Filipinos again show their skills at Anaheim music merchants show
ANAHEIM, California – With Filipinos again in the mix, the gigantic annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show returned to the Anaheim Convention Center January 24-28, featuring an outdoor stage of continuous live musical entertainment sponsored by Yamaha, in addition to the showcase of musicians at various vendor booths and indoor stages.
Returning from his first appearance last year was Jon G. De la Cruz with his Elegee handmade bass guitars from Manila. While keeping his company small with three apprentice luthiers, he has kept his production standards high, creating beautiful instruments from exotic Philippine woods and hardware, proudly made entirely in the Philippines.
This year De la Cruz shared a booth with another new Philippine manufacturer Majeste Guitars, represented by Willy Abued. At their vendor booth, the crowd was entertained by ten-year-old guitar wiz Sebastien Braganza as his proud father watched.
Not far away, also in Hall E of the convention center, other young YouTube sensations Honoka and Azita from Hawaii also demonstrated their skills at the Kanile’a Ukulele booth.
On Saturday, in Hall C at the Framus & Warwick Music booth, rock bass guitarist Mike Inez joined fellow guitar legends sponsored by Warwick for autograph signing in front of a long line of fans. Mike Inez is a Filipino American, proud of his heritage, raised in San Fernando, California and formerly performed and recorded with Ozzy Osbourne and the rock duo Heart. He currently plays bass for the rock group Alice in Chains. Later the same day Inez went on to sign autographs at the Ampeg amplifier booth for still more fans.
Filipino turntablists demonstrated their DJ-ing skills Saturday night, at the nearby restaurant Dave and Busters in Orange, California. After the NAMM event “The Art of DJing,” a djmix & greet party was hosted by SCETCH, Mixmats and Filipino American DJ Icy Ice.
DJ Icy Ice hails originally from Carson, California, with a degree from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He found hip hop culture to be his passion and focused on the art of turntabling and DJing. Also very involved in representing the Filipino community, Icy Ice is an original member of the internationally renowned DJ group The World Famous Beat Junkies.
Icy Ice has also been the Exclusive DJ for celebrity events such as Manny Pacquiao, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, the Emmys, the Sundance Film Festival, NBA All-Star Games and the Democratic National Convention After Party. He is also on the Los Angeles radio station KPWR 106 and featured as a speaker recently at TEDx.
Also featured at the Saturday night DJ-ing Party were Pinoys, DJ Inbituin, Red Bull 3Style Champion of the Philippines, and DJ Rocky Rock, DMC Asia Champion.
The NAMM show also serves as a reunion ground for friends George Rossi of Windfield Summit, Pat and Ramon DeVera of Barkada, music event producer Gerald Ishibashi and Dan and Jun Kuramoto of Hiroshima. Also found at the breakfast line was Filipina journalist Liza, representing the online Rock Cellar Magazine. At last count there were more than 2,000 exhibitors and 115,085 registrants at this year’s 2018 NAMM Show.