April 14, 2021
Join Union
About Us
Our Purpose

In the American Federation of Musicians, our purpose is to provide a way to live and WORK in the music business, to be treated with dignity and compensated fairly. Our union gives us a meaningful voice in decisions which affect us and our livelihoods because each member has a vote. We vow to treat each other with respect and dignity without regard to ethnicity, creed, gender, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or national origin. We oppose exploitation in any form through the force of our union solidarity. We honor the standards and expectations we set for ourselves by following the bylaws we collectively create, and we actively participate in the democratic institutions of our union.
Our History

The American Federation of Musicians was founded in 1896 to protect the interests and provide for the general welfare of musicians in this country. One year later, in 1897, the Musicians' Protective Union #65, AFM was formed in Houston, Texas. In October 1922 the union was officially incorporated with a slight name change, as Local #65 Musicians'Protective Association of AF of M. In 1965 an amendment to the name was voted upon and passed by the membership, and the new name of the organization officially became The Houston Professional Musicians’ Association Local #65, AF of M. As the years passed, we merged with many smaller locals (Galveston, Beaumont) but the only merger which inspired an official name change was our merger with Local 699, the fabled black local which boasted superstars like Milt Larkin, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Hubert Laws, and Joe Sample. Today we are proud to be officially known as the Houston Professional Musicians' Association, Local #65-699, American Federation of Musicians!
Alex Navarro

Adam Dinitz

Sharon Montgomery

Sharon Montgomery is a vocalist and known penny pincher who originally joined Local 802 in 1985 as a member of the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant, & Stritch. It wasn’t her first union affiliation though—she had joined Actor’s Equity in 1980 while a member of the company at Houston’s Alley Theatre. Sharon is a member in good standing of Actor’s Equity and the American Federation of Musicians to this day. Her affiliation with the AFM was officially moved to Local 65-699 in 1996. She believes that union membership may very well be the last true shot at democracy available to the working people of this country these days.
A card carrying member of the “I was almost famous” club, she’ll happily regale you, if asked, with stories of time spent in the company of and onstage with jazz legends at festivals and performances in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe. These days she can be found squeezing nickels on behalf of the good members of Local 65-699, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, at the union hall. And loving it.
Hae-a Lee

Amanda Swain

Amanda is from Friendswood, Texas. In 2012, she became the Principal Bassoonist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Second Bassoonist of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. She received her BM at the University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen and her MM at Northwestern University where she studied with Christopher Millard. She was the Second Place winner in the 2012 Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Bassoon Competition. She was a founding member of the Chicago-based contemporary ensemble The City of Tomorrow, who won the Gold Medal in the Senior Wind Division of the Fischoff Competition in 2011. Other accomplishments include winning First Prize in the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition (2010), being a semi-finalist in the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition (2007), and being selected as an alternate for the Gillet-Fox International Competition for Bassoon (2010). She has been a guest artist, teacher, and speaker at universities and conferences throughout the United States, and she has played with numerous top-level orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony. Amanda is also the Vice President of the Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA). She previously served ROPA as Delegate (2015-2018) and Member-at-Large on the Executive Board (2017-2018). She is a proud member of Houston Professional Musicians’ Association, Local 65-699, where she serves on the Executive Board.
Samuel Dinkins III

Drummer / Percussionist / Artist / Author
Clinician / Producer
Sam Dinkins III has been a member of Local 65-699 since 1990. Founder and director of the Dinky Drum Company, LLC (DDC) located in Houston, Texas – DDC is a music education, performance and entertainment company since 1989, whose mission is, “To provide knowledge and experiences which promote the enjoyment of music for a lifetime.” DDC School of Music is where children and adults learn about music through private and group instruction, performances, clinics, workshops & recitals. As an educator, Mr. Dinkins’ work includes: Percussion Specialist for the Central District of the Houston ISD; music teacher at Parker Elementary School (the 2002 National GRAMMY Signature Elementary School)-an HISD Music Magnet School; and percussion instructor at many music camps around the United States. His award-winning educational programs for inner-city youth have received funding from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County; the Texas Commission for the Arts; the Evin Thayer Scholarship Fund (2002 inaugural Recipient) and numerous foundations. Mr. Dinkins is one of the Educational Artists for “DaCamera of Houston” (1998-present) performing in its “Beyond the Concert Hall” community outreach programs and the “DaCamera in the Schools-Rhythm Residency Program”. With DDC Educational Shows, he is developing, presenting, and performing at schools, libraries, churches, and community centers throughout Texas. He’s been featured on Heartbeat of America’s National Television Show, “Keeping America Strong”. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he is an accomplished performer and producer who has worked with the NYC Metropolitan Orchestra, Howard University Bands and Ensembles, Houston Symphony, Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and A-list artists from the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin to jazz greats Lionel Hampton and (Houston’s own) Hubert Laws and Joe Sample. He has traveled extensively through the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and China with numerous Gospel, Jazz, Latin and Rhythm & Blues artists. Mr. Dinkins is a member of Texas Music Educators of America; the Percussive Arts Society; a Life member of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., NAMM, NARAS and several other professional organizations. He is also the proud father of two musical sons, Samuel, IV & Samson Lee.
Yvonne Smith

Matthew Dickson

Ryan Rongone