Archive for the ‘Music Industry Events’ Category

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.

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!”

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.

Fred & Dinah Attend Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Concert

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

On August 11, Fred and Dinah Gretsch, along with 18,000 highly-energized and eager fans, had the chance to attend the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena.  With the equally legendary group–Crosby, Stills, & Nash–opening the show, it was guaranteed to be a night not soon forgotten.

Before the show Fred and Dinah had the opportunity to spend some time backstage visiting with members of both bands.  The Atlanta show followed a week-long break and Tom and the rest of the Heartbreakers seemed to be in good spirits as they prepared to kick off the third leg of their Mojo summer tour.

Mike Campbell on Stage

The Gretsches learned that Mike Campbell, the Heartbreakers’ lead guitarist and one of its original founding members, recently purchased a ‘56 Gretsch Nashville of which he’s reportedly very proud.  They were also delighted with the opportunity to visit with the Heartbreakers’ drummer, family friend, and Gretsch drum endorser, Steve Ferrone.

Fred with Steve Ferrone

This show was the first of several that rock legends CSN will be opening on the Mojo tour.  Gracious as always, Stephen, Graham, and David spent time catching up with the Gretsches and chatting about some of their instruments including, of course, their various Gretsch guitars.

After delivering their best wishes to all, it was on to the show.  Following an amazing 90-minute set by CSN, Tom and the Heartbreakers did not disappoint. “Tom Petty has reached the youth market again,” commented Dinah after seeing the large number of young fans in attendance. Thirty-four years and counting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are still selling out shows.  With their earlier hits becoming popular with today’s youth, it appears their music will be transcending generations of music lovers for a long time to come.

Two legendary groups; one amazing evening of music.  It can’t get much better than that!

In Concert

Gretsch Drums & KMC Music Celebrate 10 Years Together

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

When two of the most important names in the musical instrument industry get together to celebrate, it’s sure to be a terrific party. Such was the case this past June 11 when the Gretsch Company hosted a celebration of ten years of partnership with KMC Music, Inc.  The Gretsch/KMC Music 10th Anniversary party was celebrated on the grounds of KMC Music’s headquarters in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

A talented trio called The Psychedelic ‘60s included two KMC Music employees, and anchored jam sessions featuring several more.

The event featured a lavish barbecue, games, and other activities for KMC employees, their families, and invited guests. Entertainment was provided by The Psychedelic ’60s, a trio led by guitarist (and KMC Music inside salesman) Martin Kelly, with KMC Music inside salesman Joe Mazza on drums. As the afternoon progressed, many talented members of the KMC Music staff sat in on drums. These included overall percussion products manager Ken Fredenberg, Gretsch drums product manager John Palmer, additional percussion products specialist Jim Stanek, inside salesperson Jeff Pyle, and customer service rep Jay Cole.

Watch the Band

Invited guests included John DiMugno, owner and president of Delmar Products, along with Delmar employees Don Mulligan and Doug O’Leary. Delmar makes the drum covering material used to create many of Gretsch’s most popular finishes. The two companies have done business together since 1962. The event was also attended by members of the music press, including Laurie Guptill and Randy Struckus from Musical Merchandise Review, as well as managing editor Rich Watson of The Music Trades.

Fred Gretsch, Grill Master

Fred Gretsch himself took a “hands-on” role in the festivities by donning a special 10th Anniversary BBQ apron embroidered with the title of “Fred Gretsch, Grill Master” and helping to prepare hot dogs and hamburgers for the dozens of hungry guests.

Among the highlights of the afternoon was a series of special presentations. After an introduction by new Gretsch business development manager Colin Schofield, Fred Gretsch offered comments about the Gretsch/KMC Music partnership. “When I first began to consider someone to help develop the Gretsch drum brand over a decade ago,” said Fred, “I knew that I had to find exactly the right type of organization in order for the idea to succeed. They’d need to have all the necessary expertise in the key areas of manufacturing, marketing, sales, and service in order for my hopes to be realized. KMC was always at the top of my list. And now, here we are, ten years later—celebrating the ‘rightness’ of that decision.”

Fred went on to acknowledge all of the members of the Gretsch and KMC Music teams who help to manufacture and market “the world’s finest drums to the world’s most discriminating drummers,” adding, “Family is important to us at Gretsch . . . and we consider everyone on the KMC team to be a cherished part of that family.”

Singled out for special mention were US Custom Shop production manager Paul Cooper, Gretsch drums manager John Palmer, artist relations manager Kim Graham, and all the members of the KMC Music sales, customer service, and shipping departments. In addition, Fred thanked his wife, Gretsch Company CFO Dinah Gretsch, for her “invaluable contributions to the success our company has enjoyed.”

Brigadier General Jeffrey Phillips (left) and his parents were honored guests of Fred and Dinah Gretsch.

Fred also acknowledged the presence of a personal friend and special guest: Brigadier General Jeffrey E. Phillips, deputy commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division at Ft. Stewart, just outside of Savannah, Georgia.  Said Fred, “General Phillips and I share a vision of the importance of music in our society. In a letter he wrote me recently, he said, ‘Our music helps define us. It reflects our diversity and freedom.’”

Fred and Dinah presented KMC Music senior vice president of sales & marketing Paul Damiano with a portrait of the Gretsch Company’s founders.

Following Fred’s comments, KMC Music senior vice president of sales & marketing Paul Damiano was called to the stage to receive gifts for KMC from the Gretsch family. These included a plaque commemorating the 10th Anniversary, as well as a framed portrait of past presidents of the Gretsch Company dating back to Friederich Gretsch, who founded the company in 1883. Current president Fred W. Gretsch represents the fourth generation of Gretsch drum builders.

A custom snare drum personalized with KMC employee signatures was presented to the Gretsches.

Commenting that “Gretsch isn’t the only one who knows how to give gifts,” Paul Damiano returned the favor by presenting Fred and Dinah with two unique items for the Gretsch museum in Pooler, Georgia. The first was a one-of-a-kind Gretsch USA Custom 10th Anniversary drumkit created in the company’s Ridgeland, South Carolina factory. The second was a custom snare drum personalized with the signatures of all KMC Music employees involved in the creation, marketing, and sale of Gretsch drums.

Following the presentations, Dinah Gretsch cut a cake emblazoned with the event logo, offering everyone a piece and commenting that “It’s a sugar-free cake, so it’s also guilt-free.”

Not only was cake provided for all in attendance, but so were personalized souvenir bags for each KMC employee and his or her family. The bags contained logoed aprons, T-shirts, and candy. KMC Music percussion brands manager Ken Fredenberg commented, “The barbecue was a great time. Fred and Dinah really know how to throw a party. We all enjoyed a great spread of food, fun and games for the kids, and terrific music. I think everyone at KMC feels a part of the great Gretsch team, and we’re proud to have been involved with the Gretsch project for the last ten years.”

Additional Information and Commentary on the Gretsch/KMC Music Partnership

Gretsch is America’s oldest and most prestigious drum manufacturer, with a rich musical history that spans more than 125 years. Long the choice of such jazz masters as Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, and Max Roach, Gretsch drums are currently favored by artists in a variety of musical styles, including Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting), Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz), Stephen Ferrone (Tom Petty), and Bill Stewart (contemporary jazz great). The Gretsch Company is based in the Savannah suburb of Pooler, Georgia.

KMC Music, Inc. is the nation’s largest distributor of musical instruments, including exclusive marketing and distribution of Gretsch drums. The company is headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

KMC Music and Gretsch formed their partnership in 1990. Commenting on that partnership, Fred Gretsch says, “When I first began to consider a business partner for the Gretsch drum brand over a decade ago, I knew that they would need to have all the necessary expertise in the key areas of manufacturing, marketing, sales, and service for my expectations to be achieved. I decided that I would proceed only if a partnership with such an organization could be realized.

 ”KMC Music’s extensive overseas manufacturing capabilities and resources have enabled high-quality Gretsch instruments to be offered in the entry-level and mid-priced price categories. It has also enabled greater product selection and more setup and finish options than ever before. Their contemporary drumset designs have set new quality standards in the industry at all price points. In addition, continued operation of the fabled Gretsch drum factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina has ensured that high-end professional Gretsch drums are still hand-crafted in the USA to our exacting standards. Working together, our active product development initiatives, continued innovation and on-going product improvements will make sure that Gretsch stays at the forefront of contemporary drum design.”

Fred goes on to say, “KMC Music’s team of over twenty-five highly professional sales reps ensures that retailers in every region of the country are visited and receive individual attention. In addition, each rep is backed by an in-house support team, thus ensuring that each retailer receives the highest possible level of service. In the international marketplace, KMC’s established international distribution network has enabled a new level of penetration in to overseas markets. Gretsch drums are now readily available in more countries around the world than ever before.”

“KMC has a long-term, demonstrated commitment to being an industry service leader,” Fred concludes. “Their distribution, warehouse and logistics capabilities are broadly acknowledged as the very best in the industry. Their professional customer service team ensures fast, friendly support for both retailers and consumers, and their state-of-the-art inventory management systems ensure ready product availability and minimal lead times for add-on drums and special orders. Importantly, KMC operates a dedicated spare parts and service department to ensure that all end-users are offered efficient spare parts service and support. The effective supply and service of spare parts is so very essential in the drum industry; this has certainly been one of the key factors in our success.”

Gretsch Company CFO Dinah Gretsch adds, “KMC Music has its own impressive history of developing product lines, as well as a highly regarded reputation for building and managing successful brands. This was important to us as we evaluated potential partners, because it was essential that they would understand and be sensitive to the very special history and legacy of the Gretsch drum brand. Given their already comprehensive knowledge of the drum market, KMC was uniquely qualified to partner with us. Their skilled marketing team develops and deploys very effective and innovative advertising and promotional programs. I also enjoy working with their artist relations managers to ensure that all Gretsch endorsers receive world-class service and support.”

Speaking from the KMC Music perspective, Gretsch Drums product manager John Palmer says, “We’re very pleased to celebrate our ten-year anniversary of distributing Gretsch drums on a worldwide basis. Gretsch drums enjoy a unique, colorful, and respected place among the great American drum brands, and we’re proud to expand on this tradition. We’re thrilled to be able to embellish on the Gretsch legacy by making improvements, where possible, at the USA Custom factory, in addition to continuing to expand our overall drum offering. We are committed to building on the Gretsch legacy by continuing to provide all drummers with superior-sounding Gretsch drums to inspire the maximum drumming experience.”

Finally, KMC Music senior vice president for sales & marketing Paul Damiano adds, “We at KMC Music are obviously very pleased with and proud of our Gretsch drum business. Ten years ago, it was our strategic objective to solidify our position in the drumset market so that we would have a firm foundation on which to build our percussion business. The strong market acceptance of Gretsch drums gave us the confidence to build on that success with the addition of Latin Percussion and Sabian cymbals. As those brands began to flourish, the rest of our percussion accessory business also began to flourish, including Remo and Evans drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks and educational percussion. Today, KMC Music is a ‘destination’ supplier for any serious drum shop in the USA! And we owe that status in large part to our partnership with Gretsch.”

For more information on the history of the Gretsch Company, visit www.gretsch.com. For more information on Gretsch drums, visit www.gretschdrums.com. For more information on KMC Music and its various brands, visit www.kmcmusic.com.

All photos by John Giammatteo.

GretschGear at 2010 Summer NAMM!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The 2010 Summer NAMM show is taking place this weekend, June 18 to 20, in the great city of Nashville. What had previously been an industry-only trade show is being shaken up a bit this year. Earlier this month NAMM announced that Sunday, June 20 will be “Wanna Play Music Sunday”. Wanna Play Music Sunday will not only open the show doors to the public, but also host events including a Vintage Guitar Road Show and an All Star Celebrity Jam. The Celebrity Jam Concert will feature former Governor Mike Huckabee, Aaron Tippin, Louise Mandrell and many others. The Vintage Guitar Road Show will offer appraisals as well as a fine collection of vintage gear. For more information on the NAMM show and “Wanna Play Music Sunday” visit http://www.namm.org/wannaplaysunday.

GretschGear and Bigsby at NAMM

While on the show floor make sure to stop by Booth 700 and check out GretschGear as well as Bigsby Vibratos. We’ll be there with an extensive array of products and accessories. Stop by and check it out!

Fred Gretsch Brings History to Chicago Drum Show

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Fred W. Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, recently appeared at the 20th annual Chicago Drum Show. America’s premier vintage and custom drum event, the show was held this past May 15 and 16 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois. A tremendous turnout of avid drum buffs made this anniversary edition of the Chicago Show particularly noteworthy.

Fred Gretsch Giving His Master Class Presentation.

Fred Gretsch was the perfect candidate to offer historical presentations at the Chicago Show, since as the fourth generation of Gretsch drum makers he personally embodies a major part of American drum-making history. He also holds the enviable position of being the only man in America still actively involved with the drums that have born his family name for 127 years. Fred gave a presentation on Saturday, May 15 that went out live on the DrummerCafe web site. He also conducted a master class on Sunday, May 16. Joining Fred for his presentations was John Palmer, Gretsch Drum Manager for KMC Music, which distributes Gretsch drums world-wide.

Gretsch Drum Artist Hannah Ford Speaking During Her Clinic.

Also appearing for Gretsch was talented young artist-endorser Hannah Ford. A native of the Chicago area, Hannah has made a name for herself as both a performing artist and an exciting clinician. Hannah wowed those in attendance with her combination of fiery rock chops and solid grooves.

The Chicago Drum Show also featured a display of Gretsch drums. These included three beautiful USA Custom Special Edition kits and several Special Edition snare drums, each hand-crafted in the Gretsch factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina.

A Beautiful Gretsch USA Custom Special Edition Kit On Display.

The Gretsch family dynasty began in 1883, when a young German immigrant named Friedrich Gretsch founded a little shop in Brooklyn, New York. From that day to this, the Gretsch family has focused on making drums that offer unrivaled sound and uncompromising construction quality. Blending an emphasis on hand-craftsmanship with constant innovation, Gretsch has pioneered new drum designs and manufacturing techniques for well over a century. These include the first ply drumshells and the use of die-cast hoops.

Today, Gretsch drums are the preferred instruments of drummers looking for unique tonal quality and hand-made craftsmanship. So it’s not surprising that Fred W. Gretsch’s presentations at the Chicago Drum Show proved fascinating and informative to all in attendance. Fred celebrated four generations of family and musical history, as well as offering a look forward to the next 125 years of “That Great Gretsch Sound!”

Hannah Ford with Fred Gretsch and Fred’s sister, Gretchen Elsner-Sommer.