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2012 NAMM Round-Up

Reported by Mary Bee. This year was my first time attending NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) Conference and what a great surprise! Being in a space with over 95,000 people who hold music in such a high regard was a wonderful place to both learn and be inspired. Attendees ranged from from engineers, to record industry professionals, musicians, fans and music merchants. The Anaheim Convention Center itself was incredible and overwhelming. Every piece of musical equipment and instrument one could possibly imagine was represented in abundance, including the latest and greatest in what seemed like a never ending sea of musical instruments, gear and music merchandise.

Most intriguing to me was the Yamaha Disklavier, an acoustic piano equipped with high tech recording and playback features as well as internet connectivity. The Disklavier was acting as a player piano. It was connect to another piano about fifteen miles away from the Convention Center at the Yamaha building. At the remote location a man played the piano which we could observe via  live streaming video, and the piano at the at the Convention Center played every note he played – even the foot pedal work was mirrored in real time as we watched. This was impressive! At the weekend I attended panels which featured a number of top professionals in The Hot Zone section of the conference. The speakers were knowledgeable and happy to answer questions from attendees, many of them took time after their sessions to help out further.

The live music was wonderfully thought out, every genre was represented and the talent exceptional. I stumbled across my first drum circle on Saturday night at the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus ‘Wanna Play’ Stage. The energy was so incredible, I just could not walk away – it was mesmerizing!  My favorite live performance was at the Sunday morning Gospel Brunch which featured Israel Houghton, New Breed, and a wonderful opener, the Mt. Rubidoux Choir. They attracted and kept a huge, excited crowd, which only seemed to grow throughout their set and with good reason – their energy was high, the talent onstage was extraordinary, and the songs were amazing.  What a great show.

I had a great experience at NAMM and look forward to the next!




Mary Bee