Thousands of music products professionals from around the world gathered for the event, which kicked off with the fifth anniversary of the NAMM University Breakfast of Champions. Guests included Yoko One and Quincy Jones, who delivered an inspirational message about the importance of music in our lives, and of music education for children in America. The crowd also enjoyed an opening performance by Austrian folk musician Thomas Leeb.
NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond welcomed a full house of industry professionals and celebrated the many industry laureates, including Hartley Peavey, Skip Maggiora, Henry Steinway, Gene Simmons and Governor Mike Huckabee, who have shared their knowledge and insight during these morning one-on-one interviews with Lamond over the years.
Lamond also encouraged attendees to incorporate inspiration into their business practices.
“We need to be inspired if our industry is going to change and grow,” Lamond said. “We’ve got to do things differently—and ask ourselves ‘can I do more?’ “
Laomnd also interviewed Chris Martin, chairman and CEO of C.F. Martin and Co. Inc.; Tom Bedell founder of Bedell Guitars (Two Old Hippies, LLC); and Remo Belli, CEO and Founder of Remo, Inc.
In addition, Quincy Jones was presented with NAMM’s prestigious Music for Life Award.
Later, Jones helped lead the 40th anniversary celebration performance of the Fernando L. Petiot All-Industry Marching Band along with special guests the “Get a Life” Marching Band to officially open the NAMM Show. This annual opening event is a 40-year-tradition and represents a “Grand March to the Exposition.”
The first-ever SupportMusic Coalition webcast was hosted live from the NAMM Show. The Coalition comprises more than 200 organizations, representing more than seven million concerned citizens, working to ensure that music and arts instruction are part of a complete education for all children.
The event featured special guests and music education advocates Quincy Jones and Yoko Ono. A special performance by students at the widely recognized Fernando Pullum Performing Arts High School kicked off the event.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, Ono presented executive director of the John Lennon Education Tour Bus, Brian Rothchild, with $200,000 to support the hands-on music education that the bus brings to children throughout the country.
Also participating in the webcast were music education advocacy leaders Robert Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts; John J. Mahlmann, executive director of MENC: The National Association for Music Education; Laurie Schell, executive director of California Alliance for Arts Education; Madelyn Bonnot, executive director of the Quincy Jones Consortium; J. Scott Schoeffel of Wood Violins and Dana Point, Calif. city Council Member; and David Price of Musical Futures in the U.K.
Ono expressed that making music is one of the most beautiful things, and how important it is that children are allowed hands-on musical experiences similar to what the John Lennon Educational Bus offers.
Jones spoke about the importance of American children learning about our American music roots through music education, and the importance of ensuring that music education is available to every child in America.
The NAMM Show opened with a reported one percent increase in registrants over last year’s show.
Exhibitors expressed enthusiasm at the crowd and overall buyer interest, and retailers were excited about all of the new products to hit the show floor.
The new Hands On Training Zone for pro audio and house of worship professionals was popular for networking and mentoring sessions.
NAMM University sessions included topics on making time to market your business, productivity improvement, the power of passion, and the first of a three part session on building your business and empowering your staff, teachers and students.
The day’s events also featured a press conference supporting music education in celebration of Lennon’s 70th birthday. Yoko Ono, Quincy Jones and a host of other celebrities including Jackson Browne spoke about the importance of music education on behalf of American youth.
Students from South Central Los Angeles’ Fernando Pullum Performing Arts School performed a medley of Lennon songs with Rickey Minor, the musical director of American Idol and Fishbone.
In celebration of Lennon’s legacy this year, Yoko is showing her continued support of music education and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which gives students across the country free hands-on access to music and the digital arts.
Celebrity sightings at the show included Sinbad, Dick Dale, Nuno Bettencourt, Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, Nick Catanese and Mike Stone, JC Smith, Dick and Jimmy Dale and Craig Chaquico.
The NAMM Show wrapped up with an industry tribute featuring Doyle Dykes and the L.A. Scots Pipe Band.
Some of tomorrow’s highlights include the NAMM University Breakfast Session “The Post-Crisis Consumer,” the NAMM All-Star Lobby Jam and the Annual All-Industry Drum Circle, as well as many professional development sessions and musical performances throughout the day.
The 2009 NAMM Show runs through Sunday, January 17, at the Anaheim Convention Center. For more information and news updates, interested parties may visit www.namm.org/thenammshow/2010.