In a major boost to further exploration and debates on the food culture of the different tribes and communities of Northeast India, Nagaland Governor His Excellency Shri Ashwani Kumar today formally released ‘Food Trail: Discovering Food Culture of Northeast India’ – a first-of-its-kind anthology on food culture of Northeast India in the presence of a host of scholars, writers and distinguished personalities from various walks of life. The book, which has been conceived, primarily researched and compiled by writer Aiyushman Dutta, features a host of prominent voices from the region as also from different parts of the world. ‘Food Trail’ has been published by NEZCC, under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
Releasing the book, Shri Ashwani Kumar said, “This unique book has helped me understand and appreciate the diverse aspects of Northeast Indian culture from a totally new perspective. I urge everyone to buy this book and gift it to your near and dear ones.”
Distinguished anthropologist and Tagore National Fellow Prof AC Bhagawati, who has written the foreword of the book, termed the book as a novel and path-breaking venture. “Food Trail is a highly unusual book and a first-of-its-kind. Food culture is a huge subject and it is surprising very little has been done in this regard. NEZCC deserves praise for supporting such an innovative endeavour.”
A first-of-its-kind anthology, Food Trail: Discovering the Food Culture of Northeast India offers a peek into the life and culture of the people here through the prism of their food. Containing perspectives on subjects as varied as anthropology, sociology and literature, this book is a comprehensive database for those seeking to know about the social and symbolic role of food in Northeast India. Besides featuring narratives by some of the most respected voices of the region, the high quality aesthetic photographs provides for a visual delight.
Food Trail includes more than 30 insightful narratives by prominent Northeast Indian writers and researchers, including Prof Temsula Ao (Padmashree awardee), Easterine Kire, Kula Saikia, Anjum Hassan, Jahnavi Barua, Janice Pariat, Susan Waten, Dr Rabindra Teron, Dharam Singh Teron, Meenakshi Borkotoki, Cherrie L Changte, Jyoti Das, Karunamay Sinha, Bhaskar Phukan, Lalthansangi Ralte and many more.
NEZCC director Som Kamei said that the book was published in an effort of the centre to develop the cuisine industry of the region. He said, “Food is an integral part of every human culture. The importance of food in understanding human culture lies in its infinite variability – a variability that is not essential for species survival. For survival needs, people everywhere could eat the same and simple food. But human culture, over the ages, has been experimenting, innovating and developing sophisticated cuisines, which reflect human knowledge, culture, art and which have become an expression of love.”
Congratulating Dutta for his untiring endeavour to popularise the exquisite cuisines of Northeast India, Kamei said that the NEZCC had undertaken the task to not only popularise the cuisines of the region but also to document the various cultural milieu in which these cuisines have developed to become what it is today. “We hope that these rich collections of essays from experts and researchers will generate interest in the cuisine of the region and in the process, spark the potential cuisine industry and help in the overall development of cultural industries in Northeast India.”
Talking about the genesis of the book, Dutta said, “Most people in the world still relate food with general dietary habits and practices while the fact remains that food touches every facet of human life. The diversity of food as a subject can be gauged from the numerous and varied ways in which it affects people all across the globe – be it through nutrition, environment, economics, society, et al. Although, in recent years, a lot of interest can be noticed in the realm of food studies across the world, very little has been done on this subject in the country, barring of course a few well-documented essays and articles.”
He further said, “Given the huge expanse of food studies as a subject, ‘Food Trail’ can be described as an amateurish effort have a first-of-its-kind birds eye view of the social and symbolic role of food in shaping the life and culture of the people of Northeast and in determining their identity. But nonetheless, it is a beginning and I hope that that the well-researched articles are able to create renewed enthusiasm in the subject. I also hope that the government and agencies concerned realise the potential of the subject and support further documentation and study on the food practices of the region.”
In the open discussion that ensued, Padmashree awardee Prof Temsula Ao said that food is not only an unifier but also a divider. She dwelt on how Northeasterners were not allowed to take up houses on rent for cooking smelly food.
Also present in the gathering were Assamese cuisine expert Jyoti Das, Padmashree awardee Sentila Yanger, Music Task Force director Gugs Chihsi, Dr Ayangla Longkumer, amongst others. The event was conducted by popular Naga writer and columnist Susan Waten.
A Sufi concert by noted Assamese Sufi singer Chitralee Goswami from Mumbai was held in Kozikode last week at the Calicut Co- Operative Urban Bank Auditorium. The concert was organised as the part of anniversary celebrations of Sai Organisation, Chalppuram, Calicut.
During Chitralee’s maiden performance in Kerala, which continued for almost one and half hours, Goswami presented two of Amir Khusro’s legendary numbers and one of her own recent compositions ‘Dum Ali Dum’. During the presentation, Goswami translated many of the Urdu words to English and Hindi for ease of understanding of the South Indian audience. “Her music transmitted us to a higher world of divine ecstasy where we experienced supreme bliss,” said Ashok Kumar, General Manager, Tata Coffee who had come down from Chennai for the programme.
The concert was preceded by a public meeting where Mr. Ali Akbar, the noted film Director from Chennai was the Chief Guest and Mr. Krishnadas Erady and Haridas Erady, the prominent Bhajan Singers were invited speakers in the function. The program coordinators P P Bhaskaran, P Vinod, Unnikrishnan, P T Sunil Kumar and
Anandan, the office bearers of Sai Organisation expressed their deep satisfaction at the success of the celebration and were in great praise of Goswami’s lucid presentation and memorable performance.
It is noteworthy that Chitralee Goswami of Assam who lives in Mumbai has made her mark as a Sufi singer. Apart from eastern, western and northern parts of the country, she is invited on a regular basis for live concerts in places like, Mysore, Bangalore, Chennai, Srirangapattan, Vijaywada. Her performance in Kerala has met with appreciate reviews in the Southern press and media.
A leading female vocalist of the country, Chitralee is an acclaimed stage performer and a vocalist of the National Radio and Television. At the initiative of her late parents, Prabhat Narayan Goswami and Biva Goswami, she was exposed at a very young age to lot of folk music (lokgeets), bhajans, Ravindra Sangeet as well as borgeets which she started performing right from the tender age of 8. She received talim for advanced khayal & ghazal gayaki from internationally renowned music director and Commonwealth award winner Guru Pandit Rakesh Kumar Sharma of New Delhi.
A trained classical performing artist, she later veered into semi-classical and light forms of Hindustani as well as Karnatic music. Besides music, she has also achieved a number of milestones in her professional life. “I live music,” says Chitralee who is a Cost Accountant, Post Graduate in Finance, Batchelor of Law, Master of Music and a Doctoral Scholar in Economics. She has served some of the premier Institutions of the country in responsible positions such as Deputy Registrar and Head – Finance, Head-Internal Audit & Head-Academic Affairs of Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), Head- Corporate Communication, North East for ONGC, Finance Controller of AMTRON, Deputy General Manager, Finance at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd & Visiting Faculty to Guru Goving Singh Indra Prastha University, New Delhi.
A perfectionist in all her endeavours, she is presently serving ONGC’s Western Offshore Basin at Mumbai.
The fifth edition of the Handshake concert will be held in Indonesia. The organizers, Rattle&Hum Music Society, informed that they will be partnering with Gedung Kesenian, Jakarta, historically known as Schouwburg Weltevreden, a concert hall in Jakarta which was built during the Dutch colonial period, to host the fifth edition of the ‘Handshake Concert 2013’ on June 19 next.
R&HMS president Theja Meru said that this year’s concert will be held as a part of the larger Jakarta Festival, an annual event in Indonesia organized by the Gedung Kesenian society. “The whole idea is to promote Naga culture and artists from local to global arena. The world is our stage, we want to promote and show case Nagaland to the world”, he said.
Around 25 artistes from India and Nagaland have been lined up for this edition of the Handshake concert. The performing troupe will include, besides others, Grammy award winner and patron of R&HMS Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the Nagaland Chamber Choir (TNCC), Alobo Naga & The Band, Renbeni Odyuo, Zowie Madrigal, Naro Pienyü amongst others. “The performing artistes were selected on the basis of their achievements and contributions to Naga music,” Meru said. The team will be led by Khriehu Liezietsü, MLA & Advisor NRE, Music Task Force and chairman DPDB, Kohima district.
Ate Kevichusa, who was the producer for Channel V, will be the key coordinator and producer for the 2013, Handshake Concert in Jakarta.
This is the second international edition of the Handshake concert. The first international event was held in Bangkok last year. The handshake concert started in Guwahati as the World Music Festival in Guwahati on June 21, 2008.Following the successful turn of event, the idea of organizing such an event, as Handshake Concert was coined by members of the society to celebrate culture and promote goodwill and universal friendship through music with the theme— “One handshake at a time”. The concert has till now travelled to Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Bangkok.
Cultural Re-Imaginations Series II
The second stage of the unique Public Art / Social Sculpture / Site-Specific Installation: Cultural Re-Imaginations will be formally launched on April 21 with the inaugural journey of the custom-designed meleng (bamboo raft) named ‘Amphibian’ on the Brahmaputra from Uzanbazar ghat.
Cultural Re-imaginations is a series of interventions conceived as an ongoing experiment in challenging the traditional boundaries between art and architecture, artist and artisan, crafts and arts and towards developing a new, critically engaged hybrid practice that integrates cultural history, architectural traditions and current environmental concerns of the northeast India and beyond, along with creating provocative art that leads to unanticipated interdisciplinary convergence.
Talking about the project, Indrani Baruah, the creative director, says, “The imminent shortages of land, water and energy continue to increase the pressure to find innovative solutions, especially in communities that live in close proximity to the natural environment. Employing a raft structure and a series of ‘unscripted’ performative journeys on one of Asia’s major rivers – Brahmaputra, Cultural Re-imaginations II will explore creative approaches with which communities can coexist with natural environments. During Cultural Re-imaginations II, a floating-habitable raft (Ambhibian) has been developed based on the sustainable principles of the itinerant vernacular bamboo rafts (melengs) used in this region on the river Brahmaputra. This is a latent, but extraordinary mode of transporting bamboo all year round by indigenous communities on the river Brahmaputra by using only the power of the river. The new experimental raft has been conceptualized as a potential ‘sustainable habitat’ that can be anchored like a boat or a ferry.”
The construction of the raft structure involved collaborative work between bamboo artisans, boat-builders, raft workers and artists. “This cultural intervention is intentionally ephemeral and is intended to evoke universal, temporary, mobile, vernacular habitats with minimal environmental impacts as well as cultural forms inherent to this region,” says Baruah.
The raft structure and the performative journeys, which exemplify community engagement, will become cultural interventions in public domain – attempting to blur the boundaries between art and life. In Baruah’s words, “The crucial concept is to re-imagine the ‘Ambhibian’ as a ‘vessel’ or a ‘receptacle’ for ideas, processes and innovations, and in the end as a site for creative introspections and collective cultural experiences. The ‘Amphibian’ will be symbolically re-imagined as an ‘itinerant bard’ of the river – a jajabor evoking the ‘wanderer’ in each one of us. It will personify the storyteller of important narratives of the two banks of the river Brahmaputra, of the maritime history of this region, the everyday lives of the people and their transforming relationship with the river.”
Cultural Re-imaginations – II will explore the transformative potential of collective cultural journeys utilizing this experimental raft structure. The project re-imagines the vernacular bamboo raft as ‘social sculpture’ and the riparian journey as ‘performance’.During the journey, the raft will become ‘an arena’ for impromptu cultural exchanges by the performers onboard.The ‘unpredictability’ built into the process of raft creation and the subsequent journeys lends itself to ‘creating circumstances for unanticipated convergence of disciplines, ideas and people’. By opening up different ways of encountering / experiencing the ‘environment’ which in this case is the riverfront and the River, the floating raft structure together with the journeys seek to become catalysts for triggering a network of ideas and positive transformations, the creative director of the project feels.
Artist, Architect, Cultural Researcher and Creative Director: Indrani Baruah
Artisanal Team / Bamboo Craftsmen – Biplab Goswami, Alak Bharali and team
Rafting Crew: Manoj Das and team of boatmen from North Guwahati
Artistic Advisors: Rashmi Sawhney (IFA), Dilip Tamuly, Desire Machine Collective
Local Advisors: Sanjib Sabhapandit and Aiyushman Dutta
Project Supported by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) Bangalore
Performers on-board during Collective Cultural Journey on the Brahmaputra: Aiyushman Dutta (journalist-critic-cultural activist), Bhaskar Barua (architect-designer), Biplab Goswami (bamboo artisan), Dilip Tamuly (teacher – installation artist – folklorist), Indrani Baruah (visual artist-architect-cultural researcher), Jyoti Prasad Das (North Guwahati resident and advisor), Manoj Das (travel guide and bhot-bhoti driver), Masfique Hazarika (environmental researcher-activist), Ranel Das (architect-designer), Ratnadip Choudhury (journalist), Sanjib Sabhapandit (engineer, environmentalist, film-maker), Shilpika Bordoloi (movement artist), Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukallya (media practitioners), Tanima Das (film-maker), Uday Kumar (designer and typo-graphist) and visiting fiction writer and art critic, Moushumi Kandali.
Now this is an artist you got to be looking out for. Just out of her teens, Mumbai girl Natania Lalwani is creating ripples with her debut official video, Cherry Love, which is being aired of Vh1 at present. Even for those who don’t like to go by pop, Natania’s smokey voice coupled with her subtle vocal melodies is bound to immediately make one stand up and take notice.
Natania recently released her debut EP, “Hope & Heartbreak” and is building a local fan following across the US one show at a time. Her official video Cherry Love has already become a hit once it started streaming on Vh1. Clever Metaphors and witty plots based on songs of love and longing, which everyone can relate to, are undeniably the USP of this young vocalist. As he performs on stage and unravels her fascination with love and loss, she instantly strikes a chord with her audience – something which all aspire but very few are able to.
All of 20 years, Natania is one of the very few Indian musicians to have passed out from Berkeley College of Music as well as get a advanced diploma from Musicians Institute. Although she considered music only as a hobby, it didn’t figure as a profession until she went to the US in 2010. As she says, “I have loved music but only thought of it as a hobby until I arrived in the US. Although I didn’t know what to expect from my new surroundings, I signed up for Berklee College of Music’s 5 week summer program to see where this unforgiving love of a “hobby” might take me.”
In Berkeley, Natania frequented the practice rooms and excelled at her studies with ease. It was towards the end of this program when Natania called herself “comfortable” with her writing ability, though still unsure of her identity as a songwriter.
Natania’s next major step was her decision to enrol into Musicians Institute’s (MI) vocal program in Hollywood, CA for the fall quarter of that same year. This decision marked the emergence of her song writing talents and as she says, this “migration out west (was) the most pivotal decision (she’s) ever made”. “The fast pace of Southern California begged me to keep up, which resulted in a tremendous amount of invaluable experience that ultimately honed my craft of songwriting. I wrote boundlessly and given that, self discovery was undeniable, says Natania.
In her debut EP, Natania interprets the inner cogs of love and loss that turn with each step she took during this journey. Her translations echo common emotions we’re all familiar with, thus making the listening experience that much more personal.
I had a swell time listening to Cherry Love. Interacting with Natania over the past few weeks has further helped me understand her music and sentiments. The music had always been there, it emerged only when she let herself succumb to it. Truly, what was then a hobby can now be defined as a way of life for Natania, and a way of understanding for listeners.
The elusive Mr. Rajkumar, who has become a cult figure for an entire generation in Assam, recently announced that his new movie would be based on the burning issue of rhino poaching. “The one-horned rhino is Assam’s pride. If poachers drive the one-horned rhino to extinction, what will remain of the Assamese society. We should be more aware. (Akhingia gor axomor gourab. Jadi sorang sikariye aibur mari khekh kore axomor ki hobo. Aami xojag huwa tu usit),” Rajkumar posted on his Facebook account as he announced the on-going shoot of Animal Hunter.
Mr. Rajkumar, who has made films like Terrorist Enter my House and Criminal Hunter, is a sort of legend amongst the young generation, primarily on account of his uncanny takes on various issues of the day. Incidentally, he is the producer, director, singer, songwriter and lead protagonist all rolled in to one in all his ventures.
Although not on the commercial radar, Rajkumar’s popularity as an actor, singer and songwriter can be gauged from the heavy responses to his Facebook account the moment he opened one last month. With a fan base extending from as far as Dibrugarh to Mumbai, it would not be wrong to say that Rajkumar is nothing sort of a phenomenon in the Assamese socio-cultural milieu.
For thousands of Assamese film buffs, and even from other States, some of Rajkumar’s film dialogues have become an integral part of their colloquial idiom. The roles he portrayed, like Selim da, and his unpretentious on and off screen candour, are primary reasons for his sky-rocketing popularity. This is also reflected in one of his candid updates soon after he opened his Facebook account, “How many more friend requests will I accept? I never knew I was loved so much.”
And as his fans eagerly await the release of his next movie, we can be rest assured that Mr. Rajkumar will do justice to his new found reputation as the most admired vigilante next door of the state.
Asia’s largest short film club ‘Shamiana’ was launched in Guwahati with its first screening at Terra Mayaa in GS Road.
The first screening marked the way for monthly screening of award winning short films from across the globe and also giving a platform for young short filmmakers from the region to display or premier their work. The next screening will be on April 20, 2013.
The main focus for launching the short film club is to create an environment where likeminded people can come every month, enjoy good cinema and discuss anything about films they like. The idea is to promote and build a positive atmosphere about cinema, most importantly to give an alternative form of entertainment to people.
The first screening of the club showcased two Oscar Nominated Short Film like Kinematograph from Poland (2010 Oscar Nominee) and The Road Home from London (2011 Oscar Nominee). Other films screened were Quiet Sign of Love from Australia, How to Mess up in Love from India, My Last Photograph from India and Bhibranta Electron by young Assamese director Deepjyoti Handique.
Shamiana is presented by Terra Mayaa, brought to you by Guwahati based Creovaent Productions, who is also promoting short films in the region with their annual property Guwahati International Short Film Festival (GISFF) and the event is promoted by Klasse Marketing Solutions
Braving the adverse, below freezing temperature with heavy snow, people from all over the UK drove to be together to show their solidarity to celebrate Silpi Divas and Bhogali Bihu on 19th January 2013 at St Mathews Hall, Leicester, East Midlands, UK. People were welcomed with traditional Assamese snacks such as doi, sira ,komol sawul,laru pitha and other hot food to settle down to enjoy this unique occasion where two celebrations are combined together.
After the welcome speech by Lahori Barthakur, President, a short but a very informative film on Jyoti Prasad Agarwala by Padmashree Surjya Hazarika was shown. The film was very well received by the audience who were overwhelmed by rediscovering Jyotiprasad’s multi talented geneous.
The Cultural evening started with Sali Nritya by Sabita Saikia of JugalBondi, Guwahati. Sabita and her disciple Juhimon Das performed four Xatriya Dances that included Sali Nritya, Daxaavatar, Jhumra, and Bhortal. Each dance was performed at a spiritual and soulful standard. Juhi is only sixteen year old. Her powerful performance of Jhumra and Bhortal nritya, Sabita’s Sali Nritya , and Sabita and Juhi’s Daxaavatar Nritya will be remembered for a long time by the audience present. Mayapee Sangeeta Chowdhury’s recitation with a twist of her own poems on the recent rape in India ,called ‘Pointless’ and ‘New Journey’. Rishii Chowdhury and Samyami Sangeeta (Chowdhury ) Sharma, brother and sister duo’s flute and Tabla recital brought warmth to the audience on a very bitter British winter night along with Surabhi Lahon and Shohida Haque’s appropriate rendition of songs and Geeta Barooah’s poetry recitation. Despite the bitter cold winter, the audience were high spirited and danced Bihu at the end.
The feast was excellent with home cooked khar tenga and other items of delicacy to provide a perfect ending to the event. Manjira Chowdhury thanked everyone’s support including Juhi’s mother, Manjula Das from Assam who sent ghila pitha, til pitha,and narikol pitha, Padmashree Surjya Hazarika for sending the film to show, Sabita Saikia and Juhi for coming all the way from Assam to perform in the bitter cold winter, Sunny Saikia, Bhargab Sharma’s technical input. She highly appreciated the enthusiasm and the solidarity provided on that evening. Challenges were faced in organising the event especially due to the sudden spell of heavy snow and treacherous road conditions for guests to travel. However, the positive human spirit prevailed and Silpi Divas and Bhogali Bihu was a grand success.
In order to make the youth understand the importance of voting and to promote clean elections in the poll-bound State of Nagaland, Youth Net, a Kohima-based organization, has produced a music video, ‘My vote makes my future’. The video which has clean politics as its theme has been produced under the aegis of the Election Commission of Nagaland.
The initiative by Youth Net is first of its kind in India and an effort to encourage youth to come out and vote which can make a huge difference in selecting its own leader. “It’s a small effort to encourage clean election. This music video is an attempt to urge the youth of Nagaland to stand for their right and make a difference,” said Hekani Jakhalu, Director, Youth Net.
The song was composed by popular singer/songwriter Alobo Naga in collaboration with various popular local artistes including Dj INa, Tetseo sisters, Renbeni Odyuo , Alo Wanth , Moanungsang among others. The music video is conceptualized and directed by Prithish & Puja Chakraborty of Creovaent Productions from Guwahati.
“The four minute song is a catchy fusion of folk, pop and R&B designed to appeal to listeners while sending across the message. Music has always proven a popular medium for disseminating information and getting across important messages to the music loving people not only from Nagaland but from other parts of North-East India,” said Alobo Naga, singer, composer & songwriter of the song.
The song will be extensively promoted to all corners of the State. The music video has already gone viral through social networking sites and YouthNet hopes young voters will be inspired to exercise their voting rights while voters would learn the importance of fair elections. The song will also be promoted through live performances by the artistes.
AR Rahman lends support for music education, Stevie Wonder proclaimed NAMM Mayor
When the business is music, it’s a fine line between good times and work. The much anticipated NAMM Show, produced annually by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), got over in Anaheim, CA recently with four jam-packed days that saw music merchants from the entire globe getting together to discuss each and every aspect of the industry. In an event which was filled with new product debuts, networking and educational opportunities, music retailers, corporate buyers, artists and sound and lighting professionals did business with nearly 5000 unique brands in Anaheim, CA.
The opening of the 2013 NAMM Show marked not only the start of the world’s premier gathering for the musical instrument and product industry, but also the debut of the Anaheim Convention Center’s new outdoor venue, The Anaheim Grand Plaza. NAMM Show-goers enjoyed a series of spectacular live performances all day, every day throughout the four-day show. Tower of Power, The Living Legends Jam (with band members from The Eagles, Black Sabbath, and Fleetwood Mac, among others), and CTA (California Transit Authority) rocked the Grand Plaza hard and gave the energetic nighttime crowds plenty of authentic rock and roll.
From India, AR Rahman visited the convention this year and lent his voice of support for Music Education. “We covered a lot of ground for the NAMM Oral History project with Mr. Rahman now. And we will soon develop more of it in the days to come,” said Abe Thomas, Director of Business Development, Thomas Music.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion global music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies located in more than 87 countries.
NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond said, “Our industry, like many others, is in the midst of rapid change. And I believe NAMM Members who came to Anaheim to see the latest product innovations, attend NAMM University sessions, and network with friends and peers will be uniquely positioned to take advantage of the business opportunities in the year ahead.”
NAMM Director of PR Lora Bodmer revealed that buyers increased 4 percent over 2012, while non-industry guests decreased 16 percent this year. “The important increase in buyers was attributed to more retail music stores, corporate buyers including houses of worship, live event venues and touring professionals, casinos, and studios sending buyers to shop the NAMM Show. The mix of industry professionals resulted in an incredibly business-focused, yet vibrant show made up of 93,908 total registrants, a 2 percent decrease from 2012,” says Bodmer.
While many NAMM Show veterans come to enjoy the musical spectacle and do business with old and new friends, the 2013 NAMM Show was rich in new faces, with 289 new exhibitors representing about 700 unique brands spread out over the sprawling Convention Center. Enthusiasm ran high among NAMM Show first-timers. Apps and software, new technologies for acoustic guitars, and performance accessories – all found a solid toehold on success at the show.
“I’m freaking out,” said Mike Miltimore, founder of Riversong Guitars in British Columbia. Miltmore brought his patent-pending guitar design to the show for the first time. “At the show, we’ve seen big-time interest from countries I did not even know existed,” he said.
“I attend for the latest, greatest and best our industry has to offer. This show was rich with industry trends, the latest in gear and top notch sessions at the Idea Center,” said Billy Cuthrell, owner of Progressive Music Center in North Carolina. “I consider my time at NAMM a major part of my business success throughout the year.”
For the first time, a Mayor led the NAMM Show. NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond proclaimed world-renowned musician and humanitarian Stevie Wonder as Mayor of the NAMM Show with a lifetime, all-access badge to NAMM. “My goal is before it’s my time, I hope to be able to make music accessible to everybody, children and adults,” said His Honor (Wonder). “It’s a whole new world of music and instrument discovery at the show every year.” Wonder, one of hundreds of major artists at the NAMM Show, walked the show trying out new products and meeting with friends. Meanwhile, legendary music producer Randy Jackson was honoured with its highest honour – the NAMM ‘Music for Life’ award.