Tony Levin to Host The 2018 Parnelli Awards

October 13, 2017

The Parnelli Awards' Board of Advisors has announced that Grammy®-nominated composer and bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin will be the host for the 18th annual Parnelli Awards. The 2018 Awards will be held at the Hilton Anaheim on Friday, January 26 as part of The 2018 NAMM Show. While Levin is well-known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, he’s also recorded, played and toured with the likes of John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Buddy Rich, Peter Frampton, Chuck Mangione, James Taylor, and several super groups including Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. 

“Tony Levin is one of the world’s greatest bass player, but he’s also known for his wit and storytelling,” said Parnelli Executive Producer, Terry Lowe. “He has toured with many of the great artists of the past fifty years, and no doubt will have plenty to say at our show in what will surely be an exceptionally entertaining night.”

Levin was born in Boston in 1946 and started playing upright bass at the age of 10. He attended the Eastman School of Music where he played under the great classical composer, Igor Stravinsky. A fellow classmate was drummer Steve Gadd, who would introduce Levin to rock and jazz. Levin later moved to New York City and became a studio musician playing on a variety of albums, and today, counts over 500 albums to his credit. In 1974, he played on Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, and would tour with Simon often in addition to playing the part of the bass player in Simon’s 1980 film, "One-Trick Pony." In 1977, he joined Peter Gabriel’s band, and later, in 1981, he started playing with King Crimson and remains a member of both acts today.  He’s active with his own music projects including his group Stick Men and in the jazz band the Levin Brothers alongside his brother Pete. Just last year he was part of the Parnelli Award-winning Peter Gabriel/Sting tour.

Of the Awards, Levin shares, “The Parnelli Awards are presented to innovators and influencers in the live event industry, and those of us who perform onstage are always aware how much our shows are illuminated, both literally and figuratively, by the talents of sound, lighting, and technical professionals and companies. This is the chance to give them some recognition, and I'm honored to be part of it.”

The 2018 Parnelli Awards will honor Billy Joel’s long-time Production Manager, Bobby “Boomer” Thrasher, as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lighting designer and innovator, Jonathan Smeeton (The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson, Jane’s Addiction, Taylor Swift), will receive the Parnelli Visionary Award; and DiGiCo technical director John Stadius will be honored with the Audio Innovator Award.  To read more about the honorees and nominees or to purchase tickets please visit

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.