Yamaha Corporation of America

Mike Overlin always wanted to work for Yamaha ever since being introduced to the company’s philosophy and commitment to providing excellent products and services.  As an employee for over twenty years, Mike is proud to say he was right about wanting to be involved with a company that echoes many of...
George Pajon Jr. is a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas and the musical producer and director for Fergie, Carlos Santana and Los Lonely, among others.  His music career began as a guitarist and over the years he has been active within the music products industry.  Among the companies he has...
Willie Bam Bam Parker’s mother has said that at birth, her son came out swinging and she knew even then that he was going to be a drummer. At age 3 his love of drums was rewarded his with his first kit, a Smurf drum set. By age ten Willie was playing in a variety of different church groups,...
Joe Phelps started playing drums in the 7th grade. While in college, as a marketing major, he opened an off campus concert hall, played in bands, and ran a recording studio for the music retailer, Ben Jack, in Arkansas. In 1975, he moved to Los Angeles and formed a small ad agency, which has become...
Dafnis Prieto grew up in a musical neighborhood in Cuba where he quickly fell in love with the drums. During his 2008 NAMM Oral History Interview, Dafnis discussed some of his musical influences and what the term “groove” means to him. Facilitating masters classes, clinics, workshops and serving as...
Ron Raup was among the first commercial members to serve on the NAMM Board. His long career in the industry has been highlighted by his incredible vision and marketing skills for the MakeMusic company. MakeMusic, Inc. is a world leader in software and systems for music educators and musicians....
Donna Reed wanted to continue to provide music lessons even after retiring from teaching in a traditional school setting. After 30 years as a music education teacher in the public schools, Donna retired and turned to providing private lessons at Mississippi Music. Growing up in the church and in a...
Al Rinaldi was the first person ever to receive the Steinway Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to him in 2012.  Al never worked for the piano manufacturer nor did he work for any of it's sister companies.  Al was a Steinway dealer in Philadelphia, who in fact was turned down from being a...
Lee Ritenour was exposed to jazz music in Los Angeles as a youth thanks to his parents.  He developed a great knowledge of guitar techniques having watched and or worked with many of his guitar heroes. When he was 16 years old he accompanied jazz singer Lena Horne, which opened up many doors for...
Ed Rizzuto was surrounded by music his entire life. As a young boy he started playing trombone, which he continued throughout high school and into his military service in the early 1950s. After teaching orchestra as a school band director for several years, Ed joined the music industry as a...

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