Now That it's Over: Here's What's Left to be Said About the 2020 NAMM Show
NAMM took place January 16-19, 2020 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA; and it was quite the experience. Venturing down the aisles of the main convention’s floor was like a musical wonderland. Showcased were walls upon walls of instruments from string violins to string guitars- along with a sea of cymbals, a host of other percussion instruments, and numerous accessories.
The convention’s massive space was converted into close-fitting quarters, but with room left for vendors to transform their areas into whatever they imagined. Fog machines dispersed fog, bubbles floated high above sound stages, and colors of laser beams subliminally lead multitudes into their booths during this four day trade show event. One area, filled with microphone rocking MC’s and finger swirling scratch battlers, and another with DJ’s sampling the latest and greatest tech software and equipment from Pioneer DJ. If you were timely enough to make your way to the KORG USA zone- Robert Glasper, Terrance Martin, and other members of R+R=NOW gave a hypnotic performance to a jam-packed makeshift wood paneled lounge. Robert himself (wearing an I Compose tee), could even be seen captivated by the artistry of his musical colleagues; with Justin Tyson on drums, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah out front leading with his mind blowing trumpet features.
NAMM participants consumed most of the grounds in and around the Convention Center; including venues like the House of Blues, where many drifted to watch the 2020 She Rocks Awards (honoring Suzi Quatro, Beatie Wolfe, Linda Perry, Gloria Gaynor, and more). Crowds also gathered outside to catch the night lit Yamaha Presents Tower of Power 50th Anniversary Concert. Others made their way inside the adjacent Hilton hotel ballroom to attend the 35th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, also known as the TEC Awards honoring Pensado’s Place and Joni Mitchell. Mitchell received The Les Paul Innovation Award (a female’s first) presented by Herbie Hancock. Moreover, the Marriott and many other nearby Disneyland tourist hotels were filled to capacity with the large numbers of people attending from around the world.
All in all; the enlightening discussions, the captivating sights, and the alluring sounds were over the top amazing. Therefore, whether a NAMM newcomer or a regular participant; a program guide or an online schedule was essential – outlined with must see happenings to help navigate each day’s magical maze of music, entertainment, and technology.