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SABIAN Rocks Namm 2011

Is there a better way to launch the Winter NAMM show than having two of the best drummers in the world on your booth, one of them dressed as a priest and taking confessions? Well, that’s how our show began!

With two of the most buzz-worthy products on display at the 2011 NAMM show, SABIAN clearly demonstrated why 2011 promises to be such a big year. A well-attended show-opening press conference introduced two exciting new signature cymbal models. Both Jojo Mayer and Chad Smith were present, and alongside Mark Love, they discussed the creative process behind the design of OMNI and Holy China. Judging by the attention both cymbals received throughout the 4 days of the show, these new models more than live up to their significant hype.

In other exciting product news from the NAMM show, the SABIAN Vault Artisan Traditional Symphonic Suspended was named the Best Cymbal of 2010 by trade publication The Music & Sound Retailer. It’s the first time a Band & Orchestral cymbal has won this award and it was a proud moment on the SABIAN booth when The Music & Sound Retailer’s Brian Berk stopped by to present it.

NAMM 2011 also saw the debut of an exciting new feature on the SABIAN booth, namely a massive bank of 9 video display monitors facing one of the show’s busiest corridors. The 42” screens flashed a steady rotation of highlights from a year of video-heavy marketing. Passers-by couldn’t help but stop to watch and listen to clips from SABIAN artists playing signature models, tour highlights from Warped, UPROAR and more, product videos, and even a hilarious short film of Chad Smith and his Holy China on Venice Beach. Needless to say, the monitors will be back in 2012 with exciting new SABIAN video content.

As it does every year, SABIAN Live once again rocked Friday night at NAMM. Back in the Sheraton Park Hotel Ballroom, it was a packed house from beginning to end. The stellar line-up featured up-and-coming New York City drummer Mark Guiliana with his innovative, exciting BEAT MUSIC project – toward the end of his set, Mark was joined onstage by Jojo Mayer. It was a great moment from two of the most astonishing drumset players in the world today.

Chad Smith and his Bombastic Meatbats followed. Chad’s band played the 2010 SABIAN Live show, and they received a rousing welcome as they took the stage again this year. Their aggressive, funky rock show captivated the crowd from the first note they played, and didn’t let go until the end of their set.

The Meatbats were followed by the sensational Sinverguenza, an all-star band led by SABIAN artists Wally Reyes Jr. and Ray Yslas. These Latin funk all-stars played a smoking set – little wonder given the massive talent on-stage: Santana vocalist Andy Vargas, Ruben Blades bassist Oskar Cartaya, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder guitarist Tariqh Akoni, American Idol MD Matt Rohde, the Shameless Horns and special guests.

Exciting as it was, the display of musical talent on-stage Friday night was but a precursor of things to come on Saturday, when there were no fewer than 30 SABIAN artists on the booth for an autograph session/photo shoot! The buzz started building early Saturday morning, and by mid-afternoon a large, enthusiastic crowd was clamoring for autographs from a star-studded line-up of drummers, including Carmine and Vinnie Appice, Billy Cobham, Steve Ferrone, Jojo Mayer, Tim Yeung, Tony Royster Jr., Spanky McCurdy, Mark Schulman, and more – many, many more! After the signing, the upper level of the SABIAN booth was converted into a photo studio, and the artists lined up to have their portraits taken – all in view of a thrilled public.

Winter NAMM is without a doubt an overwhelming experience. The sheer volume of musical instrument manufacturers demonstrating superb and innovative products ¬– not to mention many of the best musicians in the world performing, teaching or simply talking gear – makes it easy to get lost among the roar. It takes something special to get noticed at NAMM – with groundbreaking new cymbal models, the best artists in the world on-stage and on-the-booth, and some of the nicest people in the business manning the booth, SABIAN certainly rocked NAMM in 2011!

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