Imagine walking into a 800,000 square foot building, buzzing with exhibitors, artists, buyers, and manufacturers whirling around in a frenzy trying to score the biggest deal. Imagine lingering in the same room as veteran music legend, Stevie Wonder, or Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, along with contemporary greats like Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun, and Tre Cool of Green Day.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is likely the only setting someone would be able to witness all the above at the same time. What’s known as the worlds largest trade-only music event, is held every January in Anaheim, Calif. at the Anaheim Convention Center. Reeling in almost 100,000 guests this year, the NAMM Show allows more than 1,700 exhibitors and manufacturers to showcase over 5,100 brands.
“It’s just a major scale and no wrong notes, so beginners can have a good time right from the start,” says Bob McNally, inventor of the Strumstick, a handcrafted instrument that resembles a skinny geometric guitar with three long strings. “Musicians love it too!” he says.
The NAMM Show brings together communities of people from all over the country, and all over the world, including Germany, China, and Israel.
Jana Messe, Sales Department International for GEWA Music, a company based in Germany specializing in string instruments, exhibited great people skills when she talked about the company’s newest electronic violin.
Ever since the first NAMM Show in 1901, it has only been gaining popularity and Casio is no rookie to the game. General Manager of Marketing, Mike Martin, showcased their new digital pianos, ranging from 61 to 88 keys, to a potential customer.
“This is the place where we unveil our new products, and get distribution of those products out in the field,” said Martin.
“Casio has been coming to NAMM for 35 years. Casio has been in the music business since 1980,” Martin added.
SJC Custom Drums and Avedis Zildjian Cymbals come together to form an alternative drummers harmonic dream: the perfect custom drum kit. Over the weekend, the SJC booth hosted a drummer meet and greet featuring two of their artists, Josh Dun from Twenty One Pilots, and Tre Cool of Green Day. The line consisted of over 400 fans and stretched to be almost two and a half hours long.
“We keep coming back [to NAMM] just to show our artists and dealers and customers what we’re up to,” says Mike Ciprari, co-founder of SJC. Zildjian boasts a repertoire of big time drummers that’s hard to compete with, including Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Alex Shelnutt of A Day To Remember and Eric Singer of KISS.
This year, Zildjian introduced two new lines of cymbals.
“One’s called the Avedis Series and that part goes back to 1950s style cymbals, and we have a more modern sound called the S Family of cymbals,” says Paul Francis, director of Zildjian.
Whether you’re a CEO looking to score a multi-year contract or just a high school teenager trying to find the best drum kit to start a garage band, The National Association of Music Merchants has it all. From virtual drum kits to real drum kits, harmonicas to handbells, or strumsticks to synthesizers, going to the NAMM Show is an amazing opportunity for any music enthusiast.