NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, California – Not Just A Music Merchant Show; A Reunion!!!

Ed Sheeran [P.C. GettyImages]
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NAMM at Anaheim Center 2019 [P.C. GettyImages]

 NAMM at Anaheim Center 2019 [P.C. GettyImages] Anaheim Convention Center.

Each year while attending the NAMM Show [National Association of Music Merchants Show] the attendees express excitement regarding the updates on new, innovative technology, equipment, clinics, and recording software. That said, the one thing that is most expressed is how each attendee looks forward to reuniting with their friends from the industry, and how this show allows each of them to keep in touch.

Running into musicians, film composers, and celebrities was inevitable at NAMM: Chad Lamar, guitarist for the band Trauma Theory said, “NAMM, It’s like a class reunion you want to go to each year.” Another incredible musician, GiGi Gonaway, Drummer (Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, and the latest and best) stated, “NAMM is a place to see the latest cutting edge gear, connect with friends, and to thank all the companies for their continued support. Thank you NAMM!” Erick Schroder (Film Composer) expressed that, “NAMM provides the wonderful opportunity to see what new tech is coming out and the ability to stay on the cutting edge with the newest tools. It truly is a melting pot of creative talents and a wonderful place to network and reconnect with old industry friends.” 

Ed Sheeran [P.C. GettyImages]

The fun began this year on Thursday, January 24th, and ran through Sunday, January 27th 2019. What another amazing year. So much to see and do that there is never enough time to fit it all in. Everyone from celebrities, musicians, audio professionals, producers, engineers, and event technology professionals attend this event. It was estimated that 115, 301 registered attendees from over 120 countries would pass through the doors of this event throughout the four day span.

The events began on Thursday, the 24th, and many clinics were held in different areas of the show. Some Thursday highlights consisted of: Birth of a Record: Cheap Trick “Live at Budakon, and Tec Tracks – everything from engineer extraordinaire Chris lord-Alge to building a profitable home studio.

Some major artists who attended NAMM and conducted Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions were: Carlos Santana, spoke at the PRS booth, Ed Sheeran, standing next to George Lowden as shown in picture, also was launching a new line of acoustics at the Lowden booth, Prestige unveiled signature Bass from Eric Bass (Shinedown ) continued by a Q&A session, EBS presented the Billy Sheehan Ultimate Signature Drive followed by a Q & A, and many more throughout the four day show.

Each day there were many events lined-up, some Friday events, to list a few were: the Yamaha All-Star concert; The Parnelli Awards – hosted by legendary drummer: Kenny Aronoff ; and the She Rocks Awards, by WiMN, to honor women for their contributions and leadership within the music industry. This event, however, was off site and held at: The House of Blues, Anaheim, California.

There were many female musicians attending NAMM, and one was Angeline Saris (Bass player) who was at the Framus & Warwick booth (Anaheim Convention Center, Hall D). While at the booth she signed autographs and took pictures next to her Warwick Bass; she also performed with James Nash at the Santa Cruz booth, and was interviewed by Guitar Girl Magazine and added to the cover of the magazine. Angeline said, “NAMM can be pretty overwhelming, but only because it provides so much opportunity in one place. I love getting to reconnect with my musical community around the world, check out the latest new gear, and hear great music!”

Saturday was packed with so many amazing events it was difficult to decide what to cover first. Many clinics, events, and Q&A’s from different artists were offered. Neal Preston, Led Zeppelin’s official tour photographer, discussed his time on tour with the band. He also answered questions about his time on the road with other bands such as: Queen, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and many more. Additionally, on the NAMM Yamaha Grand Plaza stage, Elle King brought an eclectic blend of rock-n-roll, pop, and blues.

While strolling along the aisle of NAMM it would have been impossible to miss the spiritual energy illuminating from Darryl Anders from the band AgapeSoul (Darryl explained, “Agape is the Latin word for Gods unconditional love”). Darryl’s new CD (Conversations) hit number one in the UK (Twice), and just hit number one in the United States on the Indie Soul Chart. AgapeSoul members consist of: Darryl Anders (Bass), Cam Perridge (Guitar), Zoe Ellis (Vocals), and Aaron Green (Drums).

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 24: Carlos Santana speaks at the PRS booth during the 2019 NAMM Show opening day at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 24, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)

Saturday night was on fire! The most sought after event was: Ultimate NAMM Night (presented by RCF) held at the Hilton Anaheim California Ballroom, which featured 80 artists including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big-Apollo-Winery Dogs); Steve Via; Rikki Rockett (Poison); Phil X (Bon Jovi); Dough Aldrich (White Snake-Dio-The Dead Daisies), and many more.

Additionally, Saturday night’s 34th Annual NAMM Tec Awards, hosted by Comedian: Demetri Martin, recognized and gave awards to: Peter Frampton – Les Paul Innovation Award. The Grammy Award-winning guitarist also performed at the show. Skywalker Sound’s, Leslie Ann Jones –Inducted to NAMM Tec Hall of Fame; and many more professionals within the industry were honored and given awards.

Angeline Saris Guitar Girl Magazine Cover 2019 Calendar [P.C. Sarah Felker]

The last day, Sunday, continued with events even though the show was slowly wrapping up. First thing in the morning was the breakfast session: Best In Show (Anaheim Hilton, Pacific Ballroom), Dynaudio Unheard (Grand Plaza), The future of Music According to Craig Anderton (Anaheim Hilton, California Ballroom A), and in the afternoon: Tec Tracks Keynote : Derek Smalls, Interviewed by CJ Vanston (Anaheim Hilton, California Ballroom B), Don Lewis: Defining Moments of the Synth Revolution (Anaheim Hilton, California Ballroom B), and All-Industry Guitar Circle (Anaheim Convention Center Level 1, NAMM Member Center).

Throughout the four days artist’s’ walking around would hand out fliers on their bands and upcoming show events. One artist, Cameron Weekly (Singer) shared how his brother was the one who convinced him to start singing and the Band Silverchord (album: State of Mind) with Rhett’s Klagge (guitar), Austin D’Amond (drums) was formed; the rest is history. Another group that goes by the name JUNK, which consists of Billy Blair (Lead guitar –Vocals), Benjamin Bachman (Vocals), David Dunlevy (Guitar-Vocals), and Phil Sahs (Bass Guitar) were full of energy with a presence to embrace; one could not just walk by these guys without engaging and embracing their vibe.

Additionally, an up-and-coming acoustic artist GOH (aka: Goh Kurosawa -Rock, Jazz, and familiar melodies) who resides in Los Angeles was attending the NAMM show to help promote Elite Acoustics: Rechargeable Digital Mixer, Mini PA’s and Acoustic Amplifiers. GOH expressed his gratitude, “Glad I was at NAMM; and thank you to Mimi for stopping at Elite Acoustics!”

Upon departure many expressed a big, “Thank you NAMM for another amazing year!” Many good-byes were witnessed, and many well wishes until next year’s meet-up at the show for 2020. To register for membership or keep updated on all upcoming events go to:

Junk: Billy Blair, Benjamin Bachman, Phil Sahs, and David Dunlevy [P.C. Billy Blair]
GOH [P.C. Mimi Amaral]
Darryl and AgapeSoul [P.C. Nino Fernandez
GiGi at his Drumms [P.C. Evan Dunning]
Eric Bass Player [P.C. Adrian O’Brien]


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