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MIDI@40 and Hip-Hop@50 Anniversary Celebrations Await at The 2023 NAMM

The 2023 NAMM Show will celebrate two of history's most impactful musical innovations: the 40th anniversary of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) with MIDI@40 and the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, with Hip-Hop@50. 

Each day of the show, which takes place April 13–15, in Anaheim, California, will offer the intertwined story of
hip-hop and MIDI, and the relationship between technology and music creation. Together, hip-hop and MIDI — as an underlying, enabling technology — have had a global impact in breaking down barriers and making music more accessible. 

In fact, MIDI drum machines, sequencers, synths, and turntables are at the heart of many of the iconic records that made hip-hop the cultural phenomenon that it is today.

As part of the MIDI@40 celebration, the MIDI Zone in the front of Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center will celebrate a wide range of products and innovations using MIDI. In total, 30 companies will be displaying the latest in MIDI innovation, and The MIDI Association will be demonstrating MIDI 2.0, the most important upgrade to MIDI since its debut at The NAMM Show in 1983. 

"MIDI@40 not only showcases all of the amazing MIDI products that have impacted music over
the past 40 years but also looks forward to the future with MIDI 2.0 products that will continue to
shape the way music is made for decades to come,

Athan Billias, President of the MIDI Association

As part of the convergence, a series of panel discussions will examine the impact of MIDI technology.

On Friday, April 14, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., A3E: Advanced Audio Applications Exchange will present "MIDI 2.0: What Developers Need to Know About Free Tools for Developing MIDI 2.0 Products and Apps." The panel discussion will feature members of the MIDI 2.0 working group, including Pete Brown, Florian Bomers, Mike Kent, and Torrey Walker, as they discuss recent changes to the core MIDI 2.0 specifications and the MIDI 2.0 API on Apple, Google, Linux, and Microsoft operating systems. They'll also explain the tools that The MIDI Association is providing to all developers to help make MIDI 2.0 devices easier.

Immediately following the session, attendees can delve into "MIDI 2.0: What Musicians Need to Know About MIDI 2.0." The panel session, featuring Athan Billias, Craig Anderton, Brett Porter of Art and Logic, Michael Cain of Ekwe and artist Moldover, will introduce the new MIDI 2.0 products at The NAMM Show and provide an overview of what new MIDI specifications will mean to musicians, including MPE, 

On Friday, Hip-Hop@50 will present "Chuck D on Hip-Hop@50." 

Hosted by Brian Hardgroove, the session will feature an in-depth conversation with legendary rapper and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame leader of Public Enemy, Chuck D. Come hear the history of this American cultural phenomenon through the lens of a legend that influenced the genre like no other.

The MIDI@40 and Hip-Hop@50 celebrations will come together on Saturday, April 15 from 3–5 p.m. on the Yamaha Grand Plaza Stage with a performance by Resonant Alien, the new band featuring Brian Hardgroove and DJ Johnny Juice of Public Enemy.

At Saturday's anniversary celebration, lifetime achievement awards will be presented to (or posthumously honor) legendary music industry innovators who created the modern music production environment of synths, drum machines, and sequencers, including Bob Moog, Don Buchla, Ikutaro Kakehashi, Tsutomu Katoh, Roger Linn, Tom Oberheim, Alan Pearlman, Dave Rossum, and Dave Smith.

The afternoon event will be hosted by world champion juggler and MIDI power user Mark Nizer and will feature musicians, composers, and performance artists who represent the beautiful diversity of cultures and people from all over the world, along with music from different genres and generations brought together by music and MIDI. 

The musicians, composers and performance artists selected as MIDI brand ambassadors represent the beautiful diversity of cultures and people from all over the world and music from different genres and generations brought together by music and MIDI.  

The show will start with a movie scored by the first president of the MIDI Association and film and game composer, Jeff Rona.

Mike Garson (David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins) will perform an improvised piano solo. 

Mark Isham who has over 4 billion dollars in box office movie scores will perform music from some of his most popular soundtracks. 

Jordan Rudess (keyboard player for Dream Theatre and developer of Geoshred) is working with a group of musicians from India and showing off the possibilities of MPE for expressive performance.  

MIDI Innovation Awards judge Moldover (godfather of Controllerism) and Lula Mebrahtu are collaborating on a performance showing off DIY controllers. 

  • Rick Feds and  Cécile Delaurentis will be showing off the Embodme Erae Touch next generation MIDI Controller, Mimu gloves and the Ableton Push.

The show will climax with a performance from The Ambassador of Soul, Ellis Hall. Blind since the age of 18, Hall has written nearly 4,000 blues, gospel, and soul songs and performed with the likes of Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Tower of Power, Bobby Womack, and Stevie Wonder. 

Joining Ellis onstage will be Willie "Bamm Bamm" Parker who is currently on tour with R and B singer Joe. 

"The MIDI@40 and Hip-Hop@50 celebrations have come together in a perfect creative storm. 

Hip-hop and MIDI have both made music more accessible to more people and changed our global music culture.

Brian Hardgroove, Resonant Alien and Public Enemy

The MIDI@40 and HipHop@50 celebrations are truly joined together musically in a finale written by Brockett Parsons, keyboard player for Lady Gaga where many of the performers from HipHop@50 and MIDI@40 will join the stage for a final JAMM at NAMM. 

Registration for The 2023 NAMM Show is now open. 

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