Robbie Robertson Accepts The Music for Life Award at The 2017 NAMM Show



Release Date

Thu, 01/19/2017

At The 2017 NAMM Show, legendary songwriter-musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robbie Robertson (The Band, Bob Dylan) was presented with The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) “Music for Life” award for his decades of musical contributions, which have influenced musical genres, songwriting and guitarists, as well as numerous film scores, compositions and even his own autobiography, Testimony.

The award was presented during the organization’s opening “Breakfast of Champions” session by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, who introduced Robertson with acknowledgement of his illustrious career as a musical innovator: “Emerging from the melting pot of blues, jazz, folk and rock and roll, Robbie Robertson came of age during a time of great musical and social change which is still reverberating today. And with a seat at the table of some of the most memorable music moments of our lifetime, he has inspired countless to pick up an instrument and find their own voices.”

The theme of the morning was innovation and Robertson shared his perspective on what continues to drive him: “You are influenced by people you admire…No matter how long you’ve been doing something, you’re still absorbing, you’re still learning. You learn one thing and then something else comes along and it challenges you and it raises you to a new place. The challenges that make you want to wake-up early is one of the greatest gifts of life.”

The award recognizes Robert’s lifetime of contributions to music. At age 10, he picked up his first guitar and would later go on to perform with rockabilly frontman Ronnie Hawkins in his backup band, The Hawks. The band would back Bob Dylan during his trailblazing electric tours (1965-66), and also on the storied “Basement Tapes” prior to their name change to The Band. A co-founder of The Band, Robertson became a prolific songwriter, responsible for hits such as “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” among many others. Once The Band played their farewell concert, immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s 1978 film The Last Waltz, Robertson expanded his range of musical endeavors. He has made several acclaimed solo records and has continued to work with Martin Scorsese on films, including Raging Bull, The Color of Money, Casino, The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street, and Silence, to name a few.

In 1994, alongside longtime members Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Levon Helms (drums, mandolin, vocals), Garth Hudson (organ, horns) and Richard Manuel (piano, drums, vocals – posthumous inductee), The Band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Robertson would later go on to serve as a Creative Executive for DreamWorks Records and in 2011, release, How to Become Clairvoyant, a record inspired by a joint recording session with Eric Clapton.

In recent years, Robertson has focused on a different kind of storytelling, that of his autobiography, Testimony. Released in late 2016, the book documents the musician’s early musical formation on the Six Nations Reservation, life on the road, the counter-culture of the 1960s and ’70s, his extraordinary time with Dylan, the formation of The Band and his many creative endeavors. The critically acclaimed memoir was released in November 2016 and was complemented by the release of a companion CD Testimony, an anthology curated by Robertson and released on Universal Records, as well as the breathtaking 40th Anniversary editions of The Last Waltz on Rhino Records.

The “Music for Life” award is NAMM’s highest honor and recognizes individuals or organizations that exemplify NAMM’s vision of music making as a precious element of daily living for everyone. Past recipients have included business leaders, public officials and musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Yoko Ono, Henry Mancini, Smokey Robertson, and the 2016 recipient, Graham Nash. It is awarded each January during the global music products gathering, The NAMM Show, held in Anaheim, California.

Editorial images are available with credit to 'Jesse Grant/Getty Images'


Article Type

The NAMM Foundation Gifts Anaheim Elementary School District with Music


Release Date

Tue, 01/17/2017

Earlier today, The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation and its member companies shared the sound of music with district and city officials and the students of Patrick Henry Elementary School in Anaheim, California as part of the organization’s Day of Service. Held in correlation with the annual NAMM Show, the global music products tradeshow, the service event celebrated the Anaheim Elementary School District’s (AESD) commitment to music education programs and, in collaboration with NAMM Foundation members and school and district officials, helped to further the district’s efforts to provide and enhance music education for all students through a monetary donation of $10,000.

The donation was presented to Superintendent Linda Wagner and other school and city officials before a crowd of elementary school students by NAMM President and CEO, Joe Lamond; NAMM Chairman Mark Goff; and NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen.

Upon receiving the check, Superintendent Wagner shared, “Before we started this program and became involved with The NAMM Foundation, we had no instruments, no music teachers and students who were missing the opportunity for a music in the classroom. Now, we have thirteen music teachers, after-school orchestras, choirs, mariachi bands and so much more, and we’re on our way to bringing music to schools across the district.”

In 2014, the Anaheim Elementary School District launched a plan to reinstate its music education curriculum and orchestral program for its 18,500 students. In 2016, the district continued its hiring of new music teachers with a final goal of 28. In addition, the District’s Exploratory Wheel Model for Instrumental Instruction continues to expose students to a variety of musical options early in their education.

“We’re very thankful for this donation. As a teacher, I know firsthand the benefits of getting children involved in the arts as a means to find their passion” commented Ryan Ruelas, President of the Anaheim School Board. “I firmly believe that NAMM is helping us to accomplish that here, and I am very, very thankful that our children have the opportunity to find their passion through music.”

The event marked the third Day of Service in Anaheim for the NAMM Foundation and its members, many of whom participate each year. “I return each year because this is where music starts,” said David Jewell, Marketing Communications Manager, Yamaha. “To know that music education and the opportunities presented as a result of this donation can change or enhance a child’s life for the better is so powerful.”

NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond echoed that sentiment: “Members from over 125 countries will soon be in Anaheim for The NAMM Show, all with a common vision of a world where every child has a right to music and arts education. Our time in Anaheim is enriched by our participation in this Day of Service to the students and in working with the talented teachers who have dedicated their lives to this vision.”

The NAMM Foundation’s Day of Service marks the start of activities for The NAMM Show, the annual gathering of 100,000 music products industry professionals. Held January 19-22 at the Anaheim Convention Center, industry leaders from around the globe gather to launch and preview new products from every category of music making and to unite in a common mission to create a more musical world.

Editorial photos are available for use with credit to ‘Jerod Harris/Getty Images’

Article Type

Show Your Support for Music Education at The 2017 NAMM Show

Over 60 sessions await music advocates at annual show


Release Date

Mon, 12/12/2016

At the core of every NAMM member is a passionate champion for music education, and there is no better time to connect with fellow advocates, resources, and opportunities than at The 2017 NAMM Show. Each day of the show will present a multitude of events and opportunities to learn, network with peers, and to engage on topics at the fore of music education advocacy.

On Tuesday, January 17 before the show officially begins, NAMM members are invited to join their peers for a day of “advocacy in action.” The day starts with The NAMM Foundation’s Day of Service, where a contingent of NAMM members will participate in musical instruction with the students of Patrick Henry Elementary School in Anaheim. The pre-show Day of Service supports the school district’s administrators, teachers, and students with generous donations from NAMM members that will be matched by The NAMM Foundation up to $10,000 to ensure that every child has access to music during the school day.

Later that day, music education-minded members are welcome to join the first-ever Coalition on Coalitions Bootcamp. This intensive training session will provide learning resources and peer-to-peer networking to prepare music ed advocates for state-level advocacy activities. The program will offer important updates on the next stages of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law by President Obama in 2015 and approaching implementation at the state-level by 2018. The session will be held in cooperation with Foundation affiliates, Americans for the Arts (AFTA), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Once the show officially opens on Thursday, January 19, the show will welcome NAMM’s GenNext program, which fosters the development of college-aged leaders in the music industry, and includes nearly 2,000 college music students and faculty with NAMM President’s Innovation Award winners, attendees will experience a variety of sessions, speakers, events, and camaraderie curated to enhance blossoming careers and provide professional development. Alongside the emerging leaders, the show will welcome Music Education Days; in its tenth year, this annual program offers music teachers and administrators informational sessions, networking opportunities, and the chance to experience the newest innovations in school band and orchestra instruments. The Music Education Days program at The NAMM Show is open to all music teachers, school administrators, and school board members.

On Friday, January 20, important music education policy updates will be discussed as part of NAMM’s D.C. Fly In Reunion. Presented by NAMM’s Director of Government Relations Mary Luehrsen and Leo Coco, Senior Policy Advisory of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, the presentation will share important updates on “The Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) and details of the annual member 2017 Fly-In trip, scheduled to take place May 22-25, 2017.

As the day begins to wind down, the beat of The NAMM Show will come alive with sonic possibilities. At the 21st annual All-Industry Drum Circle, presented in collaboration with Remo, all NAMM Show attendees are welcome to join the party and while at it, gather ideas for fun, group-based recreational music making. Once the drum circle is in full swing, the party will continue over on the Grand Plaza stage with The NAMM Foundation’s Celebration of Music Education. Featuring former New York Yankees centerfielder, music education champion, and accomplished jazz musician Bernie Williams and his All Star Band, the act will treat attendees to a musical celebration of music education.

Saturday morning ushers in The Grand Rally for Music Education, an opportunity for all NAMM members, music educators, college students, and faculty administrators to convene to salute and celebrate the many who make music education possible. Presented in collaboration with Yamaha, the rally will feature the dynamic duo of Black Violin. Members Kev Marcus (violin) and Wil B (viola) will treat the crowd to a sonic melding of hip-hop and classical sounds as they discuss the importance of music in their own lives, along with student performances by The Perfect Fourth Quartet, a Sphinx Organization ensemble and recipients of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

On Sunday, join The NAMM Foundation for a Recreational Music Making Brunch and Learn in the ACC Member Center. Hosted by Luehrsen, the session will discuss music making as a “vital part of the human existence” as presented in the Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure. Contributing author Lee Higgins, (President of the International Society for Music Education [ISME] and Director of the International Centre for Community Music York St. John University) and co-editor Roger Mantie (Associate Professor at the Music Education School of Music, Arizona State University) will discuss the foundational elements of music making in all of us. Later in the day, NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond will moderate The Sandy Feldstein Roundtable. The panel of industry leaders will offer advice and inspiration for those seeking a career in the music industry.

Many more opportunities to champion music education await attendees at The 2017 NAMM Show. For a complete list, or to discover other ways to become involved, please visit

Article Type

Player Demand for Greater Musical Expression Fuels Five-Year Growth of Analog Synthesizers

Analog synth market sees nearly 20% growth in total retail sales since 2010


Release Date

Tue, 12/06/2016

Following three decades of digital interfaces and sampler dominance, a new generation of musicians desiring a return to warm, pure sounds are fuelling a resurgence in analog synthesizer retail sales. In the past five years alone, Moog Inc., Korg USA Inc., WMD and other brands who will present their synths and electronic products at the 2017 global music products NAMM Show have helped drive the analog synth market to a 19.9% growth in total retail sales.

The data, provided by 2016 NAMM Global Report, underscores a re-emergence of players captivated by the tactile playing experience of analog control surfaces as musicians favor working knobs, faders and other features in lieu of digital displays and computer interfaces.

“Players are realizing that an analog synth is much more of a real, honest-to-goodness musical instrument,” says Dave Smith, founder of San Francisco-based Dave Smith Instruments. Nate Tschetter, Manager of Music Product Marketing at Yamaha adds, "Many are choosing analog because it’s immediate, and while analog is definitely ‘in,’ it’s more about the ability to create unique sound and having it sound good."

Tatsuya Takahashi, Korg Synthesis Chief Engineer and designer of the company’s minilogue synth, understands the importance of unparalleled usability and musicality.Whenever I design a synth I try to break down barriers between man and machine - the musician needs to be inspired physically and emotionally to create their own music. It's evident that this thinking has resonated with current trends that turn away from difficult and complicated systems, often inside of computers, in favour for dedicated hardware that often do less functionally, but are great at what they do in a musical way.”

With professional-grade analog synths ranging from the low-hundreds to several thousands of dollars, Korg and several other makers of electronic instruments are also continuing to meet the demand by releasing new and redesigned synths at price points that are very accessible to a variety of musicians of wide-ranging backgrounds. “The power-to-affordability ratio is also phenomenally-favorable to the synth enthusiast,” says James Sajeva, director of technology brands at Korg’s Melville, NY headquarters. “In the case of a reissue [synth] you can get ‘the’ sound and workflow for a fraction of what an original - in even remotely good condition - would fetch.”

For synth pioneer Moog, Inc., the boom in sales at retail is no surprise. The company’s list of legendary synth music-makers have included The Beatles, Keith Emerson and Led Zeppelin, who utilized Moog’s music machines designed for a “particular sound and feel that hasn't been duplicated and is musically-desirable.” In a departure from the typical trade show approach, Moog Music will use their booth space at NAMM 2017 to honor the staggering number of guiding lights the synth community has lost in 2016.Through a unique digital interactive experience, Moog will encourage reflection and celebration of artists like Pauline Oliveros, Keith Emerson, Bernie Worrell, Jean Jacques Perrey, Isao Tomita, and Don Buchla.

On the whole, electronic music products were one of the strongest performing music product segments in 2015, posting near double-digit retail growth in 2015 at 9.9%. The electronic music products category, comprised of keyboard synthesizers, controller keyboards, electronic pianos, rhythm machines and electronic drums, touted a retail value of $238.3 million in 2015, and this year, the category has already reached more than $155 million through Q3. Additionally, digital pianos are enjoying a renaissance and are up 24.38% in retail sales and 13.1% in units sold over the past 10 years.

The NAMM 2016 Global Report is designed to offer the music products industry discerning industry trends and opportunities for businesses to shape their vision, business strategies, and seek out new markets. The report is compiled from independent data sources from around the world including The Music Trades magazine and the U.S. Census Bureau. This year’s Global Report compiled data from 24 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria,

Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dave Smith Instruments, Yamaha, Roland, Korg USA, Inc. Moog Inc., Verbos Electronics, Make Noise and other multiline product manufacturers will be among the more than 75 exhibitors presenting 260 different synthesizers and related equipment at The NAMM Show, being held in Anaheim, California, January 19-22.

The NAMM Show gathers 100,000 members of the music product industry from around the world to preview new products from every category of music making. Register for badges to experience more than 6,000 music product, instrument and technology brands, special events, and live entertainment. Free badge deadline is January 4, 2017, at 11:59 pm PST.

Learn more about the NAMM Show at

Media inquiries can be sent to

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Peter Asher

Legendary Producer and Manager


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