Transformation and Tradition: The NAMM Show, the Global Platform for Innovation in Music Products, Pro Audio and Entertainment Technology, Returns to Anaheim
After two years of absence, the leaders, innovators, experts, artists, and creators across the music products, pro audio and sound, and entertainment technology industry gathered for a rousing reunion at the global crossroads, The 2022 NAMM Show. Held June 3-5 in Anaheim, California, the three days welcomed old and new faces to reconnect, launch and discover new products, and galvanize the industry to continued success.
“Looking back to the 2020 NAMM Show, I don’t think anyone could have predicted just how transformative the start of this next decade would be,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. “But as we have weathered the uncertainty and loss over the past two years, we again stand at the crossroads of opportunity. The NAMM Show serves as that platform for the next generation of technologies, products, and services, and sets the stage for NAMM Members to discover their own opportunities to advance their businesses, skills, and market opportunities.”
“It’s good to be back in Southern California and to see so many NAMM Members come together again to experience the products and innovations of the past two years and to enjoy the comradery and networking that’s been missing from our lives for far too long,” says NAMM Chair, Joel Menchey of Menchey Music Service. “We’re at our best when our industry is together, and at a show like this, inspiration emanates from every hall, conversation, and surprising chance encounters to become the launching board for the next great idea.”
Reunification at The Crossroads
With a desire to reignite industry relationships, business and launch new products, the Show welcomed over 1,000 exhibiting members representing 3,500 brands across the campus of the Anaheim Convention Center. As a smaller yet truly global affair, the mix of 46,627 registered attendees represented 111 countries and territories.
Attendees were an invited mix of industry professionals from across the crossroads that included domestic and international retail and distribution buyers and employees, exhibitors, entertainment tech and pro audio buyers and professionals, media, artists, invited guests, and The NAMM Foundation’s GenNext (college music students and faculty), Music Education Days (school music administrators and buyers) and Nonprofit Institute (NAMM grantees and nonprofit affiliates).
“Our industry is built on the connection between people, and consequently, it’s been important and inspiring to connect again, face-to-face,” said Adam Hall Group CEO Alexander Pietschmann. “The new NAMM has afforded artists, music enthusiasts, and industry professionals the opportunity to engage in vital conversations, educational sessions and instilled further confidence that the live event industry is alive and well.”
Tom Sumner, President of Yamaha Corporation of America, says, “Over two years removed from NAMM 2020, The NAMM Show 2022 reminded the Yamaha team of the power of in-person events. We launched our flagship grand piano, the CFX, at the show. There is no better way for our dealers to show attendees the craftsmanship and power of this magnificent instrument than to experience it in person and hear a great pianist play it. Our Yamaha team welcomed a large number of dealers, guests, and press to our booth, who got to touch and play instruments like the new Revstar guitars. With live music back, we were happy to treat NAMM attendees to the Yamaha Night of Worship with Fred Hammond on Friday Night and an amazing All-Star Concert on the Grand with Kandace Springs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Tank and the Bangas. The Grand Plaza was filled each night until the last note!”
“It's great to be back in person,” adds Chris Martin, C. F. Martin & Co. “NAMM is a microcosm of our industry. From networking with our dealers, distributors, and industry peers, to providing a worldwide platform for launching new products, to consumer and artist connections, it doesn’t get more impactful than this. We wouldn't miss it.”
"This NAMM Show was more important than ever for Casio," affirms Stephen Schmidt of Casio’s Electronic Musical Instruments Division. "This year’s forum enabled us to reconnect with our dealers and industry friends and provided a sense of normalcy and the ‘good old times.’ While we were excited to share our award-winning Privia pianos and Casiotone keyboards, we were equally grateful to NAMM for its strong leadership and support, and for working overtime to successfully and safely bring us all back together.”
Mark Ravenhill of German Light Products says that “The industry is starting to get back on its feet again. We’ve been a longtime supporter and a longtime member of NAMM, and certainly through the pandemic, NAMM was one of the few organizations that really stood up for our industry, with our industry, to garner support. It was absolutely a ‘no-brainer’ to be here, with our industry. We’re here, we’re glad to be here and we’ll keep coming here.”
"NAMM is always a special date in our calendar as it's a vivid reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, an industry full of innovation that's constantly driving towards delivering products that enable people to create and enjoy music. We are lucky to be part of it," added Andy Allen of Audient.
Joue Music’s Pascal Joguet says that “The NAMM show is legendary. Everybody involved in music knows about it. Far away from here, in the southwest of France, we have worked tirelessly to craft the Joué Play, a digital instrument with a soul - and we wanted to share it with the entire music community which is uniting here in Anaheim, during The NAMM Show.” This was the company’s first NAMM Show.
“For our company, the NAMM Show presents multiple layers of business value – it’s not just a linear event. It’s an opportunity to see where the industry and your competitors are headed, gathering feedback from your customers and work on those all-important relationships as the conversations you can have in-person are so much more productive than those you have virtually,” stated Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group. “If you have a company and you’re not here, you have no idea what you missed – including the business opportunities that only happen by being present and participating.”
“It was one of the most productive NAMM Shows ever,” says Jon Haber, president of Alto Music. “It was the right time, the right people and the right crowds, which meant it was seamless to get business done and see the people you needed to see. We’ll be back next year!”
“We have had some problems with importing internationally, so it is important to be here to try to find the correct way to import new products,” said Hernan Mera, Twins Trade Music of Argentina. “Here we can see new products, new releases from not just one brand, but lots of other brands show their new products.”
“I think for any on the retail side, any business owner, NAMM is a must. NAMM is the backbone of the industry,” adds Paul Tobias, Tobias Music. “This show, in particular, it’s great to see the huge turnout and we’re going to bounce back a little further next year, and I think in [January] 2024, everything is back in gear. For us, the learning sessions and the Idea Centers, and just the face-to-face meetings with our manufacturers, our sales reps, you can’t put a price on that. It is basically priceless.”
Future-Focused Ideas to Fuel Opportunities and Business-Enriching Strategies
With the world’s experts at The NAMM Show, members had the opportunity to connect with top thought leaders in best-in-class education through more than 200 education sessions designed to engage, inform and inspire new ideas, as well as to further careers and prepare for the future against the backdrop of the industry gathering.
For many companies with new employees, the professional development sessions provided vital industry education. Jamie Latty of Deering Banjos said, “In some ways, the NAMM Show is the glue of our business and our industry. This year, we have a number of new hires on the team and NAMM is the perfect place to immerse them in the industry and to take advantage of the educational offerings that can only be found here.”
NAMM U: Lead in the Next Chapter
Each day of the Show began with a NAMM U Breakfast Session in the Pacific Ballroom, inside the Anaheim Hilton. On Friday June 3, NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond hosted “Breakfast of Champions” with a panel of industry leaders and innovators, including Alexander Pietschmann, Adam Hall; Kimberly Deverell, San Diego Music Studio; Lana Negrete, Santa Monica Center; Ray Williams, IMSTA; and Sophia and Desdamona, music-making robots from Hanson Robotics. Multi-GRAMMY® winner, composer and artist Kenny Loggins was presented with NAMM’s “Music for Life Award.”
In his interview, Loggins reminisced about his start and the role of the community music store. “I went into Pedrini School of Music in Alhambra [California], and I bought my first classical music from there, and I bought my first electric guitar there, when I was a junior in high school. All the kids in my neighborhood, we all had the same dream – to be the next big thing.”
On his advice for the next generation of musicians, Loggins offered, “As far as music goes, music is in our DNA. When I’m working with young artists, we’re talking about the love of music, its role, and its importance in our lives.”
On Saturday, June 4, Scott Stratten, president of UnMarketing and branding and relationship expert, presented “Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World,” which explored top-line strategies to strengthen business and personal brand; and on Sunday, June 5, “Best in Show” welcomed a panel of retail gear experts to recognize their picks of the innovative products, services and technologies found across the show floor. View the Best in Show results here:https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/best-in-show-winners
Retail Innovation and Financial Summits
Ahead of the opening of The 2022 NAMM Show, retail leaders, managers and professionals from across the industry participated in two half-day intensive training experiences: the Retail Innovation Summit and Retail Financial Summit. Retail expert, consultant and trainer Bob Negen presented at the Retail Innovation Summit, and at the Retail Financial Summit, industry experts Alan Friedman, CPA, and Daniel Jobe of Friedman, Kannenberg & Co. shared an up-close look at what’s happening in the supply-chain world of musical products to help mitigate the effect of delivery delays in our post-pandemic era.
The Future Is Hear: A3E, AES Academy, Dante and TEC Tracks
More than 60 pro audio sessions awaited emerging and established professionals from all aspects of production and performance, presenting a myriad of opportunities to grow their skills and careers in preparation for the future of all things sound. A3E: The Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange, presented a series of future-focused sessions, including “The Next Generation of Rap and Hip-Hop: Harnessing Music Technology for Empowering Creativity;” “The Future of the DAW: How AI, Blockchain and the Cloud Will Change DAWs Forever;” and “Visionary Women in Musical AI: Deep Dive Into the Future of Music;” to name a few.
AES Academy (Audio Engineering Society) presented five tracks centered on the following areas: room acoustics; loudness; new audio technologies and practices; modern music production; and immersive audio. Hot topics included “Immersive Audio 101, 202, and 303,” with Brian ‘BT’ Gibbs and Michael Romanowski; “Immersive and Inclusive’ Initiative,” presented by Leslie Gaston-Bird; “Raw Tracks Mix Breakdown,” with super producer/engineer Paul ‘Willie Green’ Womack; and “‘Born in the USA’ Raw Tracks Interview With Toby Scott.”
TEC Tracks uncovered topics ranging from a series of how-to's and key expert insights, including “Dolby Atmos: An Engineer’s Update;” “Music and Audio Mastering: Invasive or Subtle?;” “Running the Show: Sound Advice From Women Visionaries;” “Finally! Play Together—From Anywhere, With Ultra-Low Latency;” “Loud: A Conversation With Tana Douglas, the First Woman Roadie;” “An Interview with Noel Lee” and others.
On Friday and Saturday night, Herb Trawick and Dave Pensado, the dynamic duo of Pensado’s Place, returned to The NAMM Show. The pair were joined by hip-hop artist 24KGoldn, producer Nick Mac and on Saturday, super mixer Manny Marroquin and producer/songwriter Ricky Reed for deep conversations about the craft. 24kGoldn offered his advice for the next generation: “If you work at something you really care about it’s just a matter of time.”
The Worship Musician Summit at NAMM
On Saturday at the Show, TEC Tracks offered an all-day suite of sessions for House of Worship audio professionals and musicians. Curated by Worship Musician magazine, topics included “Marketing Brands and Products to Houses of Worship;” “Selecting the Right Sound System and/or Installer for Your House of Worship;” “Song Selection, Streaming and Licensing for Houses of Worship;” and “Guitar Technology for the House of Worship,” and many more.
Along with the pro audio professional development sessions, Audinate offered hands-on Dante AV networking training – free to all industry professionals. The courses included Dante Certification Level 1, Dante Certification Level 2 and Dante Certification Level 3.
Entertainment Technology: Illumination and Education Abounds
In collaboration with Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA); the Event Safety Alliance (ESA); and PLSN and FOH, Lighting and Sound America/PLASA magazines, the Show’s free education and professional events provided the tools needed to navigate the next stage of any career in live event production.
Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)
ESTA’s extensive sessions covered everything from lighting and lighting networking to rigging and safety through in-depth education for entertainment technology and design professionals, as well as those responsible for their safety. Presented in conjunction with Lighting&Sound America, top thought leaders Richard Cadena, Ethan Gilson, Kent Jorgensen, Eddie Raymond and Bill Sapsis presented on topics ranging from “Electrify the Audience, Not the Stage,” “Safety in Event Planning” and “Wireless DMX512 Design and Best Practices.” The program also offered two deep dives: “New Guidelines for M.E.W.P.s—the Lifts Formerly Known as AWPs” and “OSHA 10: I.A.T.S.E.,” Day 1 and 2.
Event Safety Alliance (ESA)
With event safety top-of-mind at every event, the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) shared a suite of educational sessions with a diverse roster of industry experts to explore critical issues within the live event safety space. Presentations on timely relevant topics included: “Show Stop: The One Agreement Everyone Must Agree On,” with safety expert Bryan Huneycutt; “Safety, Sustainability and the Venn Diagram of Our Industry's Future,” with Neel Vasavada; and “Managing Stress and the Industry's Return From the Pandemic” with Dr. Chayim Newman and Zack Borer. Other ESA speakers included Jim Digby, Zach Borer, Chris Kerr, Roberta McHatton and Dr. Chayim Newman.
Pro Production Sessions: Front of House and Projection, Lights & Staging News magazines shared interviews and behind-the-scenes presentations with entertainment technology leaders. Hot sessions included “How to Navigate Virtual Venues” and “From Fortnite to Roblox to Coachella: How to Navigate the Merge of Virtual, Live and Metaverse Venues.”
“PLSN and FOH magazines have been proud to present the Pro Production Sessions at NAMM over the years and we were particularly pleased to return in-person to the 2022 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA,” says Terry Lowe, President of Timeless Communications. “The education component of NAMM is so important to the industry, and I believe that our sessions are a great addition to the roster of classes. They are also a real extension of the value PLSN and FOH put on informing the industry and highlighting the emerging creative production trends and technology innovations. We hope attendees enjoyed our sessions, and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2023!"
Loudspeaker System Showcase
In collaboration with the producers of Live Sound International magazine and 4WALL Entertainment, the Loudspeaker System Showcase returned to The 2022 NAMM Show, presenting an ideal demo opportunity for manufacturers and specifiers to check out the latest flown and portable systems to a mix of industry professionals. Participating companies included Alcons, Axiom Pro Audio, Bassboss, Innovox Audio and others.
"During the last few days here at NAMM, the live audio market had a chance to come together as a community, to reconnect, share stories, learn about new products and experience the Loudspeaker Product Showcase. It was great for our industry to be together and continue the healing process after two long years of shutdown. The attendees were excited to be here and except for a few areas, our industry is getting stronger and recovering nicely," said Kevin McPherson of EH Publishing.
At the Show, The NAMM Foundation returned curated education and sessions for professionals with its GenNext, Music Education Days and The Nonprofit Management Institute.
As a collaboration between The NAMM Foundation and The College Music Society (CMS), GenNext offered dedicated programming and access to The NAMM Show across 27+ different sessions and events for college music students and faculty. Notable sessions include “Cross-training in Music Technology: Lessons From the Pandemic Applied to the Future;” “Advocating Diverse Career Opportunities in Music;” and “Understanding Digital Music Rights and Revenue;” among others.
Music Education Days
For music teachers and school administrators seeking ‘what’s next’ in music products and classroom technologies, The NAMM Foundation, in collaboration with Technology In Music Education (TI:ME), presented 30+ sessions and events designed to inform, inspire and engage with the tools relevant to today’s music classrooms. Session highlights includes “Music Administration Collaborative. Plan Your Program’s Success: Getting Started with Strategic Arts Planning;” “Rethinking Music Education in the Post Covid-19 World;” “Teacher Tech Talk,” which featured TI:ME Teacher of the Year winners; “Building a Nationally-Recognized Music Program: It's All About Collaborative Structures;” and “Solution Based Learning Opportunities Addressing Current Topics in Music Education.”
In a special workshop, Kendall Isadore and Élise Sharp of The String Queens presented “Exploring SEL Strategies with The String Queens.” The workshop provided participants with a pedagogical journey employing a variety of interactive activities and individual reflections.
The track also gathered music education leaders at the Show for the “The Music Education Leadership ‘Call to Action’” Summit. The Summit raised critical questions currently facing music education and its future to advance music learning opportunities for all students. Panelists included Bob Morrison, Quadrant Research; Russ Sperling, San Diego Unified School District; Lynn Tuttle, American String Teachers Association; Dr. James Weaver, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); and Kendall Isadore and Élise Sharp of The String Queens.
The Nonprofit Management Institute
NAMM’s Nonprofit Management Institute provided nonprofit arts organizations and with sessions to grow and succeed in creating a world with more music makers. Session topics included “An Agile Nonprofit is a Successful Nonprofit:” “Unlocking Innovation to Up Your Nonprofit’s Game;” “Beyond Good Intentions: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Programming, Operations, and Governance;” and “Reevaluate Your Mission and Vision to Meet the Needs of Your Community.”
Each evening of the Show came alive on the Yamaha Grand Plaza stage with plenty of star power. At Thursday’s Yamaha Night of Worship, Fred Hammond and the Saddleback Worship Choir packed the Grand Plaza;Saturday’s Yamaha All-Star Concert on the Grand featured the likes of Kandace Springs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Tank and the Bangas.
Also on Saturday, The Grand Rally for Music Education with special guests Eric Whitacre and Gateways Brass Collective, returned. Groundbreaking composer and conductor Eric Whitacre took to the stage to bring a live and virtual performance together in a hybrid performance of "Sing Gently," featuring Ashley Ballou-Bonnema creator of sINgSPIRE, a virtual choir for individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. The event was presented in collaboration with Conn-Selmer, Hal Leonard, JackTrip, and Yamaha.
Honoring the Industry’s Leaders and Luminaries
Thursday evening welcomed the tenth annual She Rocks Awards honoring women across the music industry. The event featured a star-studded performance lineup, including live music, and honored a varying range of artists, including iconic singer, actress, television host and former UN Goodwill Ambassador Dionne Warwick, GRAMMY®-nominated guitarist and BONES UK co-founder Carmen Vandenberg, and multi-instrumentalist Yvette Young, the front-woman for the math rock band Covet. Other honorees included Leslie Gaston-Bird – mixer, sound editor, author and a champion of diversity in the audio industry; Sherri Chung, Award-winning film and TV composer and Governor of the Music Branch of the Television Academy; Kerry Fiero, Founder of the Girl Power! Women Working in the Music Industry Conference; EveAnna Manley, president, Manley Laboratories aka “The Tube Chick;” Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo Entertainment Music Editor, SiriusXM host and author; and Julie Robbins, CEO of effects pedal manufacturer Earthquaker Devices.
Also on Thursday evening, the industry gathered to celebrate the spirit of the independent music retailer and to applaud their accomplishments, resilience, and commitment to serving music makers at the Top 100 Awards. The annual awards event also announced the “Best of” category winners, including “Dealer of the Year” and “Customers’ Choice” awards with All County Music of Florida taking home the coveted Dealer of the Year award. Read the release here.
Friday saw the return of the Parnelli Awards to The NAMM Show. The Parnellis recognize the pioneering, influential professionals and companies for their contributions to the live production industry. The event brought together the live entertainment community in a vibrant gathering to recognize industry leaders, including David Bernstein of Rock-it-Cargo, with the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award; Peter Morse, lighting designer (Loretta Lynn, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, and others), with the Parnelli Visionary Award; and Sam Berkow, inventor of SMAART audio software with the Parnelli Innovator Award. The evening event was hosted by Jammin Jay Lamont.
Women of NAMM welcomed professionals from across the industry for a happy hour at the Westin Pool Deck. The evening concluded with an announcement of the WoN Summit and scholarship opportunity, as part of donations made to celebrate the life and legacy of Diane Martin. The WoN Summit program supports women working in the music products industry and their goals to connect, support, and grow their leadership and professional abilities. An annual leadership emersion experience will be offered with the applicants receiving the educational experience covered by the awarded scholarship.
At the TEC Awards on Saturday evening, the industry celebrated 28 categories of products and projects in the areas of Technical or Creative Achievement, and the individuals, companies and technical innovations used in sound recordings, films, broadcast television, and video games. View the complete list of winners and nominees here.
For his timeless work and artistic innovation, Peter Asher was inducted and presented with the TEC Hall of Fame award. Throughout his decades-long career in the music industry, Asher has earned the reputation of being one of the industry's most sought-after producers and performers.
Upon receipt of the award, Asher shared, “The 21st of January, 1964 was a Tuesday, and the first time I ever went into a real recording studio. I went into EMI studios on Abbey Road… By the end of that day, a few important things had happened. I decided I wanted to be a record producer because I saw what a producer could do, in terms of shaping the sounds…So I have to thank for this award, not only the TEC Committee but NAMM as a whole. And all the brilliant people who attend NAMM, and what they give us - all the great technology, the amazing instruments, the incredible inventions which sonically flourish in the hands of brilliant engineers.”
With the induction, Asher joins luminaries Leslie Ann Jones, Rose Mann Cherney, Skunk Baxter, Hal Blaine, Jack Douglas, Nathan East, Geoff Emerick, and others, the industry’s highest honor for pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians.
Pioneer and bassist extraordinaire Carol Kaye was honored with this year’s Les Paul Innovation Award, one of the night’s most anticipated honors from The Les Paul Foundation. The Foundation’s Executive Director Michael Braunstein introduced the award and noted Kaye’s impact on the musical landscape, “Carol, like Les [Paul], built a legacy that will continue to encourage all people to create incredible sounds.”
Several artists took to the stage in tribute to Kaye in a musical celebration worthy of her long and revered career. The Les Paul Innovation Award has been presented annually to remarkably distinguished individuals from the music industry, such as Jackson Browne, Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Peter Frampton and 2020’s recipient, Joni Mitchell.
The Show’s new digital extension, NAMM Show+, provided a platform for attendees to connect with each other, livestream sessions, special events and performances from across the campus. Nearly 100 sessions and special events were livestreamed from the campus, with attendees able to engage through chat, networking features and more on the platform.
The global crossroads of the music products, pro audio and entertainment technology industry will return to Anaheim April 13-15, 2023 and then again in January 2024. For additional information, please visit NAMM.org
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 www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.