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Roland and BOSS Present Fourth Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Featured
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• Created: January 31, 2019

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Jun-ichi Miki, Roland Corporation CEO and representative director; DJ Pierre; Dolores Smith-Kitchen and Maurice Kitchen (mother and uncle of DJ Spank, respectively, who received award for DJ Spank posthumously); and Brian Alli, Roland Corporation Vice President of Key Influencers and Business Development.

During the 2019 Roland International Press Conference, held Thursday, January 24, 2019, on the first day of The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, Roland and BOSS presented their fourth-annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to acid-house pioneers DJ Pierre and Spanky of Phuture (Roland), and guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Danny Kortchmar (BOSS). Additionally, as part of the company’s ongoing dedication to supporting music education, Roland presented its inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Education honor, which went to Dr. Randall Faber, co-founder of Faber Piano Adventures®. The Roland/BOSS Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize individuals for their invaluable contributions to the music industry while using Roland and/or BOSS gear throughout their careers. The gala event, hosted by Leslie Lewis (President, Leslie Lewis Consulting, and Producer, GRAMMY® Nominees Album Series), was attended by artists, musicians, and leading journalists from the music industry.

The event began with Brian Alli, Roland Corporation Vice President of Key Influencers and Business Development, presenting the first-ever Roland Lifetime Achievement in Education award to Dr. Randall Faber. As pianist and educator, Randall Faber has appeared as special guest at universities throughout North America and Asia such as the Beijing Central Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Canada, at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the World Conference on Piano Pedagogy, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference and the USA National Piano Teachers Institute. Dr. Faber holds three degrees from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development, and his research on motivation and talent development has been featured in journals and media in South Korea, China, Australia, and at the International Conference on Motivation in Portugal. Randall and his wife Nancy are well known as authors of the best-selling Piano Adventures teaching method. Translated to seven languages, their books have sold tens of millions of copies around the world. Last year, Piano Adventures by Nancy and Randall Faber was selected as the recipient of the prestigious MTNA Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for 2018. The Faber’s are co-founders of the Faber Piano Institute.
Faber remarked, “I’m very honored to receive this award. It brings back poignant memories of my rock band days. I’m reminded here that we have two streams: the conservatory skills of classical musicians and we have the pop skills. And I’ve always been inspired on merging those in my own playing, and as an educator and now more than ever, I’m energized to bring those worlds together for music teaching.”
Next, Brian Alli presented the Roland Lifetime Achievement Award to DJ Pierre (present) and Spanky (posthumously) of acid-house collective Phuture. Begun in 1985 in Chicago, electronic music collective Phuture is widely credited with inventing and developing the sound of acid house music. Their seminal 1987 12-inch single “Acid Tracks” is known as the first acid house record, a style that prominently uses basslines formed with the Roland TB-303. The group is still active today, although without Spanky, who passed away in 2016.
DJ Pierre commented, “The reason why this award is great and important is that we built our whole careers on the sound of Roland. Their drum machine, the keyboards, the 303. All our life, we dreamed to get a Roland drum machine when we couldn’t afford one, and now we’re getting an award from them. It’s just amazing, it’s like poetry.”
Third, Alli presented veteran guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Danny Kortchmar with the BOSS lifetime achievement award. A renowned guitarist, producer, songwriter and session musician, Kortchmar has played, produced and written for James Taylor, Don Henley, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and many more. As a songwriter, Kortchmar has either written alone or collaborated with numerous artists and has penned tracks like Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry,” “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” and “New York Minute,” as well as Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby” and “Shaky Town,” to name a few. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Kortchmar was a member of The Section, best known for both their studio and live work in support of some of the top selling singer/songwriters and solo singers in the history of music. Together, The Section helped define the sound of a generation. Recently, Kortchmar put members of The Section back together again, and they now perform regularly live around the world as The Immediate Family.
Kortchmar commented, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate this award. On every record made in L.A., there is a Roland or BOSS product that is on that recording or on that stage. Their gear has been incredibly valuable for all of us. That’s why it’s such an honor for me to be receiving this award from them. I think I can speak for all of the musicians out there in the industry, we are really grateful for them in creating such great products that help all of us on our creative journey. So again, thank you so much for this award.”

After remarks from all three present recipients, Kortchmar performed a few songs with bandmates Russ Kunkel (drummer) and Steve Postell (guitarist/songwriter).

Alli noted, “Roland and BOSS are honored to recognize Danny Kortchmar and the acid-house pioneers from Phuture, as well as the educator Dr. Randall Faber. These individuals have styles all their own and have inspired countless other musicians to find their own voice.”

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