By DONNA BALANCIA
Gibson will work with guitar makers, and veteran and young musicians in cooperative agreements designed to drive guitar sales, it was announced at Summer NAMM.
The Nashville company unveiled its Authorized Partnership Program which will give boutique guitar builders the chance to work with Gibson on instruments in the “iconic shapes” including the Flying V and Explorer.
It’s a boost for indie luthiers who are able to use the shapes in their own builds.
In an effort to continue to support legacy musicians and their fans, and to attract the next generation of guitar players, Gibson has established two additional programs: The Gibson Alliance and the Gibson Generation Group.
Gibson Alliance musicians will give input on product development initiatives at the new Gibson Lab and introduce partners to collaborate. For Alliance artists, Gibson will support projects, fund charitable initiatives and contribute to programs that help the community through the Gibson Foundation.
It’s an attempt to bring the guitar front and center in the face of increased competition from overseas imports and the rise in popularity of technology-driven music created electronically. The strategy is solid in that the veteran performers have a couple of generations of followers, many of whom are amateur guitarists.
Among the Alliance performers are veterans Slash, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Billy Gibbons.
“The Gibson Alliance is an important platform for bringing Gibson and Gibson artists together on everything Gibson across the board,” Slash said.
“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to be able to share my ideas, and my passion for music as a part of this community,” Halestorm said. “We are the ones responsible for passing the torch to the next generation of creators and I plan on not only burning bright, but lighting this world on fire.”
“What a blast to stay in step with the fabulous Gibson brand on six-string things and welcome the arrival of the new ‘Gibson Alliance,’” said Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. “A very inviting moment for players of all makes and shapes to enjoy the gathering of artists around the planet!”
The Gibson Generation Group is a platform to grow new generations of guitar players and put them front and center. The Gibson Generation Group program offers a two-year “curriculum” and the first G3 is expected to graduate in the Summer of 2021.
The Gibson Generation Group musicians will get support from Gibson’s leadership team, comprised of luthiers and entertainment relations teams. The young guitarists are expected to be showcased at Gibson-sponsored festivals and shows,
Gibson is the parent of Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger and Gibson Pro Audio division brands Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton.
For more information on Gibson, see the website.