December 14, 2015

Seattle All-Star Benefit for MusiCares

The Musicians' Association of Seattle is proud to sponsor this event to benefit MusiCares.
Seattle All Star musicians will be performing at the Royal Room on Wednesday, January 6 from 7-9:30 PM
Performers include:
Bill Anschell
The Island Jazz Quintet
The Seattle Labor Chorus
Gail Pettis Jazz
Bernie Jacobs
Jeff Johnson
Greg Campbell
And special guests

All procedes will benefit Musicares

September 08, 2015

Our 125th Anniversary

The Musicians' Association of Seattle is proud to celebrate 125 years in the Seattle Music Business this December 17th, 2015. For more of our history since 1890 please visit the history section of our website.

May 09, 2012

Advertise in Musicland

The Musicians' Association of Seattle publishes the bi-monthly (7 issues per year) newspaper "Musicland" for our roster of 500 or so professional musicians in Seattle and Western Washington. Local 76-493 members receive a 20% discount on all ads.  Please add a 3% service charge if paying by credit card.

Ad space is available in the following sizes and rates:

3" x 2" (business card) $20.00/issue

3" x 4" (quarter page) $50.00/issue

6" x 4.5" (half page) $100.00/issue

Just email us or give us a call for more info or help with your ad.  206-441-7600

March 04, 2015

Recovery Support Group for Seattle Music Community Meetings Every Tuesday night, 7 – 8 pm

The Musicians’ Association of Seattle co-hosts a weekly Recovery Support Group meeting with MusiCares. This is a free support group for the Seattle Music Community every Tuesday from 7-8pm. MusiCares and the Musicians’ Association of Seattle are proud to announce this addiction recovery support group for Seattle musicians, touring musicians and others who make their living in music. If you are active in your recovery and interested participating, please come.

Addiction Recovery Support Group for Seattle Music Community
Every Tuesday
3209 Eastlake Ave E. Seattle, WA 98102
(Parking in the back)
On bus #70, 71, 66

December 16, 2014

2015 Membership Dues

Membership dues will remain the same price in 2015 as they were last year. Here is a breakdown for annual and quarterly dues prices.


Regular Members

Annual Regular Member Dues = $202

Annual Discounted Regular Member Dues paid by January 31st = $181.80

Quarterly Regular Member Dues paid first month of quarter (January) = $50.50

Quarterly Regular Member Dues paid second month of quarter (Feb.) = $55.50

Quarterly Regular Member Dues paid third month of quarter (March )  = $65.50

Life Members

Annual Life Member Dues = $97.00

Quarterly Life Member Dues paid first month of quarter           =  $24.25

Quarterly Life Member Dues paid second month of quarter       =  $29.25

Quarterly Life Member Dues paid third month of quarter          =   $39.25

January 27, 2015

Fair Trade Music Seattle Meetings

Fair Trade Music Seattle is a grassroots campaign dedicated to raising the standard of living for all working musicians in the Seattle area through education, cooperation and inspiration. Our mission is to build an organization of musicians, government of?cials and music lovers working together to create a vibrant, sustainable community that supports a living wage for musicians.

Fair Trade Music meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 1:30 pm at the Musicians Union office: 3209 Eastlake Ave E. Seattle


The next meeting will be Sunday May 31 at 2:00 PM

Fair Trade Music Seattle on social media:

Musicians can review the clubs that they work in at Venuology.

For more information, please get in touch with Organizer Paul Bigman at, or 206-214-6169.

November 14, 2014

Fair Trade Music Seattle Outreach

written by: Paul Bigman, Organizer

Seattle is now home to six Fair Trade Music (FTM) venues. Thanks to hard work and steady outreach by Fair Trade Music Seattle activists, venue owners are signing on to the Fair Trade Music pledge, committing the clubs to a respectful and responsible relationship with musicians performing in their venues.

The first six venues to sign on are:

Sea Monster  (thanks to outreach by David Levin and Nate Omdal);
Pies & Pints  (thanks to outreach by Kenny Darling);
Capitol Cider  (thanks to outreach by Michael Owcharuk);
Egan’s  (thanks to outreach by Jay Kenney and Nate Omdal);
Vito’s  (thanks to outreach by Michael Owcharuk);
The Benbow Room  (thanks to outreach by Steve Roseta).

The Fair Trade Music Seattle pledge commits the venues to providing a written, negotiated agreement with the musicians, including transparency and accountability on income and expenses, a cancellation policy and method and timing of payment.  In addition, the venue will ensure quality sound and a competent sound tech, and will work with the musicians and FTM to resolve any issues that may arise.  FTM, in turn, will provide free union sound diagnostic and tune-up services, paid for by the union and the Washington State Labor Council; and will publicize which venues are treating musicians fairly, with an effort to get our communities to patronize those clubs.

We hope to reach our goal of ten FTM venues by the end of the year, at which point we’ll start reaching out to our allies to show support for the Fair Trade Music movement and the venues that provide fair treatment for musicians.

Fair Trade Music meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 1:30 pm at the Local.  The next meetings will be November 24th and December 8th

For more information, please get in touch with Organizer Paul Bigman at, or 206-214-6169.

March 17, 2014

Musicians band together for loading zones in Seattle

"A new group of Seattle musicians have notched their first victory in making life a little easier for area club musicians: musician loading zones at several area clubs..."

March 11, 2014

Musician Priority Loading Zones Come to Seattle

Musician loading zone signs are now up at Showbox, High Dive, The Crocodile and The Triple Door. The Musicians' Association of Seattle, Fair Trade Music Seattle, the Seattle Music Commission, Seattle Office of Film + Music and Seattle Department of Transportation all collaborated to make this incredible benefit for Seattle musicians happen.

August 15, 2013

A Thousand People in the Street

In 1997, 5th Avenue Theater musicians, Seattle community and other unions lead successful a strike for fair wages and treatment of the workers. This video documents the labor organizing strategies of the musicians and the labor community.

August 05, 2013

Percussionist Paul Hansen Keeps the Beat All Over Seattle

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 5:06 AM

Special to The Seattle Times

Seattle percussionist Paul Hansen isn’t often seen, but he’s definitely a presence: He’s been in the pit for more than 90 musicals, worked on the soundtrack for “Halo,” composes music and plays in a quartet.

When Paul Hansen goes to work, the tools of his trade typically include timpani, xylophone, bass drum, tubular bells, washboard, thunder sheet, glockenspiel and tambourine.

On occasion, such as performing in the orchestra pit at the 5th Avenue Theatre’s current production of “Pirates of Penzance,” Hansen — one of the top percussionists in Seattle’s music and theater worlds for more than three decades — will add such sonic accents as duck calls, slide whistle and the clang of anvils. For the upcoming film-turned-stage show “Secondhand Lions,” he’ll incorporate Hindu ankle bells and Moroccan qraqeb.

If something makes a noise, Hansen wants to know about it.

“Hand me a bucket of pingpong balls, and I’ll play it,” he says.

“I’ve got aluminum Bundt pans and brass artillery shells I use as bells. I used to go to Boeing Surplus and just hit things.”

Hansen has performed in more than 90 musicals in Seattle, most of them at the 5th, but also at the Paramount (“Wicked”). He’s also an extra hand for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (last season’s “Turangalîla” and “The Firebird”), and Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra (“Tide Harmonic”).

“At the 5th, I’m my own section leader,” he says. “I’m wholly responsible for how instruments work dramatically. With a symphony, it’s much more collaborative with other percussionists.”

Hansen says flexibility is key to being an occasional player with Seattle Symphony. He recalls filling in for an ailing percussionist and discovering at intermission he’d be playing the sensuous snare drum line in “Bolero.”

“I’d never played ‘Bolero.’ I’m sure that was a new time signature I invented.”

A native Seattleite, Hansen, 52, is the son of the late Edward A. Hansen, a renowned organist and beloved music professor at the University of Puget Sound. Edward was also the off-screen Mr. Music Man for KING 5’s “Wunda Wunda” children’s television show from 1963-71.

“I’d be sitting next to him during the live broadcast,” Hansen says. “At home there would be Beethoven and Brahms, but on the set he’d be accompanying stories and puppet shows with whistles and duck calls.

“I’d watch him and think, wow, that’s a really neat job.”

Hansen turned professional while a University of Washington freshman.

“I had just turned 18 and was doing some of the smaller shows in town. All of a sudden I’m on a Liberace tour bus with guys who had worked with Count Basie and Benny Goodman.”

Hansen played with such talents as Johnny Mathis, Mitzi Gaynor, Burt Bacharach and even Mr. Rogers. He went on the road with the Ice Capades two weeks after marrying his sometimes-collaborator, the filmmaker and theater director Janice Findley.

Hansen records soundtracks for films and video games (“Halo”) and is a co-founder of the Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet, which performed several thrilling concerts of John Cage music last year. But it is his longtime association with the 5th Avenue Theatre of which he seems particularly proud. He cites a 1995 production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies,” starring Maxine Andrews, and the 2002 world premiere of “Hairspray” among favorite memories.

Another 2002 show, “Hair,” was also special.

“The cast and band bonded so closely,” Hansen says. “The musicians were all in costume and becoming characters ourselves, and between the lighting and smoke and haze, it was like a bit of time travel.”

April 02, 2013

Welcome to Chelan and Yakima Counties



This means that union work in the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Chelan, Entiat, Cashmere, Yakima, Selah, Naches, Sunnyside, Zillah etc. will go through our offices.

KITTITAS county was already in our territory and that includes the cities of Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Kittitas, Vantage, Thorp, Ronald, Roslyn & Snoqualmie Pass.

February 20, 2013

Celebrating 115 Years of Live Music


Musicians’ Association of Seattle Celebrates 115 Years Providing Live Musical Entertainment 

On Friday, March 1, 2013 the Musicians’ Association of Seattle, Local 76-493 will be celebrating 115 years as affiliates of the American Federation of Musicians and one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Seattle.

The celebration includes an open house from 4-7 PM at 3209 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, 98102 with live musical entertainment, champagne, cake and vintage photo displays of some of Seattle’s most talented and prolific musicians from the early 1900’s to present day. 

The Musicians’ Association of Seattle, a labor union of professional musicians provides live musical entertainment for the Seattle community. Local 76-493 members have been performing in vaudeville, burlesque, silent films, Broadway shows, nightclubs, circuses, radio broadcasts, weddings, parades, symphony, opera, ballet, television & radio commercials, and locally produced children’s television programs for the last 115 years.

The establishment of the Music Performance Trust Fund in 1948 has allowed Seattle AFM members to give thousands of free performances to audiences of all ages and diversity.

Local 76-493 currently represents over 450 professional musicians in Western Washington, including the musicians of the Tacoma Symphony, 5th Ave Theatre, ACT Theatre, Paramount Theatre and Village Theatre. 

Free parking available in the back in spots marked “Eastlake Bldg”.

February 25, 2013

A Tale of Two Unions (from

Seattle's first musicians' union, AFM Local 76, dated back to the 1890s. But as ever-greater numbers of African Americans arrived in the young, growing town the musicians among them soon discovered that the union had an unwritten segregation policy. helps us take a look at our complicated history with segregation and how the two separate musicians' unions (Local 76 for whites; Local 493 for blacks) eventually joined.

Read the complete story here: "Negro Musicians' Union," AFM Seattle Local 493 (1918-1958)

March 07, 2012

Musicians Review Clubs & Venues

Venuology was created to help musicians share information about music venues — alerting them to clubs that don't treat musicians well, and also those that do. With this website, we hope musicians will have an easier time deciding where to perform — and as a result, that venues will feel more pressure to improve pay, sound quality or other problems.

The reviews on this site are written by our users — in other words, musicians! Venue reviews are subjective and you're the best judge of the credibility of each review. Any musician can review a venue he or she has played at — joining Venuology is free and anonymous.

There are over 120 live music venues listed in the Seattle/Puget Sound region with more being added every day.

Venuology is a project of the American Federation of Musicians, a labor union representing over 90,000 musicians of all genres in North America.


August 21, 2012

Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance IMPACTS Musicians

Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance IMPACTS Musicians

The ordinance begins on September 1, 2012 and provides paid sick and safe time for employees working within Seattle City limits.

The ordinance sets forth minimum requirements for accrual, use, and carryover of PSST for employees and requires employer notification and tracking of PSST.

Sick Time can be used for personal illness or preventative care and care for a family member’s illness or preventative care.

Musicians who perform work in Seattle are covered by the ordinance including Broadway show musicians working at the Paramount Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, and ACT because the Collective Bargaining Agreements do not have comparable benefits. Sick leave benefits will accrue for these musicians.

Dance accompanists working at Cornish College of the Arts have similar benefits already guaranteed in the collective bargaining agreement.

Complete details can be found here: