Yamaha Drums on Sept. 30 celebrate its 50th anniversary in style, assembling nearly two dozen world-renowned drummers on for some dazzling live music, a celebration of the company’s innovation and success over the last 50 years, and an exploration of the company’s plans for the future.
More than 400 people gathered at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood for the event, which began with an interactive exhibit of both current and legacy Yamaha drum sets and gear as they evolved over the decades, including the company’s very first drum set released in 1967. Attendees, including students, dealers, professional drummers, hobbyists, media and others, had the opportunity to test-drive all of the gear on display as they mingled with professionals from the Yamaha Drum artist roster.
The hands-on presentation was followed by stage performances by the three artist headliners of the day: Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy), Dave Weckl (solo artist and session legend) and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne). The Yamaha team took time out from the festivities to honor two more artists, Bill Gibson and Rick Marotta, with special appreciation awards.
The evening ended with remarks by Yamaha Drums marketing manager Steven Fisher. “Fifty years of making high-quality hand-crafted drums is a major milestone in Yamaha’s history, and it’s a pleasure to be celebrating it with our customers, artists, and Yamaha colleagues,” he said. “What we’re really excited about, however, is the next 50 years. Yamaha has the resources, knowhow and innovative spirit to take drums and drumming to the next level for the next generation of drummers. You’ll see the next sign of that spirit this fall with a brand-new product every drummer will want, so stay tuned.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent the majority of my professional career behind Yamaha drums; to say I depend on them would be a huge understatement,” said Aldridge, a Yamaha Aatist since 1980. “The sound and beauty of a Yamaha kit are unmistakable, and matched only by bullet-proof quality. Though I cherish each and every one of my Yamaha kits, I also subject them to some serious abuse; even so, day in and day out, city after city, they’re still there. Thank you, Yamaha Drums, and Happy 50th Anniversary.”
For more on Yamaha Drums’ 50th anniversary, check out the October issue of the Music & Sound Retailer.