Euro-based, Australian singer-songwriter Joel Havea is about to begin his 2016 summer Australian tour before heading back to Germany to complete a new album. AM’s Greg Phillips caught up with Joel on Skype prior to the tour to see what he’s been up to. Like any independent artist competing with…
Music Industry Hits High Notes at 2016 NAMM Show
Innovation meets time-tested craftsmanship for a record-breaking NAMM Show, where the global music product industry came together around the power of music
The music industry returns home to businesses worldwide with innovative ideas and products that will bring the power of music to the masses. Held January 21-24, NAMM welcomed a record number of exhibitors and registrants to Anaheim, CA. Hundreds of new-to-NAMM companies paired with an increase in global interest, and those quintessential “only at NAMM” moments made for what many NAMM members called the most exciting NAMM Show in the association’s 115-year history.
“As we look at the record number of exhibiting brands, influx of new entrepreneurial spirit and attendance from 125 countries, the industry seems poised for vital growth and breakthroughs,” said NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond. “The NAMM Show is a reflection of our industry, not only where it is now, but even more importantly where it is heading next. NAMM members brought their A-game to Anaheim this week with creative, innovative, beautiful products. They also came with inquisitive minds, filling NAMM’s educational sessions all four days.”
As the scope of music making expands, so do the number of brands that depend on the NAMM Show platform to unveil new products. This year’s show was the largest and most inclusive event in the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) 115-year history. A record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands brought the entrepreneurial spirit to life. The energy was palatable, with a 7% increase in exhibiting companies over 2015’s event.
A mix of NAMM member buyers and retail employees, exhibitors, media, artists, NAMM members’ invited guests, NAMM’s Generation Next (college music students) and Music Education Day participants (school music teachers) resulted in a record 101,736NAMM Show registrants. This is a 2% increase over last year’s record-setting event.
For buyers worldwide, NAMM is the ultimate music store. “We’re shopping our established vendors – like Yamaha – buying combo, band & orchestra and looking for what is new,” said Steve Ceo, general manager, C. A. House Music in Ohio. “I like to see people, build relationships, and meet face-to-face with the heads of brands – it makes a difference. Sure, our reps will come to see us, but here we are able to see the excitement of the industry, see what everyone is doing and how it comes together – it is amazing!”
This year according to longtime NAMM Show exhibitors, buyers arrived ready to buy, many writing orders at the show. “We’ve been swamped! We expanded our booth to have more room and it filled up right away with customers…like it is supposed to (with a smile),” said Greg Deering, president and co-founder, Deering Banjos. “Mostly we are seeing retail store owners and they are writing a lot of orders. Our sales this show are up over average, our numbers are really good.”
The number of new companies relying on the NAMM show platform grew again, representing 409 of the total exhibiting companies. In addition to the new-to-NAMM names, 174 companies returned after a lapse of a year or more.
The busy 2016 show provided many emerging brands with the ideal launch pad to meet new partners. “This is my first show and we’re really enthusiastic. It’s our first time to be able to make a good impression on buyers face-to-face. Many people have stopped by our booth in hall E. This morning (Thursday) I’ve already talked to five quality distributors who were extremely interested in our product,” said Renaud Sauzedde, Wild Custom Guitars, France.
One distributor explained how attending NAMM fuels her business year-round. “Over the years the market has changed along with how we do business. Coming here we can observe and keep up with those changes. We also find new brands to represent, of course. And we can ask our peers who might already represent these new brands for the experience in their markets, helping us to assess whether we can be successful with them too,” said Lynette McCullough, Keynote Music Sales, Ireland. “The timing is also so vital – it’s the beginning of a new year, we get inspiration, fresh ideas, and renewed vitality for the year ahead.”
Increases in International
The NAMM Show’s global stature grew with 15,915 international registrants traveling to Anaheim from abroad, a 20% increase over 2015. Attendees came from every corner of the globe representing 125 different countries.
“Instead of going to various other shows we can see all the new products in one place, meeting old and new suppliers. It’s very important for our relationships with existing suppliers that we come, and good for us to see new suppliers who come here, to keep expanding our business,” said Uche Ezeani, owner, De-Saints View International Co. Ltd., a distributor and retailer from Nigeria. “And since we sell to both other retailers and to end consumers it is vital to have access to the latest products first hand. I think we are regarded to be one of the best shops in Nigeria and it gives us a competitive advantage. Coming to the NAMM Show also means having the choice of the best quality of products. It’s not all about the money though this is also about making and keeping friends. It’s like a big school reunion.”
Exhibitors noted the international feel. “Half of the buyers we’ve been seeing are international, from places like Germany, Sweden, Israel…it’s definitely a worldwide event,” Paul Vercellotti, Avid. “And this event is a whole lot of fun. It’s the excitement and passion that gives this show a different vibe versus other trade shows.”
While retailers and distributors come to NAMM to make purchase decisions, the show is also the place to see the big picture of where the industry is heading, and spot potential growth areas for the year ahead.
A trend in analog synthesizers made a major statement this year with a bustling neighborhood of small modular synthesizer brands and more established companies making it a focus. “The biggest thing is the analog synthesizer,” Mike Adams, president, Moog Music. “We’re all seeing the change in the market, the analog synthesizer is a big thing.”
The growth story for fretted instruments continued in 2015, with electric starting to catch up to its acoustic brethren’s hot growth. “We’re adding lots of new electric strings – electric guitars are starting to make a comeback,” Jeff Sefton, president, Butler Music in Missouri. And the balance between analog and digital continues with greater variety in both. Sefton added, “We’re integrating more analog-we tailor more to the entry/mid-level player, and they tend to want more low-end digital and some analogue pedals.”
The percussion world held a steady beat with buying interest meeting star power for many brands. The biggest drummers of our time including Questlove, Josh Dun, Tré Cool, Stewart Copeland, Carmine Appice, Josh Devine and many more stopped by the show.
With demos on every corner and big crowds, the DJ and pro audio software market appeared vibrant throughout. “I’m looking for new DJ controllers, headphones, speakers…this is the main show for us audio buyers,” said Kyle Kjensrud, Audio Category Buyer, Full Compass Systems.
NAMM Show Moments
Then there are those moments, moments that only happen at a NAMM Show, when you look over and a legendary artist is demoing an instrument right next to you. With hundreds of major stars attending the show to support their brand partners, there were more of those moments this year than ever before.
Where other than NAMM does the day start with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent, and Graham Nash on the same stage, as it did on NAMM’s morning NAMM U Breakfast of Champions. Legendary musician and songwriter Graham Nash shared personal anecdotes from his more than 50 years in music with a crowd of 1,522 industry leaders. “Graham Nash was breathing the spirit of NAMM and importance of music education, the importance keeping music in schools fresh,” said Anthony Cutietta, San Diego Music Studios.
“Weird Al” Yankovic hopped on stage for the inaugural NAMM Foundation Grand Rally for Music Education sharing honest insights and some laughs about his creative process with college students and educators. Evening award events including the 31st annual NAMM TEC Awards featuring Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Don Was, and Nathan East to the She Rocks Awards featuring Jennifer Batten, Amy Heidemann of Karmin and Chaka Khan added to the star-studded trade show’s allure.
The NAMM Nissan Grand Plaza Stage sparkled under a nearly full moon starting off with an intimate performance by Graham Nash. Dr. John & The Nite Trippers headlined the NAMM Foundation Celebration of Music Education in association with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Imagine Party on Friday. Saturday capped off with a sing-along set of classic rock hits by The Legends.
After the session, Nash headed out to a bustling NAMM Show, saying that his life’s work couldn’t happen without the businesses at NAMM, “I’m constantly drawn to the fact that these people are an incredible link in the communication chain. They play a very important role and we can’t do what we do without them. I know that and am very grateful for that.”
Next Up Summer NAMM returns to Nashville’s beautiful Music City Center on June 23-25. Global growth opportunities abound at NAMM Musikmesse Russia, September 15-18 and ProLight + Sound NAMM Russia, September 15-17. The NAMM Show returns to Anaheim, January 19–22, 2017. Then in 2018, the global music product industry will return to Anaheim with room to grow into the new, modern wing of the Anaheim Convention Center that is currently under construction.
Dave Mustaine ain’t happy with the state of the world and he wants to tell you about it. In fact he does so in an intensely fabulous way on the spirited new Megadeth album ‘Dystopia’. We sent Channel 31’s ‘Guitar Gods & Masterpieces’ TV show host Hack Wanger along to…
Jim from Gibson presents a detailed look into the construction of the 2016 range of Gibson guitars at their NAMM 2016 booth. Distributed in Australia by http://www.gibsonami.com/
With the 30-watt Blues Cube Hot, guitarists can tap into Roland’s acclaimed Tube Logic tone in the most compact Blues Cube combo amp. Alex Hutchings demonstrates the Roland Blues Cube Hot amplifier at NAMM 2016. Introduced by Australian Musician’s Rob Walker. http://www.rolandus.com/products/blues_cube_hot/
Melbourne Zoo Twilights Series 2016 kicks Friday 29th January
San Cisco / Last Dinosaurs now SOLD OUT
Tickets on sale now from zoo.org.au/twilights
The Melbourne Zoo Twilight series kicks off on Friday 29th and has been selling amazingly well. Perth’s San Cisco and Brisbane’s Last Dinosaurs show is now sold out alongside a number of the other shows including The Waifs, José González, John Butler Trio x 2, and Birds of Tokyo with many of the other shows selling fast.
Kicking off this week with Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd, with special guest Vic Simms, Friday night and the undeniably gorgeous sounds of The Waifs, with special guest Ruby Boots, on Saturday, the stage is set to heat up every Friday and Saturday night from January 29 – March 12, 2016, with a mix of International and homegrown favorites. Filling the space with heavenly scents, the food vans return with their kitchens serving up a selection of mouthwatering Japanese, Indian and American delights.
Melbourne Zoo Twilights is a fully licensed event, with a great selection of delicious meals, snacks, coffee, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and deserts, all available for purchase in the Taste of Twilights dining area. You can also bring your own picnic, but strictly NO BYO alcohol or glass. You can opt for the no-fuss glam approach and pre-purchase a delicious food hamper when you purchase your tickets online.
Tickets to all shows include full access to the Zoo before the show begins: be sure to arrive early and wander among the many exhibits before you settle in for a night of awesome music.
The 2016 program once again serves up a vast array of acts to satisfy every musical palate. Featuring:
Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd with special guest Vic Simms, The Waifs with special guest Ruby Boots, José González with special guests Tiny Ruins, John Butler Trio with special guests Tinpan Orange, Josh Pyke with special guests Winterbourne, Birds Of Tokyo with special guests Fractures, Jebediah with special guest Glenn Richards (of Augie March), Mark Seymour & The Undertow with special guest Ben Salter, San Cisco + Last Dinosaurs, Kasey Chambers with special guest Karise Eden, two sets made up of stories and songs from Colin Hay, C.W. Stoneking with special guest Marlon Williams, Björn Again and Belinda Carlisle with special guests Pseudo Echo.
Melbourne Zoo Twilights 2016: Melbourne Zoo, Elliott Ave Parkville VIC, for more information, line-up and ticketing details please go to: zoo.org.au/twilights
Melbourne Zoo Twilights 2016
Tickets on Sale Now from zoo.org.au/twilights
Friday January 29 Far From Folsom Featuring Tex Perkins and The Tennessee Four with Rachael Tidd
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Vic Simms
Saturday January 30 The Waifs SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Ruby Boots
Friday February 5 José González SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Tiny Ruins
Saturday February 6 John Butler Trio SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Tinpan Orange
Sunday February 7 John Butler Trio SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Tinpan Orange
Friday February 12 Josh Pyke SELLING FAST
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Winterbourne
Saturday February 13 Birds Of Tokyo SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Fractures
Friday February 19 Jebediah
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Glenn Richards (from Augie March)
Saturday February 20 Mark Seymour & The Undertow
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Ben Salter
Friday February 26 San Cisco + Last Dinosaurs SOLD OUT
Doors open 5.30pm
Saturday February 27 Kasey Chambers
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Karise Eden
Friday March 4 Colin Hay
Doors open 5.30pm
Saturday March 5 C.W. Stoneking SELLING FAST
Doors open 5.30pm with special guest Marlon Williams
Friday March 11 Björn Again
Doors open 5.30pm
Saturday March 12 Belinda Carlisle SELLING FAST
Doors open 5.30pm with special guests Pseudo Echo
Australian Musician is pleased to catch up with Aussie expat guitarman Gwyn Ashton once again. Gywn paid his dues in Australia throughout the 80s and 90s playing with local music legends such as Stevie Wright, Jim Keays and Swanee. He left our shores in 1996 and has gigged extensively in…
Mike Himmel demonstrates the Waza Craft amp at NAMM 2016. Introduced by Australian Musician’s Rob Walker. http://www.bossus.com/promos/waza_amplifier
Sarah demonstrates the Boss VO-1 Vocoder pedal backed by Jordan on the EC-10 EL Cajon at NAMM 2016. Introduced by Australian Musician’s Rob Walker. http://au.boss.info/products/vo-1/
Richard Bunze from Godin shows us the Seagull S8 Mandolin. Godin and Seagull distributed in Australia by www.dynamicmusic.com.au