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Upfront

SKB Corporation has welcomed SF Marketing Inc. (SFM) Dorval, Quebec, as their new Canadian distributor of SKB cases.  SFM has been providing professional quality products and services to the live entertainment and audio visual industries in Canada since 1978. High-profile brands worldwide have come to trust SFM as their sales, marketing, distribution, and service arm in the Canadian marketplace.

"Everyone at SFM is excited and delighted about our new partnership with SKB to bring the best cases in the world to our customers," says SFM's vice president of sales John Warwick. "SKB is both a legend and an innovator in the case business and we are proud to be associated with such an iconic brand ".

Read more: SKB Announces New Canadian Partnership >>>

Upfront

Recent talks between Hal Leonard Corporation and Apogee Electronics, an industry leader in digital audio recording technology, have culminated in a new distribution deal for the MI and pro audio channels in the US and Canada. Apogee director of worldwide sales Jeremy Stappard reached the agreement with Brad Smith, senior sales and marketing manager for Hal Leonard.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California – where they proudly design and engineer their products – Apogee has been defining the art of digital audio since 1985. The company continues to innovate with technologies and products that push the envelope, inspire competitors, and lead the studio-quality home recording revolution.

Read more: Hal Leonard to Distribute Apogee Pro Audio Interfaces >>>

Supplier Scene

Alfred Music recently announced the USA launch of mastering the piano, the first series of books from Faber Music as part of their major new piano program: Lang Lang Piano Academy. The series will be distributed exclusively in North America, Canada and South America by Alfred Music. Mastering the piano comprises of five progressive books for teachers and students in which Lang Lang, one of the world’s most prolific and high-profile recording artists, explores and develops piano technique for young players. This is the first time Lang Lang has worked with a music publisher anywhere in the world and the distribution of this series initiates an ongoing collaboration between Lang Lang, Faber Music, and Alfred Music through the Lang Lang Piano Academy.

Read more: Faber Announces Publishing Partnership with Lang Lang to be Distributed by Alfred >>>

Trade Regrets

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Paul Craft passed away this past Saturday at the age of 76.

Prior to hitting his stride as a songwriter, he ran Paul Craft’s Music and Drum City in Memphis, Tennessee. Songs penned by Craft have been performed by the likes of Mark Chestnut, T. Graham Brown, Ray Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, and Alison Krauss, among many others.  

Read more: Trade Regrets: Paul Craft >>>

Upfront

Through a unique blend of artists and musicians – including Donald Edward Hardy, Brandon Boyd, Thomas Campbell, Johnny Marr and Shawn Stussy – Hurley and Fender® will recognize the unparalleled heritage of the Stratocaster on its 60th anniversary. Twenty American-made, hand-painted Stratocaster guitars will be auctioned off to raise money for Waves For Water, which in turn will save lives through water-based initiatives.

“STRAT: 60 Years of the Stratocaster” is a collaboration between the two unique brands and pays homage to the iconic Fender Stratocaster® guitar as it embarks on its seventh decade of existence. Each Strat® guitar will include individual designs and artwork by a featured artist and will be auctioned on eBay, October 22 through November 1. Proceeds will benefit Waves For Water, an organization that brings access to potable water to nations in need.

Read more: Hurley and Fender Present ‘Strat: 60 Years of the Stratocaster’ >>>

Upfront

Little Kids Rock will host its sixth annual Little Kids Rock Benefit, honoring Joan Jett and her music. The annual event, this year presented by Guitar Center and produced by Steven and Maureen Van Zandt, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 23 at New York’s iconic Hammerstein Ballroom at The Manhattan Center, a longstanding supporter of Little Kids Rock and a 2014 event sponsor. Alice Cooper, Tommy James, Billie Joe Armstrong, Darlene Love, Glen Hansard, Jesse Malin, Brody Dalle, Mike Ness, Jake Clemons, and other special guests will make up the all-star roster of musicians that will pay tribute to Jett with musical performances, produced by Steven Van Zandt.

Read more: Little Kids Rock to Honor Joan Jett at Annual Benefit >>>

Upfront

Zildjian and the Berklee College of Music recently concluded the 10th year of the Armand Zildjian Artist in Residence Program. This year’s guest Zildjian artist was Gospel drumming phenom and Usher sideman Aaron Spears.

The Armand Zildjian Artist-in-Residence was created by the Zildjian family in recognition of Armand’s tireless efforts in the promotion of percussive music, principally through the manufacturing of the world-class Zildjian cymbals and the promotion of talented artists. The purpose of the program is to provide Berklee students an opportunity to learn from recognized drummers in a wide range of genres. Past artists-in-residence have included Steve Smith, Peter Erskine, and Antonio Sanchez.

Read more: Zildjian Sponsors 10th Year of Berklee Artist-in-Residence Program with Aaron Spears >>>

Accessories

The Pickup Booster pedal returns with a few extra twists and a new look. With its class A, low-noise circuit design, the Resonance Switch allows those with single-coils to flip a switch for a vintage humbucker sound or switch again for high-output humbucker tones. Compared to the original Pickup Booster the Gain control can now be turned down to unity (0dB), and includes a new discrete push-pull output stage.

Read more: Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster >>>

Upfront

Grover Pro Percussion Inc., Massachusetts-based leaders in high-quality professional percussion products, has reached an agreement with Hammerax® which grants them exclusive rights to worldwide distribution.

"I have admired the Grover brand name and been a friend of Neil Grover for over 30 years. Grover Pro represents the pinnacle of quality in every product they touch. The business model of a single distributor working with export distributors and dealers is the best way to reach drummers and percussionists,” states John Stannard, Hammerax president.

Read more: Grover Pro Announces Partnership With Hammerax >>>

Supplier Scene

Rock band programs for teens and pre-teens have been popping up all over the country ever since the release of the movie School of Rock in 2002.  Music studio owners are having great success with these popular programs, but are turning away customers that are too young for rock band and too old for parent-child classes. In 2010 St. Louis Missouri Rock School owner, Dave Simon, filled this education gap by creating an innovative rock band program called Kidzrock that allows kids as young as four to perform and sing in a real rock band.

Read more: Kidzrock Fills Education Gap >>>

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