Yamaha Corporation of America

Terry Gibbs seems to live for the vibes! As a legendary jazz percussionist, Terry’s power and unique style of mallet playing has singled him out as one of the top vibraphonists in the history of jazz. Being influenced by Red Norvo and Lionel Hampton, Terry gave the vibes a fresh new sound in the...
Garth Gilman finished his MBA and through a mutual friend met Tom Sumner who provided a tour of the Yamaha offices in Buena Park.  Tom, who at the time was the General Manager of the Pro Audio/Combo Division, recognized Garth’s passion for music and interest in business.  The two discussed the...
Ralph Grierson’s father was a sawmill operator who loved playing music after work and on the weekends. As Ralph grew up, his father encouraged him to develop a career in music. After college, while playing in several bands in the Los Angeles area, Ralph was asked to record a film score. Over the...
DeDe Guth joined the customer service team at Yamaha’s band instrument factory in Michigan in 1980. There she learned first hand the company’s philosophy and attention to customer satisfaction. Ten years later she was offered a job in Elkhart, Indiana to work at the Gemeinhardt Flute Company, where...
Wolfgang Haffner grew up in Germany and began playing drums at a young age. He gravitated towards jazz and one of his first recordings was with Al Cohn in 1987. He went on to record with the likes of Dominic Miller, Metro, Eddie Daniels, and Peter Bolte. Wolfgang was interviewed for the NAMM Oral...
Charles Hale had an idea to hire a monkey to show how an easy-play organ could be operated by anyone. The hysterically funny ads were one of a million clever ideas Hale used in selling keyboard instruments. As the founder of Hale’s Piano and Organ Company in Florida, he established himself as a...
Newell Hardy had a life changing experience playing in the Youth Symphony on viola while in middle school. That opportunity lead to his love of guitar and later his passion for the pedal steel. Newell worked in music retail and worked his way up to store manager for Progressive Music in Utah. As a...
Robert Heller worked in the music industry as a teenager in retail and discovered that he was drawn to the industry with his passion and love for music and music making. Bob was hired by Yamaha Corporation of America in the piano division, where he worked for 20 years before transferring to the...
Brian Jemelian didn't think of himself as a musician, although he played violin as a child and later as an employee of Yamaha he took both piano and guitar lessons.  Brian studied business in college and was very interested in the business world.  After a successful mentoring program at Price...
David Jewell remembers his brother’s snare drum sitting in the closet and wanting so much to play it.  He begged his teacher, Mrs. Mandy, to join the band and after several tries, she agreed.  David remarked during his NAMM Oral History interview that if she didn’t say yes, he probably would not be...

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