Archive for the ‘Gretsch News’ Category

Gretsch Celebrates Its Heritage at Elmhurst Jazz Festival

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Gretsch drums have enjoyed an inseparable link with jazz music for generations. Jazz drumming greats of the past—including Tony Williams, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones—made their reputations on Gretsch drums. Likewise, contemporary jazz stars like Bill Stewart, Cindy Blackman-Santana, and Keith Carlock find their musical expression through That Great Gretsch Sound.

In addition to the legacy of the past and present, Gretsch is also keenly concerned with the future of jazz. In an effort to promote that future, Gretsch Drums and the Gretsch Family recently lent instrumental and financial support to the 45th annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. Elmhurst is the alma mater of current Gretsch Company president Fred W. Gretsch, and the Gretsch Family has a long history of philanthropic support of college activities.

The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

Each February, the best college jazz bands in the country converge on Elmhurst’s Chicago-suburb campus for three days of performances and education. The bands take turns performing for some of the greatest names in professional jazz today, who offer critiques and award a variety of honors. The professionals cap off each night of the Festival with a rousing performance of their own. The list of performers and adjudicators at this year’s festival included the Jeff Hamilton Trio, Elmhurst College Jazz Faculty member Mark Colby, Denis DiBlasio, Frank Greene, the Elmhurst College Jazz Band, the North Texas State University One O’clock Jazz Band, and The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

One of the many combos that performed during the four-day Jazz Festival.

As a tangible expression of Gretsch’s support for jazz education, all of the performance stages at the Elmhurst Festival were supplied with professional-quality Gretsch drum sets. So in addition to gaining the wisdom imparted by the Festival’s artist/clinicians, students got to experience for themselves the musical joy that only comes from performing on a Gretsch kit.

Taking Support To The High School Level

Gretsch’s support of the Elmhurst Festival didn’t stop at the college-band level. After a Festival hiatus of more than twenty years, a full day was devoted to the Elmhurst College High School Invitational Jazz Festival. This clinic/performance program for high school jazz bands was underwritten by a generous grant from the Sylvia & William W. Gretsch Memorial Foundation (named for the parents of Fred W. Gretsch).

The participating bands came from across Illinois.  They included York High School, Wheeling High School, Hersey High School, St. Charles North High School, and Champaign Central High School. Each was given forty minutes total stage time:  twenty minutes of performance and twenty minutes to work with the judges in a clinic-style setting.  All bands were in the audience listening when not warming up. As a result, each band had the benefit of hearing not only their comments from the judges, but also critiques from three other sessions. Most importantly, the students had the great fortune to perform for and work with some of the greatest American musicians of our time:  Jeff Hamilton (drums), Tamir Hendelman (piano), and Christoph Luty (bass).  The experience will surely have a lasting impact on their musical lives.

Jeff Hamilton and Mark Colby address the St. Charles North Jazz Ensemble while the Jeff Hamilton Trio members look on before addressing the group.

Outstanding musician awards were given by the judges, and each band director was given comment sheets to review with their band members.  At the end of the afternoon, the students were treated to a concert by the three judges and the Elmhurst College Jazz Band.  They also received wristbands that allowed them entry to the rest of the college performances as well as the Friday-evening performance of the Jeff Hamilton Trio with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band.  This was a perfect opportunity for budding high school musicians to experience music from up to thirty-seven different college groups from all around the United States.

Response from the high school band directors was universally positive, leading the organizers of the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival to plan on adding the High School Festival day to the overall program for the future. Said Elmhurst College music department chairman Pete Griffin, “We look forward to many years of touching teenagers through music and inspiring them to continue on their educational journey with jazz.”

The Gretsch Foundation—and the Gretsch Family—is proud to help those teenagers on that musical journey by supporting the Elmhurst College High School Invitational Jazz Festival. That support is a tangible illustration of the Gretsch Family’s mission statement, which is to “enrich lives through participation in music.”

Photo above:  Participating directors and Doug Beach in front of one of the Gretsch sets used at the Festival.  From left to right: Scott Casagrande (Hersey High School; Arlington Heights), Bill Riddle (York High School; Elmhurst), Doug Beach (Elmhurst College), Jim Stombres and John Wojciechowski (St. Charles North High School; St. Charles), John Currey (Champaign Central High School; Champaign), (seated) Brian Logan (Wheeling High School; Wheeling).

For more information on Elmhurst College and the Jazz Festival, visit their website.

For more information on The Gretsch Foundation, click here.

Musikmesse–Where the Music World Comes Together

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

With over 1,500 exhibitors, Musikmesse, “the world’s most international fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and marketing, and . . . the foremost meeting place for the musical-instrument industry for over 25 years,” took place from March 21 to 24 in Frankfurt, Germany.

This year Bigsby Vibratos worked in cooperation with the Warwick and Framus companies and set up shop at their booth.  In addition to showcasing the Bigsby vibrato line, product specialist Adam Seutter kept very busy conducting twice-daily installation demonstrations and answering attendee questions.

Framus Panthera with Bigsby

Guitars that received special Bigsby installations courtesy of Adam included the Framus Panthera and Mayfield models.

For all things Bigsby as well as a post-Messe report and pictures, please visit Bigsby.com.

Other Sights and Sounds at Messe:

Gretsch drummer Mark Schulman participated as part of the Fender Rock Trio along with Greg Koch and Roscoe Beck and gave standing-room-only daily performances on the Agora Stage.

GuitarPoint Vintage Instruments brought along a beautiful 1955 Gretsch Roundup to display at the International Vintage Show. A very nice example to be appreciated by all, not just vintage guitar collectors.

1955 Gretsch Roundup

Gretsch Brushed Brass Snare

And Gretsch Drums released a new Brushed Brass Snare combining the sound of a brass shell with the look and feel of a hand-finished shell.  Due to the hand-brushing process, no two shells are identical.

Bigsby Display Looking Good

Gretsch USA Brooklyn Kit

Tower of Gretsch Drums

And Here’s Some Photos of Dinah, Fred, and Friends (Old and New).

Dinah & Fred with Messe thumbpicking enthusiast Roger, a regular visitor. Nice t-shirt too!

The GuitarPoint Germany family photo: Detlef, Fred, Petra, Wolfgang, & Karolin.

Fred and Mark Schulman

Musikmesse 2012 is now in the history books.  It was another great trade show for Gretsch Guitars, Drums, and Bigsby Vibratos.  We look forward to being back in Frankfurt in 2013.

Bigsby Daily Install Demos Planned at Messe

Monday, March 12th, 2012

From Bigsby.com -

Each year, early spring time means only one thing in the music business–MusikMesse Frankfurt! The extraordinarily large grounds in Frankfurt are the perfect place for manufacturers from all around the globe to meet. Showcasing new products, celebrity performances, and incredible live shows MusikMesse is where you want to be!  Taking place March 21-24, organizers are expecting more than 100,000 attendees! Working with the Framus and Warwick companies, Bigsby will be on hand showcasing our vibrato line as well as doing daily installation demonstrations.

Adam Seutter

Performing demonstrations in the morning and afternoon of each day, Adam Seutter will detail each step in the vibrato installation process. Guitar models to be included in the demonstrations are a Framus Earl Slick Signature and a Framus Mayfield. Be sure to stop by Hall 4.1 booth E12 to check out the process and get your questions answered. If you can’t make it to Germany to visit in person, follow Bigsby on Twitter or “Like” them on Facebook for updates throughout the show.

For more information on Framus and Warwick, check out the links below:

http://www.framus.com/

http://www.warwick.de

Chet Atkins: CGP Exhibit Presents New Programs in March

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Update:

Check the Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player Programming Calendar page for the latest special programs added in March.

RECENTLY FROM THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM:

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM TO CELEBRATE THE LEGACY OF CHET ATKINS WITH TWO MARCH PROGRAMS

Programs are in support of the exhibition Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, Made Possible Through the Generous Support of the Gretsch Company

NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 23, 2012 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will present two special programs next month in support of the exhibition Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player.

On March 3, The Life and Times of Chet Atkins by Dr. Richard Hood will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the museum’s Ford Theater. Dr. Hood, a Chet Atkins scholar and finger-style guitarist, will trace Atkins’ life from his rural childhood to his career as a legendary guitarist and producer.  Ben Hall and Eddie Pennington, both winners of the National Thumbpicking Championship, will perform selections from the Chet Atkins catalog. Pennington will also present a thumbpick guitar demonstration on March 4, at 1:00 p.m. in the museum’s SunTrust Community Room.

On March 17, Chet Atkins at Studio B, a panel discussion featuring some of Atkins’ closest associates, will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the museum’s Ford Theater. RCA crossover artists Bobby Bare (“Detroit City”) and Jim Ed Brown (“The Three Bells”), background singer Delores Dinning Edgin, studio guitarist Ray Edenton, and hit songwriter John D. Loudermilk (“Abilene”) will share stories of their work with Atkins, providing insights into what made him one of country music’s most successful producers of all time. The program will be streamed live at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.

Following the panel discussion, museum staffer Ben Hall will present The House That Chet Built: A Chet Atkins Tour of Historic RCA Studio B. This unique guided tour will show how Atkins worked in his longtime recording home, logging many hours as a musician and a producer, and cutting records that helped define the classic Nashville Sound.

The Life and Times of Chet Atkins, the guitar demonstration and Chet Atkins at Studio B are included with museum admission and are free for museum members.

Tickets for The House That Chet Built: A Chet Atkins Tour of Historic RCA Studio B can be purchased as an add-on to museum admission or for $9 for museum members. Reservations are required, and seating is limited. The shuttle departs from the museum promptly at 3:30 p.m. For information call 615-416-2001.

Museum programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.


Fred & Joe Show Visit Blues Angel Music

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

>>UPDATE: MUSIC TRADES APRIL 2012 ISSUE–STORY ON BLUES ANGEL MUSIC GRAND OPENING<<

Click HERE to read the story online.

The above images are of portions of pages from the April 2012 edition of The Music Trades, published by The Music Trades Corporation, Englewood,  NJ 07631, http://www.musictrades.com/index.html.

Original Story and Update #1 Here:

>>UPDATE:  POST-EVENT PHOTOS ADDED BELOW!!<<

The Fred & Joe Show will be making its first stop of 2012 at Blues Angel Music in Pensacola, FL on March 3 for their Grand Opening and charity raffle event benefiting the Red Cross and United Services Organizations (USO). The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its brand new facilities at 657 N. Pace Blvd. The new 14,000-square-foot building replaces its previous location at 3733 West Navy Blvd., and boasts modern retail, music lesson, and musical instruments and electronics repair space.

In addition to the Fred & Joe Show featuring a multi-media presentation by Gretsch Company president, Fred Gretsch, and Joe Carducci, Gretsch product specialist, the event will feature continuous musical performances. A special exhibit paying tribute to George Harrison will also be on display and Gretsch Girl Kim Falcon will be on hand to autograph her new poster.

Entrance to the event is free of cost and raffle tickets are available in-store throughout the month of February for a minimal cost of $2. World class, fine instruments will be up for grabs, including a Gretsch George Harrison Signature Duo Jet valued at $5,000. All proceeds of the event will benefit the Red Cross and the USO.

For more information, visit the Blues Angel website.

>>EVENT PHOTOS:<<

Gretsch Wall at Blues Angel Music New Location

Grand Opening Draws 1K+. Photo: Phil Short.

Fred Gretsch Busily Signs Autographs. Photo: Phil Short.

Formal Portion of the Day. Photo: Phil Short.

Fred & Joe Show Presentation. Photo: Phil Short.

Bigsby on the Road in 2012

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Bigsby will be busy and on the road in 2012! Hitting the biggest and best consumer based guitar shows across the country, 2012 stands to be the best year yet! Whether you want to take advantage of FREE Bigsby Installations* on your favorite guitar or get your current Bigsby-equipped guitar playing great via a Pit-Stop, Bigsby will be there for you! From Pomona to Philly, Bigsby is traversing the country to visit you! Check out the list of events below.

Spartanburg Guitar Show

February 25-26

www.bee3vintage.com

Dallas International Guitar Festival

April 20-22

www.guitarshow.com

Chicago Guitar Show

May 19-20

www.texasguitarshows.com

SoCal World Guitar Show

July 21-22

www.texasguitarshows.com

GuitArlington

October 20-21

www.texasguitarshows.com

Great American Guitar Show

November 10-11

www.bee3vintage.com

*Some restrictions may apply.  Stop by the booth or email Adam Seutter at adam@bigsby.com for more details.

For more information on Bigsby Vibratos, visit the Bigsby website.

Gretsch 2012 NAMM Show Highlights

Monday, February 6th, 2012

2012 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center

The 2012 NAMM musical-instrument show took place January 19 through 22 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. This year’s show was the 110th edition, and attendance reached a record high. A whopping 95,709 visitors filled the halls with an all-new level of energy and excitement.

Gretsch Drums and Gretsch Guitars were a major reason for that excitement, with plenty of new products to display. In addition, Fred and Dinah Gretsch were on hand—joined by other members of the Gretsch family—to lend their special personal touch to all of the Gretsch-related activities.

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.

Fred Gretsch and New Brooklyn Series Kit

The focus of the 2012 NAMM display was the launch of the new Brooklyn Series. Made in Gretsch’s US factory, the new series is a tribute to the city in which the Gretsch Company got its start back in 1883.  And who better to help introduce the new series than Fred Gretsch himself?

Among the beautiful new Brooklyn series kits in the Gretsch booth was a classic five-piece configuration with a Smoke Grey Oyster Nitron wrap. The drums feature Gretsch maple/poplar shells with classic 30-degree bearing edges and the legendary Silver Sealer on their insides. Toms and snares come fitted with new “302” model 3mm double-flanged hoops, which are reminiscent of hoops used by Gretsch up until the mid-1950s.

Gretsch Brooklyn Display

These hoops have the same height profile as the classic Gretsch die-cast hoop in order to provide a playing experience that feels the same as traditional Gretsch USA Custom drums. All other drum hardware components—including lugs, claws, brackets, and spurs—are the same as those used on USA Custom kits. And perhaps best of all for Gretsch “purists,” the return to Brooklyn means a return to a round badge. The Brooklyn Round Badge has a black/pewter color scheme with a classic embossed Gretsch design.

Brooklyn Jazz Kit

Aficionados of jazz will recognize this classic configuration. It’s a Brooklyn Series kit in small “bop” sizes, finished in a mahogany lacquer.

Gretsch Snares

This bevy of beautiful snare drums includes one wood-shell (top left) and three metal-shell (bottom row) Brooklyn Series models, along with two brand-new Brushed Brass snares that feature a hand-brushed finish that creates a distinctive two-toned vintage patina effect.

A just-for-fun monster setup showcased a Gretsch USA Custom kit with a Chrome Nitron finish mounted on an ultra-customized Gibraltar rack.

The distinctive Gretsch Renown 57 kit debuted last year, with a design inspired by the great American car manufacturers of the 1950s. The new Motor City Red finish introduced for 2012 was so hot that the kit had to be displayed behind a plastic shield!

Gretsch Energy Kit

This eight-piece, double-bass kit is from Gretsch’s new affordable Energy Series. “Quick”-sized toms on GTS mounts produce maximum tone, cutting attack, and thunderous low end. Classic Gretsch features include 30-degree bearing edges, 5-lug configurations for the 8”, 10”, and 12” rack toms, and Gretsch-style lugs.

For more highlights-related photos, please visit our photo gallery here.

Goings-On at Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch Guitars Main Display

There’s nothing like a room full of the world’s finest guitars to attract the attention of NAMM show-goers. So there was no shortage of visitors to the Gretsch Guitars exhibit. The fact that Fred Gretsch was also often on hand to greet and chat with Gretsch guitar fans made this year’s exhibit even more special.

Although Gretsch is best known today for the manufacture of great guitars, the company got its start in 1883 making an even more traditional type of American instrument: banjos—as demonstrated by Fred Gretsch.

Fred Gretsch on the Banjo

Not long afterward came mandolins, flat-top guitars, ukuleles, and other instruments that contributed to what we now call “roots” or “Americana” music. Gretsch celebrated this important contribution to American history with a display of authentic recreations of those classic instruments.

Gretsch Roots Disply

When it comes to a recognizable guitar sound, there’s no mistaking the unique twang of rock pioneer Duane Eddy. A long-time user and aficionado of Gretsch guitars, Duane was honored at this year’s NAMM show by having his signature guitar as the focal point of the Gretsch contemporary guitar display.

And a great Gretsch name also returned with the re-introduction of the Rancher acoustic guitars. The richly resonant Rancher first appeared in the early 1950s with its highly distinctive triangular sound hole and sweepingly elegant pickguard. Gretsch proudly re-introduced the model at the show with a great new five-instrument selection of body sizes, styles, and features.

For more highlights-related photos, please visit our photo gallery here.

Gretsch Artists In The House!

A welcome visitor to the Gretsch Drums booth was great Gretsch drummer Stanton Moore. Van Romaine was also on hand to greet and sign autographs for Gretsch drum fans.

Steve, Will, Dinah & Rane

Gretsch artists are considered “part of the family” by Fred and Dinah Gretsch. So it was a family gathering when touring and studio star Stephen Ferrone (far left) stopped by the drum exhibit to sign autographs for show-goers, and to visit with Dinah Gretsch and sixth-generation family members Will (left) and Rane Gretsch.

Gretsch Guitars sponsored a number of artists in live performances throughout the NAMM show. These included guitar stars like Paul Pigat and Duane Eddy, as well as roots musicians Nik & Sam.

Stellar among all the Gretsch artists was Australian guitar phenom Joe Robinson. After breaking onto the scene at the age of sixteen as the youngest-ever winner of Australia’s Got Talent, Joe has gone on to become one of the most exciting and promising young artists on the scene today. His combination of compositional skill and unbelievable technical abilities had jaws dropping at each of his performances.

Fred and Friends

When your name is on the finest drums and guitars in the world, you tend to enjoy the company of others who share a similar status. So it was with Fred Gretsch at the 2012 NAMM Show.

Before the start of the show on Friday, January 20, Fred had the opportunity to share a convivial breakfast with Robert Zildjian and his wife, Willi. After working for many years in the family business that bears his name, Robert Zildjian left in the early 1980s to found his own company: Sabian Cymbals. With generations of business as well as family history behind each of them, Fred and Bob enjoyed swapping stories at breakfast.

Fred and Jeff Pevar

Later in the show Fred enjoyed a visit at the Gretsch Guitars booth from Jeff Pevar. In addition to being a first-call guitarist for artists like David Foster, Rikki Lee Jones, and David Lindley, Jeff is the “P” in CPR, a band in which he plays with rock icon David Crosby and keyboardist/composer James Raymond.

Big Doings At Bigsby

Bigsby Booth

This year saw the Bigsby Vibratos booth taken to a whole new level. The display featured new custom-built vintage-style vibrato cases (like the ones Paul Bigsby made all those years ago) as well as two racks of guitars supplied by thirteen different manufacturers—showcasing the wide array of makes and models that sport Bigsby Vibratos. Visitors to the booth repeatedly expressed how surprised they were at the number and variety of different guitars with Bigsby tailpieces.

Bigsby also set some new records at the show. A total of thirty-two different guitar manufacturers were utilizing Bigsby Vibratos, not only on guitars displayed in their booths, but also in the hands of their performing artists on stage. This was an incredible 39% increase over 2011. In addition, 160 individual Bigsby Vibratos were on display in various booths throughout the exhibition halls—an astounding 44% increase over the number at last year’s show.

Supporting the USPTO

Bigsby Helps Out at USPTO Booth

For the second straight year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) exhibited at the NAMM Show in an effort to encourage patent and trademark protection and discourage copying within the music industry. Bigsby was happy to aid in this effort by providing a display board that was originally created for the USPTO Trademark Expo in Alexandria, Virginia this past year.

A Celebration of 129 Years

There’s nothing like an anniversary to inspire a celebration. So, to mark the 129th year of business for Gretsch, Dinah and Fred Gretsch invited a group of family, friends, artists, and business partners to a dinner party on Saturday, January 21. The event was held at the Jazz Kitchen restaurant within the Downtown Disney complex in Anaheim.

At one point during the evening Fred and Dinah rose to toast those in attendance, thanking them for helping to make Gretsch an ongoing success. Fred pointed out that between his forty-seven years in the music business and Dinah’s thirty-three, it added up to eighty years of experience…during which time, he said, “We’ve partnered with the best.”

Fred with Alvino Bennett, Mark Schulman, and John Palmer

Gretsch artists in attendance at the dinner included drummers Mark Schulman, Stephen Ferrone, and Alvino Bennett, “roots” musicians Nik & Sam, and guitarists Duane Eddy, Paul Pigat, and Joe Robinson. At Dinah Gretsch’s request Joe pulled out an acoustic guitar and entertained the guests with one of his recent compositions.

When Joe had concluded, Dinah Gretsch expressed her pride in the youth associated with Gretsch. “We need youth and passion to continue the business for the next hundred years,” she concluded. “It’s all about passion for what we do.”

For all highlights-related photos, please visit the photo gallery here.

Recap of Recent Gretsch Events 2014, 2013 & 2012

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Here are some highlights so far from 2014:

Bigsby at Fall Philly Guitar  Show – 11/8 & 11/9

Bigsby was at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA on November 8 & 9 for the Bee-3 Vintage Great American Guitar Show (Fall Philly). Bigsby offered professional vibrato installs and pit-stop check-ups of Bigbsy-installed guitars for the last time in 2014.

Dinah & Fred Gretsch Receive Georgia Governor’s Award – 10/7

On Tuesday, October 7 Dinah & Fred Gretsch were honored as recipients of the third annual Georgia Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities during a ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol.

GuitArlington – 10/18 & 10/19

Bigsby once again exhibited at the “world’s largest consumer guitar event”–GuitArlington–in Arlington, TX October 18 & 19, 2014. Sharing space with TV Jones, the Bigsby booth was a don’t-miss stop during the show.

Nashville Drum Show – 9/20 & 9/21

The Nashville Drum show, the biggest drum show in the south, took place on September 20 & 21 at the State Fairgrounds in Nashville.  Fred Gretsch was in attendance and on Saturday at Noon, made a special presentation on the new Broadkaster line of drums! Check out some fun attendee photos taken during the show.

Brooklyn Walking Tour with Fred Gretsch – 7/30

Current President (and 4th generation family member) Fred Gretsch led an intimate walking tour through Brooklyn to tell personal stories about the family and the building sites where the instruments were made. The tour kicked off at Main Drag Music at 11:30 a.m. followed by “Gretsch Day” activities from 1:30-3:30.  And to top it off, another Gretsch Day took place at Steve Maxwell Drums later in the day.

Bigsby at Summer NAMM – 7/17 to 7/19

The 2014 show was the largest in six years with almost 450 exhibitors showcasing more than 1,500 brands.  Nearly 20 exhibitors showed Bigsby or Bigsby licensed vibratos on a total of 70 instruments.  A truly great show.

Bigsby at Summer Philly Guitar Show – 6/21 & 6/22

The Summer Great American Guitar Show took place in Philly June 21 & 22.  Bigsby was on hand to professionally install vibratos and perform pit-stop checks of Bigsby-equipped guitars brought in by attendees.  Visit the Bigsby site for the post-show report.

Abbey Road on the River – 5/22 to 5/28

At this year’s Abbey Road on the River festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Gretsch Guitars presented Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Sebatian on Saturday, May 24 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday, May 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Canadian Music Week – 5/6 to 5/10

A special Spotlight on Germany took place on Wednesday, May 7 during 2014’s Canadian Music Week that included a meet & greet with Fred & Dinah Gretsch.

Dallas International Guitar Festival – 5/2 to 5/4

The Dallas International Guitar Festival took place from May 2 to 4 and attendees who took their Bigsby-equipped guitars along were able to get an 8-point pit-stop tune up done for free. Free professional installations of Bigsby Vibratos were also offered. And those purchasing a copy of The Story of Paul Bigsby got a FREE t-shirt!! Visit Bigsby.com for a post-show report.

Gretsch Twang-O-Rama Concert in Tempe – 3/22

On Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. attendees enjoyed a Gretsch Twang-O-Rama concert event at the Tempe Guitar Show. Music by Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides, Jet Weston and his Atomic Ranch Hands, Gamblers Mark, The Octanes, and Jay Gordon & Blues Venom.

These Youngsters from Liverpool: The Beatles, Ed Sullivan, and Gretsch Guitars – 2/4  to 2/28

A terrific exhibit of Beatles-related memorabilia and instruments was held at the Georgia Southern Museum from February 4 through 28. An opening reception was held on February 4 during which Fred Gretsch spoke about how The Beatles’ performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” changed the musical instrument business forever.

Bigsby Vibratos at South Carolina Guitar Show – 2/22 & 23

The South Carolina Guitar Show in Spartanburg took place February 22 & 23. Attendees had the opportunity to take their Bigsby-equipped guitars for special pit-stop check-ups a well professional Bigsby Vibrato installations at no charge with purchase.

Winter NAMM – 1/23 to 1/26

Gretsch had a plethora of gorgeous guitars and drums on display at the NAMM Show in Anaheim.  Of special note this year for Gretsch Guitars, the Gretsch Roots Collection was selected as a “Gotta Stock It” item and Gretsch was proud to have the 9100-L Soprano Long Neck Ukulele selected as a “Best in Show” item.  In addition to some exciting new products, Gretsch Drums had on display a kit belonging to Matt Sorum of Guns ‘n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, and also to the legendary Phil Collins.  Take a look at our highlights story for much more about the show.  On Saturday night, 1/25/14, Gretsch Guitars and Drums sponsored an unforgettable Twang-O-Rama event at the Juke Joint in Anaheim.  Check out the Gretsch YouTube page for video clips from all the terrific musical performances.

Here are some highlights from 2013:

Bigsby Vibratos at Fall Philly Guitar Show – 11/9 & 10

Bigsby was at the Great American Guitar Show (also known as the Fall Philly guitar show) on November 9 & 10 offering the usual 8-point pit-stop service check of Bigsby-equipped guitars and free Bigsby installs during the show.

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Multi-Media Presentation at Class Axe Guitars – 10/12/13

Due to high demand to attend the Class Axe Guitars multi-media presentation, the event which was originally scheduled in store was moved to a larger venue. Class Axe Guitars in Kemptville, Ontario hosted the final 130th Anniversary event on Saturday, October 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  In addition to the special multimedia presentation hosted by Fred & Dinah Gretsch which explored a remarkable musical journey that began in 1883, there were great prizes including a Gretsch G5420T Electromatic® guitar .  A true Gretsch extravaganza!!

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama Concert Event at Blues Angel Music – 9/14/13

The Gretsch 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama concert headed to Blues Angel Music in Pensacola, FL on Saturday, September 14 with music by The Romantics, Rosie Flores & the Rivetors, Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project, The Octanes, and Gretsch Lyles and the Modern Eldoradoes. The fun began at 1 p.m.

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama Concert at Cream City Music – 8/17/13

Cream City Music in Brookfield, WI hosted a Twang-O-Rama concert event on Saturday, August 17, beginning at 2 p.m. Music by Paul Pigat & Cousin Harley, The Mike Elred Trio, and Jet Weston & his Atomic Ranch Hands. Surprise appearance by Fred & Dinah Gretsch delighted attendees.

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama Concert at Guitar Center Central Chicago – 8/15/13

Guitar Center Chicago hosted a Gretsch 130th Anniversary concert event on Thursday, August 15 at their North Halsted location. Music was provided by the Joe Robinson Trio, Mister Barrington and performing members of CAAS. Fred & Dinah Gretsch were also in attendance.

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Events and Steve Maxwell Vintage Drums & Rudy’s Music Shop – 8/3/13

One day, two events! Steve Maxwell Vintage & Custom Drums as well as Rudy’s Music in Soho were hosts on Saturday, August 3 for two great Gretsch 130th Anniversary events! Music by Paul Pigat & Cousin Harley, the Kimberly Thompson Quartet and performing members of CAAS (the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society). Fred Gretsch was on hand as well!

Gretsch 130th Anniversary Concert at Sam Ash Music in Hollywood – 7/20/13

Sam Ash Music in Hollywood, CA, hosted a Gretsch 130th Anniversary Concert Event. Presented by Gretsch Guitars & Drums.  Performances by Steve Ferrone, the Joe Robinson Trio, and the Michelle Marie TrioBilly Duffy was emcee.

Three Gretsch 130th Anniversary Events in June -

Three great Gretsch dealers hosted 130th anniversary events In June. Each included lots of great music, meet & greets, giveaways, and a whole lot more!

STREETSOUNDS NYC
StreetSounds, Brooklyn, NY, Saturday, June 15. Presented by Gretsch Guitars. Music by The Romantics, Michelle Marie Trio, Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch Hands, and Foxy Studs.

SWEETWATER GEARFEST

Sweetwater GearFest, Fort Wayne, IN, Saturday, June 22.  Presented by Gretsch Guitars & Drums. Music by Fountains of Wayne and the Joe Robinson Trio.

BIZARRE GUITAR
Greg Golden’s Bizarre Guitar, Reno, NV, Saturday, June 29. Presented by Gretsch Guitars & Drums. Music by Rosie Flores & the Rivetors, Zach Danziger (Mister Barrington), The Octanes. And Billy Duffy was the emcee!

Bigsby at the Ohio Guitar Show – 6/9

New in 2013, Bigsby exhibited at the Ohio Guitar Show at  the Aladdin Shrine Temple Complex in Columbus with free installations and pit-stop checks of attendees’ Bigsby-equipped guitars. Visit the Bigsby site for a recap of the event.

Abbey Road on the River – 5/23 to 5/27

Abbey Road on the River, the world’s largest Beatles-inspired festival took place from May 23 through 27. Gretsch Guitars proudly presented the legendary Peter Asher on Saturday & Sunday, May 25 & 26, the Steve Sizemore Group performed each day, and a special Gretsch guitar auction preceded both of Peter Asher’s shows.

Chicago Guitar Show – 5/18 & 19

Bigsby Vibratos once again exhibited at the Chicago Guitar Show at the DuPage Expo Center and completed free Bigsby installations and pit-stop checks of attendees’ Bigsby-equipped guitars.

Dallas International Guitar Festival – 4/19 to 4/21

The annual Gretsch Guitar Extravaganza took place in Dallas from April 19 to April 21 with Bigsby Vibratos, Gretsch Guitars, and TV Jones once again teaming up at the Dallas International Guitar Festival.

That Great Gretsch Day in Germany – 4/17 & 4/19

Thanks to all the great Gretsch fans in Germany who came out for That Great Gretsch Day at No. 1 Guitar Center in Hamburg on April 17 and to Music Store Professional in Köln on April 19. A special thanks to The Adriano BaTolba Trio who provided great music for the enjoyment of all, and also to Gretsch Guitars and everyone at each store for all the hard work that went into ensuring that That Great Gretsch Day was truly great!

Musikmesse Frankfurt – 4/10 to 4/13

A fantastic show this year with a record 113,000 visitors from 142 countries attending! Bigsby Vibratos exhibited with TV Jones Pickups and Gretsch Guitars and Drums had a great setup in Hall 4. Check out our picture gallery and check the Bigsby site for a post-show report.

Tempe Guitar Show & Gretsch 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama Concert – 3/23

On March 23, the 2013 Tempe Guitar Show presented by CE Distribution hosted Gretsch Guitar’s 130th Anniversary Twang-O-Rama concert event featuring performances by Lee Rocker and Buzz Campbell, the Mike Elred Trio, Big Nick & the Gila Monsters, and the Saucy Jacks.  A total of 48 vendors, 5 bands, and 1,800 people attended the show.

Gretsch Day at Musicroom Salisbury – 3/9

Musicroom Salisbury hosted a special Gretsch Day on March 9. The event featured talks and demonstrations from Gretsch brand manager Adam Bowden Smith, a meet-and-greet with other Gretsch team members, a chance to win a Gretsch G5420T guitar, and more!

Elmhurst College Jazz Festival – 2/21 to 2/24

The 46th annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival took place from February 21 through 24 in Elmhurst, Illinois–one of the oldest and best college jazz festivals in the United States! Learn about Elmhurst’s great music department and performing ensembles including the Gretsch Guitar Ensemble.

5th Annual Rockabilly Reunion – 2/15 to 2/17

Gretsch Guitars once again co-sponsored the Rockabilly Reunion in Lake Havasu City, AZ which took place February 15 to 17.  Attendees were treated to performances by The Octanes, Voo Doo Swing, and The Chop Tops!

Winter NAMM Show – 1/24 to 1/27

Gretsch created quite a buzz at this year’s show with lots of exciting new guitar and drum products. Take a look at some great photos from the show: Gretsch NAMM Show Album, Bigsby gallery, Gretsch Guitars and Drums Facebook pages, and the GretschPages.

Here are highlights from 2012:

Christmas 4 Kids Concert – 11/19

The 11th Annual Charlie Daniels Band & Friends concert benefiting Christmas 4 Kids took place on November 19 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. During the concert attendees were able to place a  bid on a Gretsch Anniversary guitar donated by the Gretsch Foundation.

Great American Guitar Show – 11/10 & 11/11

Bigsby Vibratos attended the Great American Guitar Show, also known as the Fall Philly Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on November 10 & 11 and offered free installs with purchase along with the popular pit-stop program. Additionally, to help support victims of Hurricane Sandy, Bigsby offered to match 100 percent of all show sales with a donation to The Salvation Army.

GuitArlington – 10/20 & 10/21

Gretsch Guitars and Bigsby once again teamed up with pickup and guitar extraordinaire Tom “TV” Jones to bring you a one-stop GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA! Attendees were able to check out their favorite products from all three companies! Special features of the booth included FREE Bigsby Installations, Bigsby Pit-Stops, guitar setups by TV Jones, and much, much more!

Savannah Folk Music Festival & Noteworthy Art Auction – 10/12 to 10/14

The Savannah Folk Music Society’s 23rd annual Savannah Folk Music Festival took place October 12 through 14. For the ninth year, the Society presented the “Noteworthy Art” Exhibit and Silent Auction in support of the festival with guitars donated by the Gretsch Fundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch family. Some of the guitars were autographed by the biggest names in folk music including Grammy Award-winner Alison Krauss & Union Station, National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion and harp guitar expert Muriel Anderson, and Grammy Award-winner singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Watch as Chris Desa talked with WTOC11 in advance of the festivities.

Nashville Roundup – 9/27 to 9/30

The beautiful Hachland Hill Farms in Joelton, TN and the gracious Ms. Phila Hach once again hosted the Nashville Roundup.  The perfect setting for a great Gretsch event! The Gretsch Pages UStream channel broadcast live streaming during the event.

Gretsch Family & Paul Bigsby Named Manufacturing Legends by Guitar Player Mag – Nov 2012 Issue

The November issue of Guitar Player Magazine included their inaugural GP Hall of Fame awards and Paul Bigsby as well as the Gretsch Family were inducted as “Manufacturing Legends”. Truly a great honor presented by one of the preeminent industry publications.

Gretsch Euro Roundup – 9/22 & 9/23

The fifth annual Euro Roundup, a fun weekend of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, country, and jazz along with Gretsch guitars took place 9/22 and 9/23. This years’ event was held at hotel De Steenen Man in Zurich, Netherlands.

NorCal Roundup – 9/14 to 9/16

An extraordinary weekend of music and friendship in a setting of great natural beauty–the Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden, CA. Gretsch Guitars was be on hand along with pop and rock industry legend, Peter Asher. Highlights and pictures via the GretschPages.

Abbey Road on the River, Washington DC – 8/30 to 9/3

The “Fred & Joe Show” made a stop in Washington DC over Labor Day weekend for the annual Abbey Road on the River Beatles festival. Gretsch Guitars presented The Love Album Live and the Steve Sizemore Group performed each day and also met with fans at the Gretsch exhibit. Some great Gretsch guitars were auctioned for worthwhile charitable organizations including the American Red Cross. PHOTO GALLERY.

SoCal World Guitar Show – 7/21 & 7/22

Bigsby Vibratos was in attendance at the SoCal World Guitar Show at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA July 21 and 22.  Visitors to the Bigsby booth were able to get a pit-stop check of their Bigsby-equipped guitars, enjoy install demonstrations, and more!

Great Gretsch Weekend in Nashville Recap

The weekend of  July 13 and 14 saw a once-in-a-lifetime confluence of events in Nashville, Tennessee, otherwise known as “Music City USA.” And Gretsch was an important participant in all of them. Read the weekend RECAP.

Chet Atkins: CGP Exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame® & Museum – 8/12/11 to 7/15/12

After an 11-month run in the Country Music Hall of Fame® & Museum’s East Gallery, the cameo exhibition Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player came to an end on July 15, 2012.  Originally scheduled to close in June, the exhibit was extended to accommodate members of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society as well as NAMM during the final weekend.  Employing a wealth of instruments, vintage photos, personal possessions and correspondence, career-spanning audio and video, as well as special programs scheduled throughout its duration, the exhibit explored the life and impact of this incomparable musician, producer, and executive.  The exhibition was made possible through support of the Gretsch Company with additional support provided by the Great American Country Television Network.

Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention – 7/11 to 7/14

The Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville again hosted the annual members-only Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention.  The Society, whose members have a sincere interest and appreciation of Chet’s music, was founded in 1983 and meets annually in order to preserve Chet’s legacy and encourage young and old alike to keep his music alive.  This year the Gretsch booth included a special tribute to Paul Yandell, Chet’s long-time friend and band leader who was bestowed with the fifth and final “Certified Guitar Player” (C.G.P.) title by the Atkins family in 2011.

Summer NAMM Show, Nashville, TN – 7/12 to 7/14

The annual Summer NAMM Show took place at the Nashville Convention Center from July 12 to 14.  Featuring a Public Day on Saturday, attendees were treated to Bigsby Vibrato installation demonstrations at the Gretsch booth along with a sampling of authorized Gretsch Company merchandise from GretschGear.  In addition, the full line of Bigsby Vibratos were on display along with a copy of the beautifully-illustrated book Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Solidbody Electric Guitar.

Gretsch Day at Cream City Music, Brookfield, WI – 6/30

Gretsch Guitars and Cream City Music joined forces to present Gretsch Day on June 30.  The event featured free guitar re-stringing, the unveiling of a specially-painted Gretsch guitar by Sarah Gallenberger, as well as the Fred & Joe Show which included music by Jake Allen, Bobby Gibson, and Nik & Sam.  For event photos, click HERE.

Gretsch Day at Street Sounds Brooklyn – 6/2

Street Sounds in Brooklyn hosted Gretsch Day 2012 on June 2.  Billed as the Fred & Joe Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival, the evening featured live music from 3 to 6 p.m.  Performers included the Grammy-winning quartet Fountains of Wayne, sisters Nik & Sam, Paul Pigat & Cousin Harley, The Octanes, and Foxy Studs. Making special appearances were Damian Kulash of OK Go and Gretsch Girl Kim Falcon. For images from the event, click HERE.

Dinah & Fred Meet Gretsch Drummer Mark Pontius – 5/30

The Gretsches had the opportunity to meet with Gretsch-endorsed drummer Mark Pontius and the rest of the popular Indie pop band Foster The People during a concert at Rumsey Playhouse in New York City’s Central Park on May 30.  Here’s a great photo from their meeting.

Abbey Road on the River – 5/26 & 5/27

The Fred & Joe Show with Fred Gretsch & Joe Carducci was at Abbey Road on the River in Louisville. The world’s largest Beatles-inspired festival ran May 24 through 28. The Fred & Joe Show took place on May 26 with an encore presentation on May 27 . Take a look at some pictures from the booth HERE.

Dallas Guitar Show – 4/20 to 4/22

Bigsby Vibratos once again teamed with TV Jones and Gretsch Guitars for a Guitar Extravaganza at the 35th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival held at the Dallas Market Hall from April 20 to 22.  Installation demos by Bigsby as well as Tom Jones, “pit stop” service checks of Bigsby-equipped guitars, and Kim Falcon signing autographs were just some of the highlights.

Balto-DC Roundup – 3/30 & 3/31

The third annual Gretsch Balto-DC Roundup took place March 30 & 31 at the Hartford Park Community Association Center in Parkville, Maryland. Pictures here.

Meeting with Charlie Watts – 3/28

While in Vienna, Austria, Dinah & Fred Gretsch were able to get together with Charlie Watts,  long-time Gretsch drummer and member of the Rolling Stones as well as the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie. Read the entire story here.

Musikmesse Frankfurt – 3/21 to 3/24

Gretsch Guitars, Drums, and Bigsby Vibratos were on hand in Frankfurt for Musikmesse 2012.  Bigsby product specialist Adam Seutter performed twice-daily installation demonstrations at the Warwick/Framus booth. Gretsch drummer Mark Schulman, as part of the Fender Rock Trio, performed daily to standing-room-only crowds.

The Fred & Joe Show at Blues Angel Music – 3/2

The Fred & Joe Show made its first stop of 2012 at Blues Angel Music in Pensacola, FL on March 3 for their Grand Opening and charity raffle event benefiting the Red Cross and United Services Organizations (USO). The event took place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its brand new facilities at 657 N. Pace Blvd. The new 14,000-square-foot building boasts modern retail, music lesson, and musical instruments and electronics repair space.

Lake Havasu Rockabilly Reunion Weekend – 2/17 to 2/19

The 2012 Lake Havasu Rockabilly Reunion Festival took place from Februrary 17-19 at Lake Havasu Arizona State Park.  Sponsored by Gretsch, the festival featured live music, hot rod cars, Ms. Lake Havasu Rockabilly Pinup Girl Contest and much, much more! Gretsch was there with a fabulous display of guitars as well as the lovely Gretsch Girl, Kim Falcon, who signed her new poster for festival-goers.

Gretsch and Superbowl ILVI – 2/5

OK Go climbed into a specially-equipped Chevy Sonic and utilized 148 black Gretsch G5105 and 140 red G5103 Electromatic CVT III guitars in their latest video for “Needing/Getting” which aired during Superbowl XLVI. More here.

The NAMM Show, Anaheim – 1/19 to 1/22

The 2012 NAMM Show took place at the Anaheim Convention Center January 19 to 22. Gretsch Guitars and Gretsch Drums were on hand with some exciting new products including the Gretsch Rancher Acoustics and Roots Collection as well as the Gretsch Brooklyn Series drums.  Bigsby Vibratos also had an exciting new display featuring Bigsby-equipped guitars from 13 different manufacturers.  Check here for coverage provided by our friends at The Gretsch Pages and here for videos from the show.

For a recap of Gretsch events from 2011, click HERE.