News

Upfront

Iconic guitarist Slash will receive the prestigious Les Paul Award during the 30th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be held Saturday, January 24 in Anaheim, California. Comedian Sinbad will provide the laughs as the evening’s host. The NAMM TEC Awards honors individuals and companies across 30 categories, for outstanding achievement in professional audio technology and production.

The Les Paul Award named for the revolutionary inventor and esteemed musician, honors individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio and music technology. Instituted in 1991, the honor has been granted to luminaries including Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Todd Rundgren, and Peter Gabriel.

Read more: Slash to Receive Les Paul Award at NAMM TEC Awards

Upfront

San Diego-based non-profit Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) announced that the Oriolo Guitar Co. recently made a $40,000 donation of guitars and ukuleles to its work of bringing music into the heart of academic learning across the country. Oriolo Guitars are best known for their colorful artwork, many featuring the popular character Felix the Cat who was produced by Joe Oriolo.

Oriolo’s son, Don, took the helm of Felix The Cat Productions Inc. in 1984 and has produced numerous episodes of Felix and brought the licensing brand to new heights. Oriolo entered the musical instruments/products world in 2008 when he first designed and manufactured his Oriolo Guitars. The company was founded by Don and believes in making music-based learning enjoyable for all kids.

Read more: Oriolo Guitars Makes $40,000 Instrument Donation to GITC

People

Grenoble, France-headquartered music software and hardware company Arturia has appointed former Focusrite-Novation director, U.S. Sales Ralph Goldheim to the newly-created position of president, U.S. Operations as part of its ongoing expansion strategy.

Goldheim brings extensive experience in sales and marketing management to Arturia, having worked in the pro audio/MI industry for more than 25 years with a number of key executive positions to his notable name, including significant tenures at M-Audio (MSN), 360 Systems (VP), Line 6 (VP/co-founder), and Alesis Corporation (VP) prior to Focusrite-Novation.

Read more: Arturia appoints Goldheim as President, U.S. Operations

People

Aurisonics, Inc. has named Mike Volkerding to the position of national sales manager for the U.S. MI market. Volkerding 's new role will be to develop partnerships with music retailers and their clients: the performing musician.

Read more: Aurisonics Names Volkerding National Sales Manager

Trade Regrets

Frank Green opened Music for Everyone in Southern California in 1959. He began working in the music industry some 12 years earlier as student enroller in an accordion school. He soon became a teacher for the school and a manager before deciding to open his own store. Frank spent time as a rep for Pacific Music and Music Man for which he wrote a book. In recent years, Green helped archive the industry’s history with several books about his career in music and by donating a full album of photographs he took of his dealers over the years to the NAMM Resource Center. 

Read more: Trade Regrets: Frank Green

Trade Regrets

William Kent, who along with his late brother, Ed, formed the Kent Drum Company, passed away in his Buffalo, New York area home at the age of 99 on December 11. 

William and Ed Kent opened the Kent Drum Company in 1947 with a focus to create student-level kits to encourage music making at all economic levels.  The company offered professional-level drums as well as other products such as the tambourine.

Read more: Trade Regrets: William Kent

People

Boulder Creek Guitars, Inc. has named Michael Hurwitz as vice president of Worldwide Sales. Hurwitz will oversee the sales of domestic U.S. dealers and international distributors.

“Michael is a true professional,” says Mike Replogle, Boulder Creek Guitars COO. “I’ve worked with him for over 15 years and have alway been impressed with his ability to generate positive results and great relationships – I’m truly excited to be working closely with him again at this great company”.

Read more: Boulder Creek Guitars Names Hurwitz VP

People

Seymour Duncan recently announced that Max Gutnik has joined the company as CRO. Gutnik has worked as a key player for Apogee, DigiDesign, Avid, and Line 6 and will be overseeing sales, marketing, and new products at Seymour Duncan. CEO Cathy Carter Duncan says, "Max has the knowledge, skills, energy and enthusiasm to deliver results. He has played critical roles in product development, sales and marketing during large growth periods of several music companies. Best of all, he loves to play guitar."

Read more: New Hires at Seymour Duncan

Trade Regrets

Vern Schafer, founder of Colton Pianos and president of Schafer Piano Movers, passed away on December 8.

As a teenager, Schafer joined the family business, Schafer Piano Movers, and developed an interest in the piano retail business. Soon after opening Colton Pianos, in the southern California town of Colton, Vern was able to expand, opening other locations. In the process, he wanted to train his employees to be able to run and manage the stores, so that he could continue to run the moving company. As a result Vern became a mentor to many successful piano retailers who went on to own and operate their own stores including Dennis James of the Piano Warehouse in San Diego and Bobby Shaw of Desert Pianos in Palm Springs.  In 2011, Vern was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Piano Travelers.  
 

Read more: Trade Regrets: Vern Schafer

Supplier Scene

Rolling Stone and D’Addario held the Next Young Gun Contest to choose the final Young Gun; guitarists everywhere were asked to submit a video of themselves playing their own original songs, licks, riffs, or solos. D’Addario and Rolling Stone chose eight finalists and opened online voting, in addition to the votes of a distinguished panel of musicians. The winter, Marcus Machado, was announced December 9th, and the grand prize includes a profile and coverage on RollingStone.com, a trip to Los Angeles to record at some of the country’s top studios (including Swing House and TRS West), a gig at an LA club, and a one year supply of D’Addario strings.

Read more: Rolling Stone and D’Addario Announce Next Young Gun Contest Winner

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