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It's Christmas in January for musicians and producers at NAMM




Exhibitors at NAMM 2018 showcase their latest products.
Exhibitors at NAMM 2018 showcase their latest products.
KPCC

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The National Association of Music Merchants annual trade show — known as NAMM — is currently going on in Anaheim.

It’s one of the biggest such shows in the world, with every sort of instrument and gadget you can think of on display. Musicians, manufacturers and distributors come to see new products, sign sales contracts and, of course, rock out. 

Highlights include performances from bands such as OK Go and presentations by industry legends including engineer Geoff Emerick, who recorded The Beatles.

But underlying the festival were the makers of fine instruments, vendors and educators.

Matsikas Instruments has been making traditional musical instruments of Greece since 1979.
Matsikas Instruments has been making traditional musical instruments of Greece since 1979.
KPCC

Inside the hall for acoustic instruments, George Matsikas of Matsikas Instruments showcased his line of Greek instruments, which includes the bouzouki:

We've been here the last four years in a row, so it gets better every year. The goal is to make the instrument famous. The only thing is, it's only used for playing Greek music. But you never know who will take it and play something else, something different! And become a hit.

Some vendors, who provide materials to other instrument builders, use NAMM as a means to communicate which woods are in greater supply.

Faiz of California Luthier Supplies shows a flamed maple wood sample used for fine instrument design.
Faiz of California Luthier Supplies shows a flamed maple wood sample used for fine instrument design.
KPCC

My company name is California Luthier Supplies. I've been selling lumber and guitar woods. We import and export it. NAAM is a platform for a large experience like big buyers and factories that want to come down and look at what we have. And we also want to know what they use. They look at it, they take a sample, they make a guitar and show their customers or dealers.

Others are simply seeking new audiences for their instruments through educational services like Pasadena-based guzheng (Chinese zither) player, Audrey Zeng.

Audrey Zeng plays the guzheng at NAMM 2018.
Audrey Zeng plays the guzheng at NAMM 2018.
KPCC

The NAMM Show continues through Jan. 28. More info here.



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