Archive for the ‘Gretsch Events’ Category

Read Expanded NAMM Show Coverage

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The 2010 NAMM musical instrument show was held this past January 14 through 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This annual event, sponsored by the International Music Products Association, is America’s largest trade show for the showcasing of musical instruments and accessories.

Gretsch Drums On Display

Gretsch Drums had plenty of great new gear to showcase at this year’s NAMM show. Here are just a few highlights:

US Custom Kits

Gretsch 2010 Ltd Ed USA Custom Black & Silver

Gretsch 2010 Ltd Ed USA Custom Black and Silver (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

Two new Limited Edition USA Custom kits headed up the new-product introductions. One featured an 18×22 bass drum, 8×10 and 9×10 toms, a 16×16 floor tom, and a 6½x14 ten-lug snare—each with a black lacquer finish and silver-sparkle inlays. The other featured a 14×18 bass drum, an 8×12 tom, a 14×14 floor tom, and a 5½ x14 eight-lug snare—all in a classy white finish with a gold sparkle inlays and gold-plated hardware. Each configuration will be limited to thirty total kits worldwide.

New Renown Maple Finish

Gretsch Renown Maple Ruby Sparkle Fade

Gretsch Renown Maple Ruby Sparkle Fade (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

The Gretsch Renown Maple series now offers a striking new finish called Ruby Sparkle Fade. It features mixed-size sparkle flakes that catch and reflect light differently so as to give the finish extra depth and richness. Three sizes of flakes are carefully applied in descending size—large to medium to small. Then each drum is hand-sprayed with a customized ruby red-to-ebony black fade paint. A highly detailed, multi-step lacquering process provides the final touch for a gleaming finish.

Stanton Moore Signature Snare

Stantion Moore Signature Snare

Stanton Moore Signature Snare (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

Gretsch artist Stanton Moore has developed a reputation for his distinctive blend of New Orleans-influenced funky snare-drum grooves. Now Gretsch has collaborated with Stanton to create a snare drum that projects that swampy, nuanced style. The Stanton Moore Signature snare features a single-ply solid-maple shell with reinforcement hoops, thirty-degree bearing edges, eight tuning lugs, a Dunnett throw-off, 42-strand snares, and a gloss natural finish emblazoned with Stanton’s signature. The drum is designed to provide quick response, varying timbres, and a distinctive overall tonality.

Fred And Dinah Gretsch Meet The CoverBand 2010 Drum Winner

A special treat for Fred and Dinah Gretsch was the opportunity to congratulate Didi Negron of Northampton, Pennsylvania, who was the winning drummer in the CoverBand 2010 contest presented by Musician’s Friend and Latin Percussion. Gretsch Drums was a contributing sponsor for the online competition.

CoverBand 2010 Winner Didi Negron

CoverBand 2010 Winning Drummer Didi Negron (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

The contest invited individual musicians and vocalists to upload a two-minute video to coverband2010.com between July 15 and September 15 of last year. A general-public vote determined the finalists. A panel of celebrity judges then selected the winners.

A trip to Anaheim to perform at the NAMM show was part of the prize for the seven winning CoverBand members. For twenty-three-year-old Didi Negron, that was just part of the thrill. She also received a brand-new Gretsch Catalina Ash drumkit, along with the chance to meet Fred and Dinah Gretsch personally. (Didi’s prize package also included Sabian HHX cymbals and a Gibraltar Stealth rack system.)

Dinah Gretsch was particularly pleased to meet Didi, since female participation in music is an issue that’s near and dear to Dinah’s heart. When Dinah asked Didi how she came to be a drummer, Didi replied, “I grew up with music in my family. My dad plays guitar and bass, and there was a lot of music in our church. When I was around eight I started playing along to records. I developed rudimental drumming skills when I was in my school marching band. When I was a teenager I started playing drumset and percussion, and things just went from there.”

Things went pretty far, as a matter of fact. Didi’s self-taught drumming skills were impressive enough to earn a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston. Now in her second year, she’s studying with such well-known drummers as Ralph Peterson, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Dave DiCenso, and Eddie Castillo. Not surprisingly, Didi’s goal is to become a professional drummer/percussionist. “It’s all I’ve ever really thought about,” she said.

Didi’s entry for the CoverBand 2010 contest displayed the influence of her Berklee instructors, along with a substantial amount of her own talent and originality. Her two-minute video was a mix of Latin, pop, and fusion-esque styles that burned and grooved at the same time. “I love to solo,” said Didi, “but I love a pocket, too. So for my contest entry I decided to show the groove . . . show the chops . . . just do it all!”

Stephen Ferrone & Gretsch Drums In Concert

An annual highlight of the NAMM show is an after-hours concert called Sabian Live!, presented by the Sabian Cymbal Company (and co-sponsored by Gretsch Drums). This year’s event opened and closed with Gretsch artists.

Sabian Live! Drummer    Photo by Rick Van Horn

Sabian Live! Drummer (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

The opening act was a band of teenage musicians from the Little Kids Rock music-education program. Their performance was powered by a young drummer playing on a Gretsch Catalina Ash kit. What the band lacked in experience they made up for in enthusiasm, and their two-song set was well received by the audience.

At the absolute opposite of the experience scale was the evening’s closer: Stephen Ferrone & The Master Volume All-Stars. Made up of the cream of LA’s studio scene, the band was anchored by its namesake drummer, whose credits include the Average White Band, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and hundreds of studio projects.

Stephen Ferrone  (Photo by Jules Follett)

Stephen Ferrone (Photo by Jules Follett)

The evening’s audience was treated to a widely varying repertoire that included songs from all of Ferrone’s previous groups, as well as tunes by guest artists. These included “You Need a Man” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” led by surprise guest Jimmy Messina. The evening closed with a spirited rendition of “Man in The Mirror,” in tribute to Michael Jackson. Throughout the entire set Stephen Ferrone provided his legendary combination of groove, drive, and taste.

Gretsch Guitars Launches The Eddie Cochran Tribute Model

Gretsch Eddie Cochran Tribute Guitar (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

Gretsch Eddie Cochran Tribute Guitar (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

Gretsch Guitars is famous for maintaining the highest standards of contemporary quality while still honoring the musical contributions made by great artists of the past. In keeping with that tradition, Gretsch Guitars debuted the Eddie Cochran Tribute model at this year’s NAMM show.

Eddie Cochran was a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll. Starting out in country music in the early 1950s, he quickly gravitated toward the music being popularized by Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. In short order he became a contemporary of those stars, appearing in concerts and films throughout the mid to late ’50s. But besides being a talented vocalist, Cochran’s skill as a guitarist set him apart, and it earned him a place as one of Gretsch’s first rock ‘n’ roll endorsing artists.

Cochran was also a talented songwriter, and his teen-angst classic “Summertime Blues” has been covered by hundreds of artists including The Who and Blue Cheer. Tragically, his career was cut short by an auto accident in London on April 17, 1960. Eddie was only twenty-one.

Eddie Cochran Tribute Display

Eddie Cochran Tribute Display (Photo by Rick Van Horn)

The NAMM launch of the Gretsch Eddie Cochran Tribute guitar was accompanied by an extensive historic display featuring photos, records, and other memorabilia from Eddie’s meteoric career. Additionally, Fred Gretsch was on hand to underscore the personal connection between Gretsch Guitars and Eddie Cochran’s legacy.

2010 Gretsch Showcase

The Eddie Cochran Tribute guitar launch was celebrated with a pre-NAMM performance at the Gretsch Guitars booth on Wednesday, January 13. Bobby Cochran—Eddie’s nephew and a fine guitarist in his own right—was backed by Gretsch artist Paul Pigat and his band Uncle Harley on a rendition of Eddie’s classic “Summertime Blues” that delighted the specially invited audience. Meanwhile, models strutted at the foot of the stage displaying Gretsch’s iconic new G6120 guitars.

Paul Pigat

Paul Pigat

Wednesday’s performance kicked off the 2010 Gretsch Showcase. Throughout the NAMM show weekend a roster of stellar Gretsch artists entertained showgoers while demonstrating the unique sound and features of Gretsch guitars. Besides Paul Pigat & Cousin Harley, the lineup featured rockabilly artists including Brophy Dale, Mad Max & the Wild Ones, the Hot Rod Trio, and Buzz Campbell & Hot Rod Lincoln. In addition, Lynda Kay brought her Americana roots style country music to the Gretsch booth, while rock guitar legend Steve Hunter & The Hurricanes proved that you can play blues on a Gretsch guitar.

Civet

Civet

On Friday the 15th the self-described “femme fatale punk rock” quartet Civet strutted their stuff. Friday’s Showcase was also notable for an appearance by Dhani Harrison playing a G6129T-1957 Silver Jet onstage during a performance by thenewno2’s. Dhani is the talented son of legendary Beatle and solo artist George Harrison, who helped Gretsch sell a ton of Duo Jet, Tennesseean, and Country Gentleman guitars.

Tim Armstrong

Tim Armstrong

Punk-rock mainstays Rancid rocked the booth on Saturday the 16th in front of a crowd that was so big it drew the attention of the fire marshal. Rancid’s performance also served to showcase the debut of guitarist/lead singer Tim Armstrong’s new Signature G5191BK Electromatic hollow-body guitar. It’s designed after the 1971 Country Club model that Armstrong has favored for decades. When asked what he particularly loved about his new Signature model, Armstrong replied, “The simplest way for me to explain it is that the sound is full-bodied and thick. I hear the chords as if I’m playing a piano.”

Special Appearances

In addition to the musical performances that highlighted the 2010 Gretsch Showcase, the Gretsch booth featured appearances by several notable individuals. Perhaps the most eye-catching of these was Great Gretsch Girl Kim Falcon, who was on hand to greet visitors and sign autographs throughout the NAMM weekend.

On Saturday the Gretsch booth was graced by a visit from twangy-guitar pioneer and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Duane Eddy. Duane and his wife Deed were hosted at the booth by Fred Gretsch himself, who enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with this musical icon.

For more information and detailed coverage, go to the “News” section of www.gretschguitars.com.

Great Gretsch Roundup In Nashville

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Any time you get a bunch of Gretsch fans together, it’s going to be a rockin’ event.  But get them together for a whole weekend, playing in a 100-year-old tobacco barn on the outskirts of Music City USA, and you have the ingredients for a genuinely historic occasion.

Such was the case this past October 16-18, when Gretsch players from across the country gathered at Hachland Hills Vineyard in Joelton, Tennessee (just outside of Nashville) for the second annual Gretsch Nashville Roundup.  The event was a live-in weekend of jammin’, jawin’, and jivein’ in a camp-like setting.  And, of course, the musical focus was on the great sound of Gretsch instruments.

Gretsch drummer Jason Woodring with Steve Harms on Bass and Dylan Taylor on guitar

Gretsch drummer Jason Woodring with Steve Harms on bass and Dylan Taylor on guitar

As is always the case in any band setting, drummers at the Roundup were outnumbered by guitarists and bassists.  But what they lacked in number they made up for in talent and enthusiasm, providing great rhythmic support for the music that echoed throughout the surrounding woods.

Gretsch drummer John DeVaul of Knoxville provided the kit for the Roundup

Gretsch drummer John DeVaul of Knoxville provided the kit for the Roundup

The drumming trio at the Nashville Roundup consisted of Jon DeVaul (who provided his own beautiful Gretsch kit for use at the event), Dylan Taylor, and Jason Woodring.  And the attraction of the drumset was so strong that it prompted bassist Steve Harms to put down his axe and pick up some sticks for a few tunes.

A special treat for the participants was the presence of Fred Gretsch himself, representing the fourth generation of the Gretsch family.  Fred shared historic anecdotes and stories about the family, the company, and the many great artists who helped to create the Gretsch legacy—all to the delight of the Gretsch enthusiasts in attendance.

Fred Gretsch (left) with Gretsch Guitars master builder Stephen Stern

Fred Gretsch (left) with Gretsch Guitars master builder Stephen Stern

Additional coverage of the event can be seen on the Gretsch Pages discussion forum at http://gretschpages.com/forum/gretsch-events/moments-memories-magic-nashville-roundup-09/25481/page1/.

All photos by Tim Harman.

“Fred & Joe Show” Summer Tour Recap

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Redbone Guitar Boutique - Gretsch Day 043It’s not at all unusual to see Gretsch guitars being played by major artists on summer tours at venues across the country. But it is a little unusual when the man whose name is on those guitars is also on tour. But that’s exactly what Fred W. Gretsch has been doing this past summer.

In the company of Gretsch guitar marketing manager Joe Carducci, Fred has been visiting Gretsch guitar retailers from coast to coast.  Dubbed “The Fred & Joe Show,” the tour has provided Gretsch enthusiasts with a chance to get to know Fred Gretsch — up close and personal — in a casual open forum.  The tour has also been celebrating the music that the Gretsch family has been a part of since their guitar production began in the 1930s.  At each stop, Fred has shared behind-the-scenes stories, as well as recalling great musical performances that helped catapult the iconic family business to prominence.

(more…)

Gretsch Family Supports Arts Camp for Kids

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Gretsch Institute Summer Camp 2009Today’s economic climate has resulted in a dramatic decrease in funding for early education. Programs across the country have been slashed, particularly in the area of arts education. Yet exposure to the arts has been proven to be a critical element in the intellectual and emotional development of young children.

Recognizing this fact, Fred and Dinah Gretsch recently took extraordinary steps to ensure that the children of Savannah, Ga. are given an opportunity to experience and participate in the creative arts.

With the help of generous support from The Gretsch Company, the 2009 Gretsch Institute Music, Art & Dance Camp was held on the campus of the Savannah Country Day School from June 8 through July 3. This unique camp offered rising 2nd through 8th graders an opportunity to expand their creativity and their artistic skills through an inspiring multi-dimensional arts curriculum. Small-group settings paired students with talented artists, musicians, and instructors during four one-week sessions of full or half-day camp.

Read press release >

Gretsch Takes Part In CoverBand 2010 Contest
Get The Great Sound Of Gretsch Drums . . . And A Trip To California!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Attention Gretsch drummers (and those who’d like to be): I want to let you know about a great new online contest that Gretsch is proud to be a part of.

It’s called CoverBand 2010, and it offers you the opportunity to have your performance viewed by thousands of music fans around the world. Those fans, in turn, will cast their votes, and the top five vote-getters will become the contest finalists. A panel of celebrity judges will select the winners in seven performance spots. Besides naming the best drummer, the judges will also select the best bassist, vocalist, two guitarists, and two percussionists. These winners will become the members of CoverBand 2010. (more…)

Gretsch Roadshow visits Street Sounds in Brooklyn New York!

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Fred Gretsch, Rocky Schiano & Joe Carducci

Fred Gretsch, Rocky Schiano & Joe Carducci

We are live from Street Sounds, located in the heart of historic Brooklyn – just a “stones throw” from the Gretsch Company’s original home. upon our arrival we’re immediately greeted at the door with a friendly welcome and VIP pass from store owner, Rocky Schiano. Today the Gretsch Roadshow visits Street Sounds!

Gretsch Guitar fanatics of all ages pack the well-stocked store in anticipation as current Gretsch Guitar Marketing manager, Joe Carducci and Gretsch Company President, Fred W. Gretsch discuss the vast history of “That Great Gretsch Sound.” All in attendance were treated to a visual presentation that acknowledged the many fine Gretsch employees and artists, both past and present. Highlights included Mr. Gretsch’s personal reflections on some of his memorable family experiences with both. The presentation also included inspirational video clips of historic Gretsch Artist moments with special commentary by both Fred and Joe.

Later, Fred treated all to the infamous “Two Dollar Bill” trivia contest; a company tradition started by his uncle, Fred Gretsch Junior. Here the audience got a chance to try their luck answering the many music industry trivia questions as special prizes were awarded. This was followed by a toast to Brooklyn; an homage to the great boro and birth place of Gretsch. The event ended with an impromptu autograph session where Fred personally met everyone in attendance.

All in all, it was a very special day! Thanks to the Gretsch Company for arranging the event and proprietor Rocky Schiano for hosting the event.

Check the schedule for a Gretsch Road Show event near you. Next time you’re in Brooklyn, stop into “Street Sounds” and say “Hello” to Rocky — you’ll get that big New York smile!!

GRETSCH GUITARS SUMMER ROADSHOW 2009
DATE LOCATION
June 13, 2009
Time: 1:00 PM
Street Sounds
9206 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
718-314-8647
www.streetsoundsnyc.com
June 26, 2009
Time: TBD
Sweetwater Sound
5501 US Highway 30 W
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818
206-432-8176
www.sweetwater.com
June 27, 2009
Time: TBD
Sweetwater Sound
5501 US Highway 30 W
Ft. Wayne, IN 46818
206-432-8176
www.sweetwater.com
July 18, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM
Redbone Guitars
4343 McCullough
San Antonio, TX 78212
210-822-4111
www.redboneguitar.com
August 1, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
House of Guitars
645 Titus Ave
Rochester, NY 14617
585-544-3500
www.houseofguitars.com
August 8, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM
Cream City
12505 W. Bluemound Rd
Brookfield, WI 53005
262-860-1800
www.creamcitymusic.com
August 15, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
Dave’s Guitar
1227 3rd St South
LaCrosse, WI 54601
608-785-7704
www.creamcitymusic.com
August 22, 2009
Time: 5:00 PM
Rainbow Guitar
2550 N. Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719
520-325-3376
www.rainbowguitars.com
August 29, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
West LA Music
3501 W. Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angela, CA 90068
323-845-1145
www.westlamusic.com

Sixth Generation Gretsch Family Member, Calvin “Rane” Gretsch to visit Gretsch Japan Dealer

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Sixth generation Gretsch family member, Calvin “Rane” Gretsch, will be traveling to Japan this month to meet and greet customers during a visit to Gretsch Guitar and Drum dealers.

Rane will be accompanied by well known guitar & pickup manufacturer, TV Jones as they tour throughout Japan. Some of the younger musicians may find it very interesting to meet a member of their generation within a company that has been in business for over 125 years. (more…)

Gretsch Institute MUSIC, ART & DANCE CAMP 2009 Provides Children an Opportunity to Explore the Arts Like Never Before

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Gretsch-Institute-Flyer-2009-cover
Today’s economic climate has resulted in a dramatic decrease in educational funding in general, and arts funding in particular. Yet exposure to the arts has been proven to be a critical element in the intellectual and emotional development of young children. Accordingly, Fred and Dinah Gretsch are taking steps to ensure that the children of Savannah have an unprecedented opportunity to experience and participate in the creative arts.

Thanks to generous support from the Gretsch Music Company, the 2009 Gretsch Institute Music, Art & Dance Camp will be held on the campus of the Savannah Country Day School from June 8 through July 3. Launched in the summer of 2008, this unique camp offers rising 2nd through 8th graders an opportunity to expand their creativity and their artistic skills through an inspiring multi-dimensional arts curriculum. Small-group settings pair students with talented artists, musicians, and instructors during four one-week sessions of full or half-day camp. (more…)