Your Keyboard team recently returned from the Winter NAMM show, which never really feels like it happens in the winter, since it’s held in perma-sunny Anaheim, California. Though we scoured the trade show floor and dutifully attended press conferences to get the lowdown on new gear, we had our own awesome new product to roll out: the New Keyboard. We celebrated the unveiling of the new mag by holding a mind-blowing concert and jam session. Arlen Schierbaum provided a pile of vintage keys and synths, and led the massively grooving house band, Arlen’s Organism. Editor in Chief Ernie Rideout shared emcee duties with Rami Jaffee, who you may know as the Grammy-winning keyboardist in the Wallflowers. Rami’s friend, actress and singer Minnie Driver, even phoned in her best wishes. Arlen’s Organism alternated sets with the guest stars, which resulted in one of those magical evenings in which even though the first tune you hear is amazing, each subsequent one gets better. The stars? Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater, Rami, Bruce Hornsby sideman John Thomas, Christina Aguilera MD Cheche Alara, game music maven Tommy Tallarico, Garaj Mahal guru Eric Levy, R&B phenom John Legend, studio goddess Giovanna Imbesi, the Doctor himself (Al Kooper), Usher’s ivory-wrangler Eddie Brown, Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco, and Patrick Moraz. We also initiated a new tradition of awards by inducting Chick Corea into the Keyboard Hall of Fame, presenting Herbie Hancock with the Keyboard Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring BT with the Musical and Technical Achievement Award, and bestowing upon Joey DeFrancesco the Boss of the B-3 award. Members of your Keyboard team were also on hand to feed the jamming fire: Steve Fortner tore the roof off on B-3, Tom Brislin and Arlen engaged in the most astonishing Minimoog duel ever heard, Robbie Gennet got the funk going on Clavinet, Michael Gallant burned up the piano and Ken Hughes emerged as the new King of the Rhodes. Even Editor in Chief Ernie Rideout got in on the action. Check out the April issue for photos!
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