Charlie Daniels headlines NAMM opener
Summer NAMM 2016 is finally history, and thousands of musicians and music industry executives filled Nashville’s Music City Center to browse the hundreds of exhibits and see what’s new. In fact, according to the show’s organizers, 14,055 industry professionals registered for Summer NAMM, a 1% increase over 2015 and 14% over 2014. Of that, international attendees accounted for 12% growth over 2015, and 59% growth since 2014, making for the largest number of international participants at Summer NAMM in over a decade.
The week kicked off with a pre-show party. D’Addario, the Farmingdale, New York-based manufacturer of guitar strings and other musical accessories, hosted their sixth annual invite-only pre-NAMM party at Soundcheck rehearsal studios in Nashville. With Tennessee BBQ along with beer and whiskey, authorized dealers and endorsers enjoyed music from Stephen Mougin’s Bluegrass All-Stars, resonator guitar virtuoso Rob Ickes and guitarist Trey Hensley, ambient looper William Tyler and the Andy Wood Trio.
The music continued on Thursday, when attendees were treated to a blistering set from the legendary Charlie Daniels Band, performing on the NAMM Nissan Terrace Stage.
As in previous years, Summer NAMM provided a robust platform for buyers, exhibitors and professionals to engage with the latest products, learn new business strategies, connect with other industry peers, and to position their businesses for a successful second half of the year.
The show counted a variety of new and returning exhibitors including Dunlop, Ernie Ball, Fender, Ovation, and Pearl, among many others, and with Summer NAMM veterans like Martin, Peavey, Roland, Sabian, Taylor, Yamaha, and Zildjian returning to showcase their latest gear. This year’s show saw a rise in exhibitors with 1,650 brands represented by 517 exhibitors, an increase of 5% over 2015.
On Saturday, the doors were opened to music industry professionals for a record-setting Music Industry Day with nearly 1,800 attendees, an increase of 1% over 2015. Early in the afternoon, country rocker and “The Voice” winner of season seven, Craig Wayne Boyd, performed for the day’s attendees.
Summer NAMM American Eagle Awards
In the Davidson Ballroom, the 33rd Annual American Eagle Awards honored Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and the Grand Ole Opry. The awards annually recognize individuals that have made significant contributions to music in America.
When it comes to new products, there were a great many to be seen in every area. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) showed several new additions to their industry-leading amplifier and accessories categories including of the ’57 Custom Tweed series of guitar amplifiers and the Bassman 800 amp. In addition, Fender debuted the ShawBucker 1 and 2 Humbucking Pickups and FTN-1 Tuner.
One of the more unusual items came from young entrepreneur Hunter Marlowe, a recent graduate of MTSU. It’s the Jambourine: the world’s first sound hole tambourine for acoustic guitars. It slips easily behind the guitar strings in the sound hole, allowing the guitarist to add an extra dimension to his or her picking or strumming.
AMV Sales showed a number of unique instruments, including a cigar box guitar and ‘Rozanna’s Butterfly Dream Fuschia’ student violin that can be customized with school colors.
Additionally, there were many other new items as well as familiar instruments, equipment and accessories from the world’s leading musical manufacturers.
Music industry pros are already marking their calendars for next year’s shows: January 19-22, 2017 in Anaheim, CA, and July 13-15, 2017 in Nashville, TN.
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Note: Some information in this report originated in the official post-show summary found at NAMM’s website https://www.namm.org/summer/2016 where visitors can learn more about the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and their activities.