RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

Industry News — May 2021

May 19, 2021, 08:00 AM by Rhythm Scene Staff

Daddario Face Masks

40,000 Face Shields Donated to Long Island Organizations 
On Friday, Feb. 26, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi and Presiding Officer Robert Calarco met with D’Addario CEO John D’Addario III to accept a portion of the donated face shields on behalf of Suffolk County’s 18 legislative districts. 

“The Suffolk County Legislature has been heavily involved with securing and distributing PPE to constituents in need. We are grateful to D’Addario for this generous donation and to Legislator Tom Cilmi for helping to arrange it,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco. “It has been truly incredible to see how companies like D’Addario have used their resources to help with the tremendous lift that is fighting this pandemic. D’Addario’s pivot from producing drumheads to engineering face shields is an extraordinary example of ingenuity and goodwill in the face of dire challenges. This collaborative spirit is a hallmark of Long Island’s exceptional business community.” 

A year ago, D’Addario was directed to close its Farmingdale factories by the State of New York. A small group of D’Addario product development and manufacturing engineers, led by Chief Innovation Officer Jim D’Addario, met to find a way to make medical face shields from materials normally used to make Evans drumheads. 

By working with Mylar film, D’Addario’s drumhead manufacturing equipment, and the coordination with nearby suppliers for a few essential materials, the D’Addario team had working prototypes within several days, gaining permission from the state of New York to reopen the Evans drumhead factory. Production began within weeks, and to date, two million face shields have been shipped to medical professionals, small business owners, and consumers across North America.

“I am incredibly proud of the way our family of employees stepped up to manufacture PPE when it was needed,” says D’Addario CEO John D’Addario III. “On a more personal note, being able to donate our face shields across Long Island is a particular source of pride, given that this is our home, and we’re helping to protect our neighbors and their families.”

Gretsch Dealer AwardsGRETSCH
2021 Dealer Awards
Gretsch Drums Dealer Awards once again recognize the outstanding commitment of the company’s dealers in a year of unprecedented hardship and disruption. The company is proud to announce this year’s winners as follows: Gretsch USA Top Sales award goes to Drum Center of Portsmouth, Gretsch USA Outstanding Growth award is presented to the Memphis Drum Shop, and Gretsch Brand Champion this year is Steve Maxwell Vintage & Custom Drums.

Bo Mathews, National Independent Sales Manager, Drum Workshop, Inc. commented, “I would like to congratulate and thank our 2020 Gretsch award winners for their continued pursuit of excellence within the drumming community. The awards for Top Sales, Brand Champion, and Outstanding Growth are not goals set by us for the individual dealers who achieve them; they are a way for us, as a manufacturer, to show recognition of their passion for the product, the dedication to their communities, and the knowledge that they continue to share. Even during the most trying of times, these three dealers represent all that is right in this industry. From me and the rest of the Gretsch crew, congratulations on a great 2020!”

Guitar Center Music FoundationGUITAR CENTER
Music Foundation Raises $500,000 to Assist Music Programs in Need
The Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF), a non-profit organization focused on granting instruments and equipment to music education and music therapy programs, is proud to have received more than $500,000 via a series of Guitar Center’s in-store and online fundraising initiatives known as the “Round Up Your Change” program with all funds used to help keep music education programs alive. During these fundraising drives, Guitar Center customers were given the option of donating to the Guitar Center Music Foundation by rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar, giving customers an easy way to support music education during the challenging times of the current pandemic crisis. 

Between July 5 – Aug. 1 and Sept. 7 – Dec. 31, 2020, the “Round Up Your Change” programs were highly successful, with 52% of Guitar Center customers opting to donate, with a total of 829,320 transactions at an average donation of 61 cents. With these donations, 28 music programs across the country were able to receive grants so far with more planned for 2021. Among the music programs that benefited from the “Round Up” donations include Upperman High School in Baxter, TN; Newton County Middle School in Decatur, MS; Jordan High School in Los Angeles, CA; Norfolk Middle School in Norfolk, NE; and others. 

David Helfant, Chairman of the Board of the Guitar Center Music Foundation, said, “I am delighted that the ‘Round Up’ program has been so well received by the customers of Guitar Center. Despite the financial and personal challenges in this country due to the pandemic, people are still reaching into their pockets to help support music education and music therapy. It is a real testament to the kindness and compassionate of the public for music, music education and our foundation.”

The next Guitar Center “Round Up Your Change” initiative began on Feb. 28 and ran through March 27 in-store and online via Guitar Center’s ecommerce channels. Music programs in need that would like to be considered for a grant from the Guitar Center Music Foundation should visit

75th Anniversary Celebration
Following World War II, Japan was in a national period of reconstruction. It was during this time a new company was born. On April 2, 1946, Katsumi Yanagisawa founded Pearl in a small backyard workshop in Sumida-Ku Tokyo. Today the company is headquartered 50 kilometers away in Chiba, Japan. The first products produced by Pearl were music stands made for the local Japanese market. As his reputation for quality craftmanship grew, Katsumi was urged to begin building drums. By 1953, the company made drum sets, marching and concert drums, timpani, cymbals, and Latin percussion instruments.

From such humble beginnings, this fledgling company would progress to become a leader in musical instrument manufacturing, holding scores of patents the world over. The gearless tilter, the drum rack, and the interchangeable cam system are just a few of the innovations from Pearl. Drum set series like Masters, Session, and the fully customizable Masterworks Series have all become legendary. Pearl's hardware staples like the Eliminator and Demon Drive pedals, plus its concert and marching series drums, have become the standards by which all others are measured. Add a few of the many dynamic electronic innovations like Mimic Pro and eMerge and it has been a very busy 75 years. 

In 1961 Pearl built a 15,000 square foot factory in Chiba, Japan, to handle the increasing demand for its products that exemplified superior Japanese manufacturing. In the beginning, this factory produced drums for over 30 OEM brands to be distributed by others throughout the world. These kits carried various brand names, and many drummers started their careers playing Pearl and never knew it.

For 20 years, Pearl would continue to build drums for other companies. In 1966, Pearl introduced the "President Series," the first professional drum set to carry the Pearl logo. From that point forward, the name Pearl would become synonymous with fine drums. In celebration of Pearl's history of quality and craftsmanship, the President Series makes a triumphant return in a Limited Edition, 75th Anniversary drum set. “The President Series Phenolic drums feature the tonal articulation and feel of the original with a modern classic retool” states Terry West, President of Pearl Corporation USA.

For generations, Pearl master artisans have developed unique proprietary manufacturing techniques that separate the company from others. With strict Japanese manufacturing precision and accuracy, every process has been perfected to produce the finest instruments possible. 

In 1973, Pearl expanded its manufacturing capabilities with a 93,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located within the export zone of Taichung, Taiwan. In 1980, this factory would be responsible for introducing the legendary Export Series drum set to the world.

"After 75 years, our commitment remains the same, to build instruments that have lasting value and prestige. Today, our challenge is to continue to work just like a new start-up company and to possesses the same spirit and drive that began 75 years ago with Katsumi Yanagisawa," said Max Iishi, President and CEO, Pearl Musical Instruments.

Pearl Max IishiMax Iishi Announced as New President and CEO
The Board of Directors of the Pearl Musical Instrument Company have announced Max Iishi as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer to succeed Masakatsu Yanagisawa, who has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Originally from Kyoto, Japan, Max graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo with a degree in economics. He joined Pearl in 1995 and was promoted to International Sales and Marketing Manager in 1999. He spent 10 years in the Netherlands and was named President of Pearl Europe in 2006. In 2012, Max returned to Pearl headquarters in Japan in the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 2018, Max was promoted to Executive Vice President in charge of group management. Max has lived in Japan, Singapore, Germany, England, the U.S., and the Netherlands and in a professional capacity has conducted business around the world. This experience ingrained in him a global diversity which is the basis of his management style.

Effective immediately, Max will assume the day-to-day management and leadership of Pearl worldwide, while working in tandem with the Board of Directors, group companies, and key stakeholders. As Chairman, Masakatsu will continue to be involved in management strategy and supporting company initiatives. 

Nic Collins Joins the Family
Porter & Davies are delighted to welcome Nic Collins, son of Genesis’ Phil Collins, to their family. He uses a BC2 with his band Better Strangers and a TT6 Equipped Throne on tour with Phil Collins and on the forthcoming 2021 Genesis tour.

Nic has been touring with his dad since he was 16 years old. Now 19 and rehearsing for The Last Domino Genesis tour, he is the same age as Phil when he originally joined the band. Growing up surrounded by his father’s music, it is no surprise he gets what the drumming needs to sound like, while bringing a whole new energy to the band’s sound.

With his own band, Better Strangers, he plays a blend of heavy rock with contemporary layers and melodies. He credits the band with his growth as player and the development of his own musical identity. Better Strangers are due to release their debut EP in 2021.

Talking about using P&D Nic said, “The Porter & Davies drum throne helps me feel so much more inspired behind the kit and quite literally feel every beat. It’s also so simple and straightforward to use that it makes every drummer’s life much easier.”

To find out more about the BC2, TT6 Equipped Throne, and all of Porter & Davies other products, visit

The Avedis Zildjian Company, parent company of Vic Firth, is pleased to announce the launch of the Vic Firth Drumchain, an exciting new initiative to help bring musicians together in times where being able to connect is more important than ever before.

Vic Firth is committed to helping build these connections, whether it’s through drumsticks and mallets, or through opportunities to make music together. Musicians can celebrate these connections with the start of the Vic Firth Drumchain, bringing together artists from across the world, across instruments, and across musical genres. They have the opportunity to collaborate with Vic Firth Family artists Dave Weckl, Anders Astrand, Ji Hye Jung, Juan “Carlito” Mendoza, Se-Mi Hwang, Nelli Bubujanca, Nate Skinner, Roger Carter, and Devon Taylor in an artfully crafted composition by Vic Firth Signature Artist Ian Grom.

“People want to feel connected, and that was really our whole goal with this project, creating connection across the entire percussion community,” says Mike Weber, Global Brand Manager for Vic Firth. “We really wanted to do something special to show how powerful music can be in bringing people together. Our family of Vic Firth artists really brought the vision of the Drumchain to life by sharing their talent across a wide range of backgrounds, instruments, and musical styles as well as the creative tools they use. Now we’re excited to turn it over to the passionate drummers and percussionists of the world, to join in the Drumchain and continue building connections with each other. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!” 

To see the Drumchain, find play along resources, and submit performances, visit

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