Inside Summer NAMM 2016 at Music City Center

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The gear, the awards, the numerous panel discussions and classes from NAMM U, the entertainment, the parties, and the food, fun and excitement from Summer NAMM 2016 is now behind us, but the adrenaline is still pumping and the memories remain.

Summer NAMM 2016 - photo by Jason Davis Getty ImagesExhibitor Booth at Summer NAMM 2016 – photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Inside Music City Center for Summer NAMM 2016

This year’s National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) show brought many new products from some of our favorite musical instrument manufacturers like Gibson, Fender, Taylor, Peavey, BOSS, Michael Kelly Guitars, D’Addario, Beat Buddy Drum Pedal, and Henry Heller Guitar Straps, to name a few of the 400+ exhibitors at this year’s show, of which 100+ were new this year!  Exhibitors were made up of musical instruments from different segments and genres, along with technology/software relating to the music industry.  NAMM is a great place for music retailers to find the latest and greatest gear for their stores, to network within the industry, and enjoy some wonderful music from up and coming artists like Craig Wayne Boyd to legendary icons Charlie Daniels, Roy Clark, and Emmylou Harris.

Jeffery Hayzlett, host of C-Suite presenting at NAMMs Breakfast Session - photo credit Jason Davis Getty ImagesThe much anticipated Breakfast of Champions (which are must attend events for dealers in the music industry) were again huge hits kicking off with the Retail Summit, followed by “Adapt, Change or Die: No-Holds Barred Marketing” from Jeffrey Hayzlett, and ending with the coveted Best in Show Awards where music industry professionals peruse the halls of NAMM seeking out new and innovative products.  It’s what every exhibitor is seeking – to be named among the “Best” products showcased.  This year’s winners were, Marshall Code Amplifier Series, Knilling String Instruments Acoustic/Electric Violin IMFS, Roland El Cajon, PreSonus StudioLive AR Series, and the Yamaha Trans-Acoustic.

The NAMM Idea Center held over 25 sessions on tips for marketing, social media, and more for music stores, with Saturday, June 25th, geared toward DIY information for musicians on topics on marketing yourself as a musician, and songwriting tips from Panelists Jennifer Hanson, Clay Mills and Marty Dodson. Panel discussions were also held though out NAMM providing insight on topics from traveling with your instruments, recording techniques to intellectual property.  Country music artist Kelsea Ballerini lead a talk on The Future of Country Music Production at TEC Tracks (Booth 263).  Very informative.

NAMM U sessions - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images

On to musical instruments, Music City Center was filled with exhibitors from around the globe showcasing guitars, amps, picks, strings, pianos, fretted and brass instruments, percussion, guitar straps, lighting, music-related software/technology, and just about everything one can imagine a musician would need…or want!  We have videos and more coverage to come on what we found exciting.

Many manufacturers held after hours events and while there were too many to attend, we do have some insights to a few. D’Addario held their sixth annual party at Soundcheck rehearsal studios in Nashville, TN. With great Tennessee BBQ, along with beer and whiskey, authorized dealers and endorsers enjoyed music from Stephen Mougin’s Bluegrass All-Stars, resonator guitar virtuoso Rob Ickes and guitarist Trey Hensley, ambient looper William Tyler, and the explosive Andy Wood Trio.

Endorsers attending included Craig Krampf, Myron Howell (Jake Owen), Lee Joe Young (Travis Tritt), Jay Weinberg (Slipknot), father and son session drummer/bassists Jerry and Dave Roe, singer-songwriter John Berry, Bucky Covington, Bruce Bouton (Garth Brooks), metal legend Wolf Hoffmann (Accept), famed fretted instrument repairman Wolf Hoffmann and engineer/producers Michael Wagener and Bil VornDick. Industry friends from Fender, Taylor, Fishman and many others were also there to help get NAMM week started.

D’Addario President John D’Addario and National Sales Manager Peter D’Addario were among the New York-based manufacturer’s executives and staff to share great food, spirits and music with over 800 dealers and endorsers.

Gibson held their annual Summer NAMM event and what an event.  More on that to come, so stay tuned.

Gibson Bus at Summer NAMM 2016

The National Music Council hosted its 33rd Annual American Eagle Awards honoring country music royalty Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and the Grand Ole Opry and included performances by Vince, Gill, Emmylou Harris, Roy Clark and John Conlee. Not only was Emmylou honored with this award, she also spoke at a music symposium during NAMM.  What a great addition to NAMM’s lineup!

Emmylou Harris performs at American Eagle Awards - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images Emmylou Harris performs at American Eagle Awards - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images  

Emmylou Harris performs at American Eagle Awards
(photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)

Roy Clark performs at 33rd Annual American Eagle Awards Summer NAMM 2016 - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images  Vince Gill performing at 33rd annual American Eagle Awards at Summer NAMM 2016 - photo credit by Jason Davis Getty Images  

     Roy Clark – photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images Vince Gill – photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Martin Guitars held a showing of their documentary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the dreadnought guitar. The Ballad of the Dreadnought traces the rise of the Martin Dreadnought from selling only a few dozen guitars for its first 20 years to becoming the musical companion played in almost every musical genre in every corner of the world.  Narrated by actor and musician Jeff Daniels, Martin Guitar’s Chairman & CEO Chris Martin IV, along with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Rosanne Cash, Steve Miller and Jason Isbell and many others, this documentary will take you through a 100 year journey of how the Martin Dreadnought helped create bluegrass, how it was an integral to folk and country, how it was played on one of the first rock and roll recordings, and how the character of American music owes much to the Dreadnought.

Martin Guitars Documentary 100 Years of the Dreadnought

If you haven’t seen the documentary, check it out HERE.

And if all of that isn’t enough, performances by various musicians were held throughout the event at different stages and locations.  Of course, our favorites that stood out were Savannah Keys, Maleny Morfen, Dixie Jade … Emmylou Harris.  



Deviating from past years, Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night was held at 3rd and Lindley.  This year’s show “Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night Unplugged” featured Vince Gill, Keb Mo, Jack Pearson, Muriel Anderson, Bryan Sutton, John Knowles, Dan Bankhurst, Johnny Hiland, Daniel Champagne, David Grier, John Knowles, and Thom Bresh. Muriel’s show is supported by Guitar Player Magazine, Sam Ash Music, FastSigns, and NAMM and benefits the Music for Life Alliance.



The third annual She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase by the Women’s International Music Network was held on at The Listening Room and included performances by singer-songwriter Ashley Riley, 13-year-old singer Juliana Wilson, jazz vocalist and guitarist Leni Stern, and singer-songwriter Savannah Lynne.  The She Rocks Showcases are a part of the WiMN’s ongoing efforts to create opportunities and a platform for women in music. We want to give a chance to as many female artists as possible across the country to display their talent in front of music industry experts, influencers, media representatives, artists, and more.


Thank you NAMM, Music City Center, all the great sponsors and supporters and volunteers, and Nashville for a great show!  It came and went like a flash, but we’re already gearing up for Winter NAMM 2017 in Anaheim, California happening January 19-22, 2017.  

Downtown Nashville at Night during Summer NAMM - photo by Jason Davis of Getty Images

Downtown Nashville at Night during Summer NAMM – photo by Jason Davis of Getty Images

Dixie Jade perform at Best in Show at Summer NAMM 2016 - photo credit Jason Davis Getty Images Savannah Keys NAMM Nissan Stage at Summer NAMM 2016 - -photo by Jason Davis Getty Images
Musician performing at Summer NAMM 2016 - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images Singer-Songwriter Laura B. Whitmore performs on the NAMM Nissan Stage - photo by Jason Davis Getty Images
Top Left:  Dixie Jade
Bottom Left:  Maleny orfen 
Top Right:  Savannah Keys
Bottom Right:  Laura B. Whitmore 

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