. The bill would also end satellite radio’s special “grandfathered,” or below market rate, and apply the “willing buyer, willing seller” standard across all platforms.
  • Restores fairness for artists whose songs were written before 1972. Digital and AM/FM radio have stations that are dedicated exclusively to playing “oldies.” They earn millions each year from playing iconic records while refusing to pay anything to the performers who created them. While the issue is under litigation in the courts, this legislation makes it clear that pre-1972 recordings have value and those profiting from these recordings should pay appropriate royalties for their use.
  • Protects and exempts small, local stations. Big Radio is alive and well. Ten radio corporations are responsible for about half the revenue generated by the nearly $15 billion radio industry while maintaining an average operating margin over 30%. Local, small market stations still exist and this bill treats community radio differently than big broadcast. Under the legislation, local AM/FM stations with annual revenues below one million dollars would pay just $500 a year, covering all the music they can play for little more than a dollar a day. Public, college and other noncommercial stations would pay only $100 a year.

To Support Fair Play Fair Pay please visit to sign the campaign.

Artistry of Music

  March 2, 2018  

Artistry of Music was founded by timpanist, educator, programmer, and AFM Local 433 Member Tony Edwards. Artistry of Music helps musicians and music programs create a professional web presence and manage the administrative tasks that come along with this profession. Visit their website to learn more.

Free Tax Workshop For Union Members

  March 2, 2018  

Date: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Time: 6:30PM-8:30PM
Location: 4818 E. Ben White Blvd., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78741
(Located in the IBEW Building)


The Austin Federation of Musicians is sponsoring a **FREE** Tax Workshop for UNION MEMBERS. Lisa Sretenevic, CPA/CITP/CGMA from The Mangold and TALA     ( Texas Accountans and Lawyers of the Arts) administrating liaison will be our guest speaker. We are very excited to have Lisa join us. IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)520 Members and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) 205/484 will be joining us.

Topics Covered:
*What it means to be self-employed/independent contractor
*What the self-employment tax is and how it is paid
*Keeping records of income and expenses
*Which expenses are deductible
*What is needed to prepare your taxes
*Estimated tax payments
*Business v hobby rules
*Sales tax and employment tax
*Home office expenses

About the Austin speaker Lisa Sretenovic, CPA:
Lisa, a shareholder of The Mangold Group, is an entrepreneurially oriented professional delivering financial and organizational efficiencies to increase the profit in small and large companies. She manages client relationships with customized schedules of services in accounting, tax, strategic planning, budgeting, analysis, process improvement, and training. In addition to 20 plus years of experience, Lisa holds the AICPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), a unique credential designed specifically for the CPAs who have a wide range of documented IT competency. She particularly enjoys the education of financial literacy to non-profits and entrepreneurs. Lisa is a current professional volunteer for artists and arts organizations through TALA and is a past TALA board member.

Please RSVP on our Facebook event page ( by March 6th. We can’t wait to see you there.


  February 6, 2018  

Austin Music Foundation is hosting their 4th annual music community expo
where professionals in the music industry can come learn about the
resources and services that are available to them in the Austin area.
With nearly 12+ nonprofit organizations in attendance, local artists will not
only become familiar with free and low cost amenities that are available, but
will also get a free opportunity to network and become involved in the
uniquely supportive community that is Austin, Texas.

Austin Creative Alliance
Austin Federation of Musicians
Austin Music Foundation
Beyond The Grade
Kids In A New Groove
KUTX 98.9
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM)
Music Moves Mountains Foundation
Rancho Alegre Radio
ReRoute Outreach
Swan Songs
Texas Accountant and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA)
More to be announced

#FTL2018 #FeelTheLove #PlugIn


2017 Congratulatory Year for Local 433 Fiddler Player

  November 15, 2017  

David Varnado began playing fiddle at the age of 4.  By the time he turned 12, he was playing in clubs.  Over the many years, David’s love for the fiddle in Cajun, Country and Texas Swing has served him well.  In David’s most influential year’s he was mentored by Rufus Thibodeaux, King of the Cajun Fiddlers, and later on he would be mentored by the legendary Johnny Gimble.  He’s had the privilege to play with Johnny Paycheck, Loretta Lynn, Chris LeDoux, Neal McCoy and Sammy Kershaw to name a few.

In October 2016 David received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cajun Music Association in Winnie, TX.  As excited as he was to win this award, he had no idea that this would be the start filled with recognition and awards.

David started 2017 with a nomination from the Academy of Country Music Awards for Fiddle Player of the Year (he was also nominated in 2001).  April 24th he received the American Fiddlers Association Legend Award in Amarillo, TX.  On May 1st Vince Gill with Time Jumper honored David in a separate ceremony for the AFA Legend Award in Nashville.  Nederland, TX Mayor, Dick Nugent, named June 12, 2017 as David Varnado Day.  The State of Texas honored David in June with the Most Honorable Musician Award. In September the Texas Country Music Awards presented David with the Fiddler of the Year Award.  He won this award by unanimous vote.  This past October David took home the Johnny Gimble Ward for Fiddle from the Country Music Awards of Texas.  To finish off David’s winning year, he will be inducted in the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, TX on November 16.

Congratulations, David, on your well deserved accomplishments of the past year.  We look forward to seeing what 2018 has to offer you.




KOOP 91.7 FM features Austin Federation of Musicians!

  October 24, 2017  


The Austin Federation of Musicians was invited to do a PSA at KOOP 91.7 FM. Check it out here.

A special thank you to KOOP Radio for supporting AFM Local 433!

Austin Jazz Workshop’s “Songs of the American Spirit”

  October 11, 2017  

Austin Jazz Workshop Presents 24th Season

115 Campuses to Receive “Songs of the American Spirit”

The Austin Jazz Workshop, a nonprofit group of professional musicians dedicated to jazz performance in central Texas public schools, will visit 33,000 area youths in the Austin, Manor, and Round Rock ISDs during our 24th performance season, running now through May 2018.

Songs of the American Spirit features Floyd Domino, Shawn Ellison, Michael Stevens, Glenn Rexach, Norm Bergeron, Kevin Scott, Michael Melinger, Julie Slim, and Larisa Montanaro.

View our full schedule by visiting Click on ‘News’ to view public performances, including our twice-monthly EMJATA (Emerging Jazz Talent) Series. EMJATA provides a year-round opportunity for middle and high school jazz students to perform with the AJW.

We gratefully acknowledge support from City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Austin Independent School District, Texas Commission on the Arts, Music Performance Trust Fund, Nancy & Nyle Maxwell Family Trust, Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, 3M Austin, Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Philip Bee Charitable Trust, and individual donors.

For further information, contact Michael Melinger at (512) 829-7255. Keep up with the Austin Jazz Workshop online through our website and Facebook.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, and by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Bud Light Summer Live Series Benefiting Austin Federation of Musicians

  July 19, 2017  

Bud Light Austin Presents Summer Live Series Featuring Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Date: July 20th, 2017

Location: Austin American Statesman
305 S Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78704

Happy Hour on the Patio: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Doors: 7:00pm
Concert: 8:00pm-11:00pm

Organized by Bud Light, Summer Live Series is a local tavern-inspired concert series, exclusively created for Austin, TX. Once a month during the summer, the Austin-American Statesman Warehouse will be transformed to provide Austinites with a unique concert experience. What’s better than food, beer & friends? This event will feature Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

As part of this program, Bud Light is proud to announce that a percentage of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Austin Federation of Musicians.

Heading to Bud Light Summer Live Series? Make sure to take RideAustin – your local nonprofit rideshare. RideAustin is a community-driven rideshare that allows you to ‘Round Up’ your fares to the nearest dollar, and donate the funds to your local charity of choice. The Austin Federation of Musicians is among the featured charities you will find in the RideAustin app, so if you’re going to ‘Round Up’, please do so for the sake of keeping Austin the live music capital of the world! Stay safe, and if you’re going to drink, make a plan to make it home with RideAustin!

Local 433 Fiddle Player Wins 3rd Award

  June 29, 2017  

Congratulations to AFM Local 433 Member David Varnado on your Most Honorable Musician award from the State of Texas! This is David’s 3rd award this year. David has performed with Ty England, Trick Pony, Neil McCoy, Johnny Paycheck, Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn and George Jones (to name a few), and has received the 2017 American Fiddlers Association Legend Award. Little Red Hayes (fiddle player for Hank Thompson, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, George Jones and Mel Tillis) presented David with this distinguished award in Texas on April 24, 2017. On May 1, 2017, David traveled to Nashville where Vince Gill (now part of Time Jumpers) honored him in a separate ceremony. In addition to this prestigious award, David was nominated by the Country Music Association as Best Fiddler for 2017. Congratulations, David, on your well deserved accomplishments!