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The NAMM Show: 7 Must-See Events From Moby to Skynyrd to Peavey’s 50th Bash

The 113th edition of The NAMM SHOW, the annual music products confab staged by the National Assn. of Music Merchants in Anaheim, Calif. Jan. 22-25, will bring together techno star Moby, Lynyrd…

The 113th edition of The NAMM SHOW, the annual music products confab staged by the National Assn. of Music Merchants in Anaheim, Calif. Jan. 22-25, will bring together techno star Moby, Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Clinton, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and gearheads galore.

The trade show was launched in 1901 and you’ve been able to “set your watch that NAMM’s going to be the third week of January,” says NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond. The annual pilgrimage of musical manufacturers, producers, engineers, salesmen and others has converged on Anaheim where, for once a year, the focus is on studio magic more than the Magic Kingdom.

The event offers an overview of the trends are taking place in the music and audio products industry, says Hohner’s director of marketing and sales, Scott Emmerman. “The increasing influence of e-commerce continues to change the landscape for many companies in this industry,” he says. “How are they all coping? What’s happening to the biggest players? What exciting new music products and trends are appearing on the horizon?  Is the EDM trend played out? Is the acoustic, roots instruments revival over? NAMM is the place to explore the answers to these questions.”

These are the must-see events at The NAMM show this year:

• The morning kickoff event Jan. 22, dubbed the Breakfast of Champions, will set a tone for the discussions during the weekend to follow.  Lamond says he’ll focus on the issue of audio quality. “The sacrifices that were made for streaming, MP3 technology, storage, and the ease of downloading really shortchanged a whole generation of listeners,” he says. “But I think we can solve the problem of quality audio together through technology.”

• Moby will open NAMM’s Generation Next program on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m. for college music students and recent graduates, viewed as the industry’s “future leaders.” Justin Norvell, VP of marketing at Fender, says the producer and performer “embodies the 2.0 landscape of music,” making him an inspirational selection to speak. He has deftly guided his own career and remained relevant while on his own path,” says Norvell. “I expect an extremely thoughtful discussion.”

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Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Trombone Shorty will sit down with Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, on Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. to discuss their involvement with the Turnaround Arts programs at underperforming schools since its launch in 2011. NAMM will also take this opportunity to unveil its new research measuring the impact of the Turnaround Arts programs.

Peavey stages its “50th Anniversary Bash” Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. and kicks off the weekend’s partying with a performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd to celebrate the electronics company’s golden jubilee. Peavey general manager, business development, Tony Moscal, says it’s the first time Skynrd will attend and perform at the show and promises more acts, celebrities and performances paying homage to his company and the Southern rock legends.

• In its third year, the She Rocks Awards presented by the Women’s International Music Network Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. will honor women who have displayed leadership and individuality within the music industry. Honorees include the Bangles, Colbie Caillat and saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair, as well as business leaders Amani Duncan of Martin Guitar, Zildjian’s Craigie Zildjian and Capitol Studios’ Paula Salvatore.

• The performance by George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus’ “Imagine Party” at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 might be the weekend’s best example of why so many NAMM members got into the gear market in the first place, “Music is our business and business is good,” says Fender’s Norvell. “What better way to showcase the unifying and emotional power of music than with a great dose of seminal funk?”

• Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak will sit with Lamond for an hour-long interview Saturday Jan. 24 at 8:30 a.m., bringing what Lamond calls, “a unique vantage point” that’s applicable to NAMM’s trade members today. “He was at that flash point when computer use went from those who were few and dedicated, to everybody could use a computer,” Lamond says. “There’s a parallel to where we’re at in our industry, where because of technology today it’s now where almost anybody can be creative and make music.”