Each year, hundreds of Berklee alumni are involved in the January NAMM show in one way or another – as performers, attendees, company owners and gear enthusiasts. Last month, I attended NAMM to try and track down some of our alumni in the grand floor plan of the show. If you’ve never been to NAMM know that it is a musician’s dream. Everything you could want from instruments, to hardware and software, to DJ, lighting rigs and smoke machines is there. Throughout the day there are demos, performances and artist meet-and-greets. It’s fantastic!
The NAMM Show is housed in the LA Convention Center, one of the largest convention centers in the country, so it took a bit to get my bearings. My first connection was LA-alum Rachel Borovik and her Boston-alum Sean Cronin at the Gig-FX booth with artist Cisco Robles. Then it was Jamez who I caught on a lunch break. Next I found Mairam Joan, account executive at the Alfred Music Publishing. The Alfred space wasn’t a booth at all. It was a fully functioning music store in the middle of the convention center.
Later that afternoon, Kaitlyn Benton loaned her vocals to a PreSonus demo. While waiting for Kaitlyn to start, I spotted Robert B. Fischer, who won a drawing for a free pass at last year’s Annual Alumni Brunch. To round out my day, I visited Tyler Barth VP of Business Development, at Blue Microphones. Tyler isn’t an alum, but he frequently hosts Berklee interns, so it’s always a pleasure to chat with him. (Read about Rafael Restrepo’s Blue Mics internship experience here.) Tyler knows everyone, so it was no surprise to find talking about the Berklee alumni Gentleman Hall with none other than alum Tony Maserati. Overall, it was a great day!
With the encouragement of President Roger Brown, the LA office and Alumni Affairs coordinated an official “hang” that Thursday evening of NAMM at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Anaheim, CA. This swank location was provided via an alumni connection (Berklee grads are everywhere!) and the patio atmosphere was perfect. President Roger Brown addressed the party as the alumni in attendance grew from the expected 30 to a whopping 70 people.
Some notable alumni present: Theresa Flaminio who just got off the road from touring with Cee Lo Green, composer Ryan Shore, bass player and producer Janek Gwizdala, keyboard and music director Ruby BC, producer Martin Nessi, bassist Mike Torres, and film composer Nicholas Pike who brought his son Alex, who was just accepted to Berklee for Fall 2012 (congrats Alex!).