Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Media Preview Day recap offers preview of 2014 NAMM

Daytime temps might have visitors from around the globe swearing it's summertime, but the kickoff of the 2014 NAMM Show can only mean one thing; January has arrived and so has the world's largest gathering of the music products industry. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) kicked off their annual winter show held at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier today with Media Preview Day.

The OM-ECHF Navy Blues guitar at its debut.
With more than 100,000 attendees from 90 different nations expected to attend the NAMM Show (Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 23-26), the Media Preview Day held earlier today (Wednesday, Jan. 22) afforded a nice chance to get an intimate leap on this year's trade show with about 20 companies showcasing their products for a swarm of reporters, bloggers, photographers and new media insiders.

It is always the blend of cutting-edge technology and time-honored craftsmanship of acoustic instruments that makes checking out NAMM pretty special. I couldn't take my eyes off the beautiful OM-ECHF Navy Blues Limited Edition guitar, the third in a series of collaborations between C.F. Martin & Co., Eric Clapton, and Hiroshi Fujiwara. With fewer than 200 of these guitars set to be made (and each signed by Clapton, Fujiwara, Dick Boak and C.F. Martin IV), it's easy to see why the suggested retail price is $6,999. Visit Martin Guitar's Web site at

Dion Dublin playing The Dube.
While acoustic guitars (especially great ones!) will never go out of style, innovation is another big part of NAMM. Dion Dublin, a former English footballer, brought his new creation known as The Dube to showcase how it offers a full percussion drum sound in a futuristic package. He explained that he developed the instrument about eight years ago while he was still playing professional football. Not only did The Dube sound great during a demonstration, but there is little doubt that the instrument is easier to transport than a full drum kit and likely perfect for many live settings.

And of course NAMM wouldn't be complete without live performances by top players. Art Alexakis, lead singer of the alternative rock outfit Everclear, came in support of Los Angeles College of Music, where he was recently selected to be chair of songwriting department. He performed a powerful acoustic version of "Santa Monica" and stressed the importance of providing young people with the chance to perform and write music. 

Art Alexakis of Everclear performing "Santa Monica" at NAMM.
The rocker recalled that when he was asked about teaching at the school, he was both honored and excited by the challenge.

"I want to inspire like I was inspired," Alexakis said.

He noted that while at NAMM he is working with several students from the school at the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus which is parked in front of the Anaheim Convention Center throughout the NAMM Show. Click here to watch Alexakis perform "Santa Monica" courtesy of the NAMM site.

While at Media Preview Day, I also got a look at some amazing Deering Banjos that I hope to check out in more detail this weekend; I also spent a good amount of time at the IK Multimedia display where I got a look at some amazing gadgets and gizmos including the iRig Mic HD, the first handheld universal digital microphone for use by owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac/PC and Android devices. I also was treated to a demonstration of iRing, the first wearable, touch-less ring controller for music apps that was so impressive it needs to be seen to be believed. Whew!

For more information on all things NAMM, visit

No comments: