Archive for the ‘Gretsch News’ Category

Gretsch Supports Jazz History In Elmhurst

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

ElmhurstJazzExhibit-280The name “Gretsch” is virtually inseparable from the word “jazz.” So it’s not surprising that Fred Gretsch should lend his support to an exhibit that celebrates jazz history.

The exhibit in question is taking place from February 24 through May 24 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. Dubbed Elmhurst Jazz: A Celebration of an American Art Form in Elmhurst, the exhibit explores the history of jazz and jazz education through the perspectives of two local institutions: DownBeat magazine and the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. Highlights include a visual timeline of notable jazz legends, the significance of the Chicago jazz scene in jazz history (including artists like Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong), and displays of rare photos and artifacts.

Fred Gretsch is in a unique position to be a supporter of this exhibit. To begin with, he’s an alumnus of Elmhurst College. The nationally recognized liberal arts school includes a prestigious jazz program within its music department. And the aforementioned Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is the second oldest continuously running event of its kind in the nation. (more…)

Gretsch Salutes Louie Bellson and Gretsch Drums, “Partners in Innovation”

Friday, May 8th, 2009

By Fred Gretsch, 4th Generation Drum Maker

Louie Bellson’s career was remarkable for many reasons. In musical terms, few, if any drummers, could match his achievements. He began playing with Ted Fio Rito, and he replaced Gene Krupa in Benny Goodman’s band by the time he was seventeen years old. He performed and recorded with such jazz legends as Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, as well as with great vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Mel Torme’, Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughan, and Tony Bennett. Louie also led his own successful big bands and small groups for more than forty years.

In addition, Louie established himself as a gifted composer. He wrote and arranged more than a thousand tunes, including the drum-feature classic “Skin Deep,” which he made famous with the Ellington orchestra.

Louie was also a legendary clinician and educator. The eternal student himself, he was always eager to share his knowledge and his skills with young drummers. (more…)

Louie Bellson Has Passed Away, Longtime Cherished Friend Of The Gretsch Family Will Be Missed

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

With the passing of Louie Bellson, drumming has lost a genuine innovator. Drummers around the world have lost a sweet and gentle man who was at once an icon and a comrade. And the Gretsch family has lost a cherished friend.

When Louie was making his mark on the drumming scene in the 1940s and ’50s, playing with the great bands of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Harry James, (more…)

The Story of Paul Bigsby
Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Written by Andy Babiuk – Available February 2009

BigsbyBook1-180

The Gretsch Company “The history of the solidbody electric guitar has been documented many times, and important early innovators include George Beauchamp, Adolph Rickenbacker, Doc Kauffman, Lloyd

Loar, and Paul Tutmarc. It’s widely accepted that Les Paul and Leo Fender were responsible for sparking the electric guitar revolution and making invaluable contributions. However, their work might not have been possible without the man who had designed and built the first modern solidbody electric guitar.” (more…)

Gretsch Concert Bash the High Note of 125th Anniversary Year!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

“Big Event” Concert, Oral History Live!
Event Round Out Gretsch Anniversary Celebration in 2008

With great fanfare, The Gretsch Company, one of the world’s best known drum and guitar manufacturers, recently culminated its 125th anniversary year with a wave of special events. The following celebrations proved a testament to the company’s rich history and built the foundation for the next 125 years of providing high quality instruments to new and veteran Gretsch fans. (more…)

Gretsch 125th Anniversary Big Event Concert Nov. 18 New York City

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

It may have been a chilly evening in NYC but the scene was HOT inside the Highline Ballroom as friends, family & associates gathered to celebrate the Gretsch 125th Anniversary on Tuesday, November 18. What better way to honor this momentous occasion than to gather some of the most renowned musicians & bands in the world and simply ROCK THE HOUSE!

The night opened with Colourslide, the Gainesville, Florida-based band that was chosen from among 879 world-wide entrants as the winner of the Next Gretsch Greats Unsigned Artist Competition.

Next up was David Lee & His Mercenaries. This Gretsch guitar artist instantly got the house jumping with his (more…)

Gretsch 125th Anniversary Big Event Adds Artists and Industry Sponsors

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

New York City— Legendary drum and guitar manufacturer Gretsch is finalizing plans for an equally legendary celebration of its 125th Anniversary. The “Big Event,” to be held at The Highline Ballroom in New York City on November 18, will feature new and veteran Gretsch artists alike, in an eclectic evening of outstanding musical performances.

The night will open with Colourslide, the Gainesville, Florida-based band that was chosen from among 879 world-wide entrants as the winner of the Next Gretsch Greats Unsigned Artist Competition.

Next on the bill will be David Lee & His Mercenaries. This Gretsch guitar artist will no doubt have (more…)

Gretsch Foundation Endows Scholarship

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

On August 11, Berklee celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Gretsch Company, one of the world’s best-known guitar and drum makers. Members of the Berklee community packed the Berklee Performance Center for a special Gretsch clinic featuring Jim Pettit, owner of the Memphis Drum Shop and jazz guitarist/composer Bob Sabellico, who has played on sessions with Bela Fleck, Jaco Pastorius and Phoebe Snow, among many others.

Prior to the clinic, president Fred W. Gretsch, the fourth-generation descendant of company founder Friedrich Gretsch, and Joe Carducci, Gretsch’s guitar (more…)