Archive for the ‘Gretsch.com’ Category

Gretsch Answers Readers’ Questions in Premier Guitar

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci

The October 2010 issue of Premier Guitar is a definite must-read. Thanks to Fred & Joe, the magazine’s monthly feature “Go Ahead and Ask” provides their readers with some great insight into the Gretsch Company and That Great Gretsch Sound!  Ten of Premier Guitar’s readers had an opportunity to ask questions of Fred Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, as well as Joe Carducci, Gretsch Guitars product specialist. Some great questions were submitted ranging from “What happened to the Electromatic version of the White Penguin?” to “What are the chances of doing a special-edition Electromatic Duo Jet with a Bigsby B70 tremolo and TV Jones pickups?”  In addition, the article gives a brief overview of the company’s amazing family legacy which began in 1883 when Friedrich Gretsch, German immigrant and great-grandfather of Fred Gretsch, opened a small music shop in Brooklyn, NY.

Premier Guitar Magazine October 2010 Cover

Another great reason to check out this issue:  the cover features Daniel Lanois’ 1950s goldtop Les Paul guitar equipped with a Bigsby B7 vibrato tailpiece!

See the entire “Go Ahead and Ask” feature here.  Learn more about the Gretsch Company’s intriguing history here.

Dinah Gretsch Establishes “Mrs. G’s Music Foundation”

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Initiative Supports Music Education In Schools

Visitors to Gretsch.com often read about the activities of Gretsch Company president Fred W. Gretsch. But as Fred would be the first to tell you, his wife Dinah is just as involved in company activities as he is. In fact, as chief financial officer of The Gretsch Company, Dinah Gretsch has been a prominent figure in the musical-instrument industry for more than thirty years.

But Dinah is much more than a key Gretsch Company officer. She is also a parent and grandparent, with an abiding love for children and a keen interest in their development. Given her connection to music, Dinah is particularly concerned with providing children the opportunity to benefit from music education. Accordingly, in June of this year she created the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation. The Foundation’s initial goal is to promote music education in schools located within the greater Savannah area, where The Gretsch Company is based.

“Budget problems have forced many schools across the country to cut out their music programs,” says Dinah. “And that’s sad. But there are many rural schools in our area that have never had music programs, and that’s a tragedy. The Mrs. G’s Music Foundation is tied in with the Savannah Community Foundation as a way to solicit funds for direct aid to those schools.”

The aid in question is being used to fund instructional music programs, as well as seminars, workshops, and concerts by visiting artists. The artist visits serve double-duty as teaching programs and motivational sessions.

Students at THA in Ridgeland, SC take part in a World Drumming Program funded by the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation.

The Foundation’s efforts were inaugurated recently at the Thomas Heyward Academy (THA), which is located near the Gretsch USA factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina. One hundred fifty students are taking part in a World Drumming Program created by noted educator Dr. William Schmidt in conjunction with drumhead and percussion manufacturer Remo, Inc. Funds were provided to supply percussion instruments and workbooks for the students, along with instructional materials for the teacher. In addition, The Gretsch Foundation—the charitable arm of the Gretsch Family—donated guitars to supply guitar students with practice instruments.

“We even refurbished a building on the campus to create a music teaching studio,” says Dinah, enthusiastically. “Now the kids not only have a music program, they also have a dedicated space for that program.”

The Mrs. G’s Music Foundation In-House Visiting Artist program brought top touring drummer Mark Schulman to THA. Schulman played drums, gave an inspirational talk, and spent time with the students.

The Foundation’s In-House Visiting Artist program was also inaugurated at Thomas Heyward Academy with a presentation this past September 10 by top drummer and Gretsch endorser Mark Schulman. Mark has played with such artists as Cher, Foreigner, and Sheryl Crow, and he’s currently touring with pop superstar Pink.

The Thomas Heyward Academy students packed the school’s gym to watch Mark play drums and give an inspirational speech. He spoke to the students about always staying positive, stressing that a good attitude and good behavior will lead to a good life. Mark also believes in the inspiration of music, citing studies that show how students who play music have improved math and English scores. “Music inspires so much joy and such an ability to create,” he said. “Every component of your being wins when you’re playing music.”

Schulman relinquished the drum seat to Heyward Academy sophomore Jacob Rountree for a lively jam session.

But Mark wasn’t the only star of the show. When he asked if any student wanted to sing with him, Jacob Rountree stepped forward. But Jacob didn’t want to sing—he wanted to play the drums. The fifteen-year-old sophomore started playing drums when he was ten, gave it up for awhile, but got back into it about a year ago. When Mark heard that Jacob was a drummer, he stepped aside and let the youngster jam.

"Mrs. G"—Dinah Gretsch—and Joe Robinson

Mark’s dynamic presentation at Thomas Heyward Academy was followed on September 30 with an all-day seminar/workshop and an afternoon concert featuring rising guitar star Joe Robinson. Joe was the winner of the Australia’s Got Talent TV competition in 2008—at the age of sixteen—and he’s already made a name for himself within the Nashville musical community.  His attendance at the school caught the attention of local media.

Six more artist presentations are planned for this year.

Dinah Gretsch (the real-life “Mrs. G”) with Mauldin Sauls, whose logo design will be used for the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation.

Dinah Gretsch also gave students at Thomas Heyward Academy the opportunity to design a logo for her new foundation, to be featured on all written materials and promotional items. The winning design, by eighth-grader Mauldin Sauls, was selected from a large group by Mark Schulman. Mauldin received a $500 prize for her efforts.

The World Drumming Program has also been instituted at Savannah’s Notre Dame Academy. At that location the Mrs. G’s Foundation will also fund the music teacher.

“We want to broaden the scope of the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation as much as possible,” says Dinah Gretsch, “in order to help as many kids as we can. So we’re coordinating with North Carolina’s “Music For Learning” program in a 50/50 funding partnership to put music education into six different Head Start daycare centers in Savannah. We’ll be working with other projects in the future.

Dinah Gretsch and Joe Robinson with Nikki Davis, THA's Music Teacher.

“I believe that music has the power to change children’s lives for the better,” Dinah concludes. “And if we can reach young children with that power, we can set them on a positive path for the rest of their lives. I have the time and the connections with which to implement the Mrs. G’s Music Foundation . . . and the children provide me with the motivation. I think it’s going to be a very productive combination.”

Joe Robinson Scheduled to Perform

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Mrs. G’s Music Foundation proudly presents . . .

JOE ROBINSON
“AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT” 2008 WINNER

Performing at the Thomas Heyward Academy
Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.
1727 Malphrus Road, Ridgeland, SC 29936

Music lovers who are planning to be in the area are invited to attend.

Standing Room Only!

Mrs. G’s Music Foundation was established by Dinah Gretsch with the goal of enriching children’s lives through music.  Stay tuned for more information about this great new program and about a recent clinic held by Mark Schulman.

ABOUT JOE ROBINSON:
“HAVING QUICKLY ENTRENCHED HIMSELF AS AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST MUSIC PHENOMENON – JOE ROBINSON IS TRULY A VIRTUOSO MUSICIAN.  HIS JAW DROPPING INSTRUMENTAL STYLINGS HAVE GARNERED THE ATTENTION OF MANY GUITAR MASTERS, INCLUDING LES PAUL, STEVE VAI, BRAD PAISLEY, TOMMY EMMANUEL, BRENT MASON, LEE RITENOUR, STEVE CROPPER AND DWEEZIL ZAPPA.  AT A YOUNG AGE JOE HAS PLAYED HEADLINE SHOWS IN MAJOR CENTERS ALL OVER THE GLOBE – INCLUDING LONDON, NEW YORK, HELSINKI, BUDAPEST, SYDNEY, BERLIN, MILAN, VIENNA, BANGKOK, ROME AND AMSTERDAM.  AS AN AWARD WINNING AND PROLIFIC SONGWRITER/COMPOSER, FEARLESS AND ENERGETIC PERFORMER AND HUMBLE, LIKEABLE INDIVIDUAL – ROBINSON SEEMS DESTINED FOR GREATNESS.”

Noteworthy Art Now in Savannah

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

As part of the 21st Annual Savannah Folk Music Festival scheduled from October 8 to 10 in Savannah, Georgia, a special collection of guitars painted by Savannah artists will be on exhibit at the Visitors Center on Ellis Square.  The Noteworthy Art display will run through October 8, daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Exhibited items, including a guitar painted by well-known singer/songwriter Joni Bishop, will be auctioned at two Festival events:  Folkfest on Friday, October 8 in Ellis Square, and a Concert in Grayson Stadium on Sunday, October 10.  Funds raised by these auctions will benefit the upcoming Festival and will help ensure that the annual event continues as a free and open-to-the-public program of the Savannah Folk Music Society.

Savannah artists participating this year include Kathy Miller, Barbara Gentry, Grace Rohland, John Mitchell, Albert Seidl, Bobby Bagley, Ila Scholla, Sue Nichols, Emma Knight, Laura Cody, Alaine Daniel and Tal Willis.  In addition, guitars signed by Jackson Browne, Patty Larkin, Jonathon Edwards, Karla Bonoff, and others will be auctioned at both the Folkfest event on October 8 and the Concert on October 10.

In other fundraising efforts, three artist-signed Gretsch instruments were recently auctioned on eBay. The first, a Gretsch “Chicago” 5-string banjo signed by folk music icon Pete Seeger, and the other two Gretsch Historic Series G3203 acoustic-electric guitars, the first signed by Doc Watson and the second by Ritchie Havens.  These and several of the other signed instruments were donated by the Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch family.

For further information, contact Hank Weisman at 912-786-6953 or visit www.savannahfolk.org.

KMC Announces “The Gretsch Drums Woodshed is Open”

Monday, September 20th, 2010

From the 9/8/10 edition of KMC Music’s eNewsletter:

Gretsch Drums has recently established a new integrated social media site called The Gretsch Drums Woodshed. Why the term “woodshed?” Woodshed is a widely accepted term used by drummers to refer to their personal drum practice space.

The woodshed is a place for any drummer and/or music fan to connect and exchange ideas, videos, images, etc. The layout is built upon contemporary social sites, so navigation is very intuitive and easy to use. Within the Woodshed is a forum that will function very much the same as other drum forums. It’s a great place to hear firsthand from drummers who play Gretsch and what makes their relationship with their instrument so special. Gretsch Drums invites all drummers to connect in the “Shed” and share their drumming experiences.

Check it out here!

Mark Schulman Visits Musician’s Warehouse in Athens, GA

Monday, September 20th, 2010

By special correspondent and 6th Generation Gretsch Family member, Will Gretsch

On Monday, September 13, Mark Schulman displayed his jaw-dropping drumming to the people of Athens, GA at the Musician’s Warehouse. Jamming on a new Gretsch Renown Maple Series kit, he inspired the audience to play drums with not only passion but with the right “attitude”.

Left to Right: 6th & 5th generation Gretsch family members Will Gretsch and Fred Gretsch Jr. with Mark Schulman and Ed Magruder (owner of Musician's Warehouse) and Don Waylett (KMC Music District Sales Manager).

Mark’s clinic featured a state of the art audio visual presentation with him playing along to a series of tracks accompanied by exciting video montages.  His performances across a wide variety of musical styles demonstrated his comprehensive knowledge of music from many different cultures.

Mark explained how he developed his “attitude” at a young age, playing cello in front of his entire school. One moment in particular made him realize the power of being able to play an instrument. After performing in front of the whole school, he explained how he was dreading going back into the classroom for fear of the ridicule and scorn his classmates would surely bestow upon him. Hands shaking, Mark grasped the knob and opened the door awaiting his embarrassment. Instead, to his surprise, he received a standing ovation from his classmates for his outstanding performance. This experience would shape Mark’s attitude forever.

Mark also explained how his love for drumming came from one of the most famous moments in music history.  Replaying footage of the legendary 1964 appearance by The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, Mark told of how he instantly fell in love with drums and drumming. The fans screaming, Ringo’s head shaking, girls crying; the young Mark Schulman knew that playing the drums was what he wanted to do. It inspired him to pick up a pair of sticks and get his first kit, a cheap Sears Catalogue drum set.

Mark continued to impress upon the audience the importance of having a positive attitude and it was evident whenever Mark was in the room, because he brings it with him in everything he does.  Judging by the expressions on the audiences’ faces, Mark’s clinic was a huge success.

The event was also a special occasion because it gave me and my Father, 5th generation Gretsch family member Fred Gretsch Jr., the opportunity to meet a great friend and ambassador of The Gretsch Company.  It was also wonderful to be able to hear just how great the instruments which have been my family’s legacy for over 125 years sound in the hands of such a wonderful musician.  Finally, Mark signed autographs for everyone who attended and offered one very important final piece of advice saying, “Play what you love; for me, I love Gretsch!”

New Classic Ocean Sparkle Burst

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

New Classic in Ocean Sparkle Burst

Gretsch’s New Classic series is now available in a shimmering Ocean Sparkle Burst lacquer finish. This hand applied lacquer finish uses Gretsch’s exclusive Mixed Sparkle Technology, incorporating a meticulous blend of small, medium and large sparkles. The blue color burst pattern features gradual shade transitions accompanying the sparkle flake transitions. Shell color goes from deep blue at the top and bottom to a turquoise shade in the middle of the shell, radiating a rich and glittering finish.

New Classic series drums include proportionate shells that increase in thickness with the shell diameter, producing full, balanced tonality across the entire drum set. Sophisticated appointments include vintage styled tube lugs, very low mass “ITS” integrated tom suspension system and 9025-hinged tom and floor tom leg brackets. Die-cast hoops and Silver Sealer shell interiors are included. Add on drums available.

Click here for configurations.

Gretsch Guitars at Abbey Road on the River

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Beatlemania invaded the nation’s capital once again and Gretsch Guitars was there.  The “Abbey Road on the River”  festival happened in the Washington, D.C. area over the Labor Day weekend and featured a near-constant lineup of bands, guest speakers, films, contests and other special events, all of which were staged to celebrate the still-thriving legacy of the Beatles.

Billed as “the world’s largest Beatles-inspired music festival,” Abbey Road on the River took place from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center hotel in National Harbor, MD.  Gretsch co-sponsored the event.

Gretsch girl Kim Falcon was on hand for photos and to sign autographs. Gretsch Guitars also presented Hal Bruce and the Hard Dazed Knights in concert, who played 214 Beatles songs as a single continuous medley with no breaks or intermission.

Gretsch enthusiasts enjoyed a personal appearance by Fred Gretsch and Gretsch product specialist Joe Carducci. They presented the Gretsch Guitars Experience, sharing behind-the-scenes stories about Gretsch history—which included the Beatles—and a multimedia presentation of the sights and sounds of Gretsch.

Abbey Road on the River takes place twice a year, once in Louisville, KY over Memorial Day weekend and then again in National Harbor, MD (Washington, D.C.) over Labor Day weekend.  Mark our calendar now for 2011 and we’ll see you there.

Click here to watch videos from the event.