DPA MICROPHONES A/S WELCOMES JENS JERMIIN AS NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING

DPA Microphones A/S, the leading manufacturer of high-quality microphone solutions, is pleased to introduce Jens Jermiin as the brand’s new Vice President of Marketing. A leader in the marketing world, with previous roles at global brands like Coca-Cola, Carlsberg and Bang & Olufsen, Jermiin has been with DPA in an interim capacity since December and will now fully lead the department, effective immediately.

As VP of Marketing for DPA Microphones A/S, the Denmark-based home branch of the company, Jermiin will lead initiatives for the brand’s market-leading microphones and accessories. This includes product launch campaigns, digital marketing strategies and internal and external communications, among other things.

“Following several successful months in an interim role, we are thrilled to now welcome Jens to our team in a full-time capacity,” says Soren Hogsberg, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for DPA Microphones. “Jens brings decades of marketing expertise to DPA that will be pivotal in continuing to grow our brand. With a focus on creative new approaches to drive our strategy and define our brand, Jens has what it takes to keep DPA at the top of the game. We look forward to his contributions to the brand as we reinforce our commitment to the industry.”

Jermiin comes to DPA with more than 20 years of marketing experience, following his most recent role as Chief Marketing Officer at TAKT, a Danish furniture brand that he co-founded. Prior to that, Jermiin served as VP of Global Brand & Marketing for Denmark-based Bang & Olufsen, a leader in high-end consumer electronics and audio products. He was also previously the Vice President of Digital, Media and Creative Content at Carlsberg Group, and held various creative and marketing roles with The Coca-Cola Company for more than a decade.

A graduate of Copenhagen Business School, where he studied marketing and economics, Jermiin also serves or has served on the board of several leading Danish organizations, including the Nic. Christiansen Group, Dwarf, Geismars Vaeverier A/S and Dansk Markedsfoering (the Danish Marketing Association).  

“I am honored that Soren and Kalle (Hvidt Nielsen, DPA CEO) chose me to fill this role,” says Jermiin. “DPA Microphones is a well-known, high-end brand with a large, devoted following. I look forward to finding creative new ways to grow this beloved brand.” Jermiin’s position was previously held by his colleague Anne Berggrein, who now leads the company’s initiatives in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) domains. “Anne’s substantial contributions over her more than 20-year tenure have played a pivotal role in elevating the DPA brand to its current stature,” adds Hogsberg.

MusicMax Distribution Announces Exclusive Partnership with Ashdown Engineering

Rob Joseph, President of MusicMax Inc. (on left) and Brian Harsh, VP of Business Development (on right) are thrilled to partner with the Ashdown and Meters brands.

MusicMax Distribution, a leading name in the pro-audio and MI industry, is thrilled to announce Ashdown USA Powered by MusicMax, its new exclusive distribution partnership with Ashdown Engineering, a market leader in bass and guitar amplifiers, pedals, headphones, and Bluetooth solutions. This strategic collaboration brings Ashdown’s innovative and high-quality products to a broader audience in the United States, offering an enhanced musical experience for both dealers and customers alike.

This new venture will also see Ashdown’s sister company, Ashdown Meters, represented in the USA. With support from some incredible artists and truly unique products within the consumer audio market, MusicMax believes in the Meters brand and will distribute and support Meters products. CEO of both Ashdown and Meters Music Mark Gooday is overjoyed to see this venture and the growth of both companies in the USA.

Ashdown Engineering has a rich legacy of crafting best in class musical equipment, known for its exceptional sound quality, versatility, and durability. With this new partnership, MusicMax Distribution becomes the exclusive distributor for Ashdown’s complete line of products, making them more accessible than ever before to dealers, musicians, and enthusiasts across the United States.

Managing Director Daniel Gooday said “The mission at hand is simply to provide a new level of service for our customers, such as we have in the UK, Canada and EU, with the team in place to provide support. It has always been my dream to see Ashdown supported in this way in the USA. Having grown up in this industry I am very excited at what the future will hold for our family business. We are still to this day a family-owned entity and my wish is to continue this tradition of engineering some of the greatest products available for all musicians and audio lovers.”

“The entire MusicMax Distribution team is incredibly excited to partner with Ashdown Engineering and bring their premium range of bass and guitar products to US dealers,” said Brian Harsh, VP of Business Development. “Ashdown’s dedication to innovation and quality aligns perfectly with our mission to provide high quality, high value musical instruments, pro-audio equipment, and accessories to the industry. This partnership will allow us to further diversify our product offering and provide our customers with an even wider selection of high-quality gear.”

MusicMax Distribution’s extensive reach and dedication to customer service will ensure that Ashdown products are readily available across the United States. This exclusive partnership will benefit both dealers and customers by offering an enhanced shopping experience, comprehensive support, and timely availability of Ashdown’s product range.

This partnership marks a significant milestone for MusicMax Distribution and Ashdown Engineering, and both companies are committed to working together to grow the Ashdown brand and increase its exposure to customers nationwide.

For more information on MusicMax Distribution and its exclusive distribution of Ashdown Engineering’s products, please visit www.musicmaxinc.com.

Fender Promotes Levi Perry to Master Builder

Fender Custom Shop is pleased to announce Levi Perry will be joining the Master Builders team.

Levi Perry began his journey with Fender in 2012, straight out of high school. He joined as a part of the US production final assembly department, showcasing his skills as a luthier and technician. His success in this department earned him a promotion to the Custom Shop within three years, where he served as a Relic artisan and tune tester, and, in 2018, he was promoted to assistant Master Builder. During this apprenticeship, he worked on many prestigious builds, including the Game of Thrones series, the Limited-Edition Phil Lynott Precision Bass, the Limited-Edition George Harrison Rocky Strat and the Limited Edition El Mocambo Heavy Relic Stratocaster and Telecaster models.

When asked how he feels about joining the esteemed rank of Master BuilderLevi Perry said, “For me, what’s important is always to be learning and growing and to remain a student of the craft. Fender has such a deep and rich history to glean from, and when you allow that history to teach and guide you while continuing to be creative and push the boundaries, you’ll be amazed at what you can create.”

Since 1987, the Fender Custom Shop and its esteemed builders have astounded players and collectors worldwide with creativity, ingenuity and artistry. From its humble Southern California beginnings, the Fender Custom Shop has grown to become the world’s preeminent maker of highly collectable, custom instruments operating in Corona, Calif. Known as the “Dream Factory,” the Fender Custom Shop is also home to an honoured group known as the Master Builders – some of the most skilled luthiers in the world – who craft Fender’s legendary instruments and push the boundaries of possibility.

Quilter Labs and Neunaber Audio Announce They Are Joining Forces

Quilter Labs and Neunaber Audio have come together to offer up the best of analog power circuit and digital signal processing musical technology. This union will result in:

  • Wider Domestic and Worldwide Distribution of Neunaber Products
  • Expanded Product Development Capabilities
  • Standardized Logistics and Supply Chain
  • Enhanced Support System

In a statement, Brian Neunaber said, “I started Neunaber Audio to design products that I am truly passionate about, but ultimately, operating a business didn’t leave much time for that. By partnering with Quilter Labs, I can return to what I love doing and enable new opportunities for my team. I’ve known Pat and Chris for many years, and I feel that we have similar sensibilities in our approaches to design, marketing and management. When I decided to find someone to assume operations of Neunaber Audio so that I could return to full-time product development, Quilter Labs was top of mind. Fortunately, they were also looking for someone like me to expand their design team.”

Following up, Pat Quilter remarked, “As many thousands of happy Quilter Labs customers know, in retirement I have returned to my original passion of making high energy guitar and bass amps. My long career designing power amps at QSC Audio, which evolved from our guitar amp beginnings, have left me with a deep toolbox of analog power technology. More importantly, I have access to the vintage amps whose tone we all know and love, and I know how to unleash the same warmth and dynamics using modern lightweight circuitry. I am familiar with Brian Neunaber’s work, both at QSC and in his own company, and I look forward to combining our skill sets to bring together the best of both worlds – analog warmth and digital versatility – in easy-to-operate devices that fulfill our mission to Make Music Better.”

About Pat Quilter and Quilter Labs:

After decades of developing top-line QSC products, Pat had become a world-class designer of compact, high-power amplifiers. The final years of Pat’s QSC career saw his mastery of Class-D technology, the third wave of power technology that would replace traditional solid state, just as solid-state had replaced tube amps, except in the guitar field where tube amps continued to be respected as having the best and most natural tonal properties. Having built tube amps, Pat was well aware of the properties that they brought to the game. As a veteran of analog design, he could see what it would take to duplicate the behavior of tubes, but using modern, high efficiency, lightweight technology to design an amp that would serve the needs of musicians better than anything else on the market.

About Brian Neunaber and Neunaber Audio:

Coming from an engineering background, Brian Neunaber—the company’s founder—has grounded their mission in modern, highly technical excellence. Their products are the result of research, development, and intentional sonic engineering. They pursue sonic perfection, even at the cost of breaking industry norms. Their products deliver practical and intriguing sounds to a diverse range of musicians—from those whose desire is to effortlessly plug-in and play to those who need a more versatile platform to sculpt their ultimate tone. They believe that making great products is the best marketing strategy, and they rely on happy customers to spread the word.

Sweetwater Announces Over $800,000 in
Philanthropic Donations to More Than 400 Organizations in 2022

Sweetwater, the country’s leading eCommerce provider of music instruments and pro audio gear, today announcedphilanthropicdonations ofover $750,000 to more than 200 organizations this year. In addition to monetary donations, Sweetwater has also donated more than $60,000 worth of instruments and audio gear to an additional 200+ schools, music programs, and other groups, enabling students from all over the country to explore music and participate in music programs.

Sweetwater partners with local, regional, and national organizations to have a far-reaching impact, with a particular focus on music and arts education, exploration, and enrichment.

“We’re honored to be able to give back to the communities that have contributed to our success, from inspiring a love for music in children, to supporting the local Fort Wayne community,” said Sweetwater CEO John Hopkins. “Our goal is to help musicians make their musical dreams come true and to help foster the next generation’s passion for making music.”

Sweetwater has long-standing partnerships with music and arts organizations like Music Will (formerly Little Kids Rock), Beats by Girlz, Women’s Audio Mission, We Are All Music, Arts United, Believe in a Dream, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Unity Performing Arts Foundation, Embassy Theatre, FWCS Foundation’s b Instrumental program, Make Music Alliance, Power2Inspire, Save the Music Foundation, and TI:ME (Technology in Music Education.)

“Sweetwater’s support has transformed the ways in which we interact with our students and allowed us to supplement our instruction with relevant hands-on activities using professional tools,” said TI:ME Executive Director Mike Lawson.

Sweetwater also supports numerous non-profit agencies that focus on youth development and meeting the needs of underserved populations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, Bridge of Grace, Easterseals Arc, Fort Wayne Commission for African American Males, Fort Wayne Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, and more. For further information, visit Sweetwater.com.

Gibson Completes Massive Expansion of Acoustic Facility in Bozeman, Montana

the Gibson Acoustic team in Bozeman, MT.
Gibson Acoustic Craftory Expansion Celebration photos (credit Gibson)

Gibson is the leading, iconic, handcrafted, American-made guitar brand that has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers, across genres for over 128 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, with a premier acoustic craftory in Bozeman, Montana, Gibson continues a legacy of world-class artisanship, legendary music partnerships, and progressive product innovations that are unrivaled among musical instrument companies. Gibson has been in major investment expansion mode and prioritizing the acoustic facility and its skilled artisans in Bozeman who create our world-renowned acoustic guitar collections. For more than a century, Gibson acoustics have been played by the most talented and influential music artists who continue to shape sound through modern music.

In Bozeman, Montana, Gibson carries on a tradition of acoustic instruments that dates back to the 1890’s. The world has changed, but this art has stayed much the same: Gibson acoustic guitars deliver a clear, rich sound from carefully chosen tonewoods crafted to improve with age and fit each dovetail neck joint by hand. While production of Gibson Acoustics started in Kalamazoo, MI and moved to Nashville, TN for a period, Bozeman was identified as an ideal location for the new acoustic facility after Gibson purchased the Montana-based Flatiron Mandolin company in 1987. The relatively stable and dry climate in Bozeman is advantageous in building acoustic guitars, which can be greatly affected by swings in temperature and humidity. The early days in Montana marked the rebirth of Gibson’s flat-top guitars in the eyes and ears of artist, dealers, and fans.

To meet the booming demand for guitars, Gibson invested in construction to double the size of the acoustic craftory. With more machine shop and manufacturing space, expanded Gibson Acoustic Custom Shop capabilities, and a new artist showroom, the modernized facility enables Gibson to increase production of its world renowned acoustic guitar models (J-45HummingbirdDove, SJ-200, and more) and expand innovative offerings such as the new Gibson Generation Collection, without compromising on conditions of quality.

“Gibson acoustic guitars have earned their iconic status over many generations and across many genres of music,” says James ‘JC’ Curleigh (President and CEO of Gibson Brands). “This iconic status has turned into exceptional demand over the past few years. We recognized that we had an opportunity and an obligation to find a way to make more guitars by expanding the legendary Gibson Acoustic Craftory right here in Bozeman, Montana. We are proud of the expansion and excited for the future.”

Last week, Gibson opened the doors of its world-renowned acoustic guitar facility in Bozeman to celebrate the completion of a factory expansion which doubled the size of the facility which was originally built in 1988. Gibson global leadership and the local Gibson Bozeman teams were on hand with local Montana business leaders and ambassadors, and our skilled artisans who create our world-renowned acoustic guitar collections to view the new craftory. Gibson is a preferred employer globally and with the massive expansion will be adding up to 100+ job opportunities and recruiting top talent on the local and national level. Gibson Acoustic in Bozeman currently employs 230 people.

Following are photos from the Gibson Acoustic expansion celebration in Bozeman, MT, and a glimpse inside the craftory:

Above: the Gibson team cut the ribbon to open the newly expanded Gibson Acoustic factory in Bozeman.
Gibson Bozeman team.
Above: (L-R, back row) Richard Walbe (Training Coordinator), Adam Dieckman (Materials Manager), Tiffaney Loomis (Shipping Manager), Colin Beck (Engineering Manager), Patrick Hansen (QC Manager), Nick Codding (Production Manager) and (L-R, front row) Margaret Hawthorne (Human Resource Business Partner), Josh Taborski (Facility Director), and Jackie O’Reilly (Controller).
Above (L-R): Anne Rohosy (Chief Human Resources and Impact Officer, Gibson Brands), James “JC” Curleigh (President and CEO, Gibson Brands) and Jeremy Freckleton (Chief Production Officer, Gibson Brands).
Gibson leadership and Montana Ambassadors Association.
Above: (back row L-R) Anne Rohosy (Chief Human Resources and Impact Officer, Gibson Brands), and Montana Ambassadors Brian Arthur, Tyler Delaney, and James Thompson, James “JC” Curleigh (President and CEO, Gibson Brands) and Jeremy Freckleton (Chief Production Officer, Gibson Brands), (front row L-R) Montana Ambassadors Jami Lorenz, Suzi Berget White, and Angela Mcgrath.
Above: (L-R) Thad Beaty (Sugarland), Gibson ambassador Amanda Stewart, and Annie Clements (Maren Morris) performed for guests during the Gibson expansion grand opening.
Above: Gibson acoustic guitars in the binding process.

Above: A Gibson SJ-200 in Rosewood Burst makes its way through final set up.
Above: a Gibson SJ-200 receives a Rosewood Burst finish.
Above: Gibson Acoustic factory finishing area.
Above: an artisan neck fits a J-45 Deluxe Rosewood.

Jeff Slingluff, BOSS Strategic Product Manager U.S., Passes at 55

In addition to being a talented guitarist, Jeff’s M.I. industry career spanned more than 30 years with roles in product development, sound design, product management, and more.

Jeff Slingluff passed on September 9, 2022, following complications from COVID-19 at the age of 55. As the BOSS strategic product manager for the U.S., Jeff was extensively involved in product content and tradeshow booth design, dealer training and support, and video content. His depth of knowledge and willingness to share his genuine excitement for gear, both new and classic, made him an industry favorite for content and interviews.

When Jeff joined BOSS in 2016, BOSS engineers quickly integrated him into the product development process, involving him in new product ideas, conceptual designs, visual and user interface design, and sound design. His unique philosophy in how to craft a product’s look and feel, combined with a friendly, intuitive user interface, contributed to the success of BOSS products ranging from the award-winning Katana and Nextone Amplifier series to the highly acclaimed WAZA-TAE Tube Amp Expander and RE-202 Space Echo.

“I loved Jeff’s smile, positive attitude, and way of thinking. I loved to talk to him—he was always optimistic. Conversations with Jeff gave me lots of inspiration and hints for new product ideas. He supported and helped me and BOSS so much over the last six years,” offered Yoshi Ikegami, BOSS president from 2002 to 2022.

Jeff was a graduate of the Musicians Institute, and before joining BOSS, he lent his talents and vision to Alesis, Line 6, and Sound Machine LLC. Through his work on products like the POD Series, DL4 Delay Modeler, and a vast library of algorithms and models, Jeff honed the tones that became the foundation for gold and platinum-selling albums, world stadium tours, and countless home productions. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Line 6’s engineers, Jeff helped pioneer, evolve, and refine the techniques of modeling that have become the foundation of many modern guitar amplifiers, effects processors, and plug-ins. Jeff’s sound design talents were also used in multiple plug-ins for Universal Audio, as well as the first digital pedals for Dunlop Manufacturing and its MXR brand.

As a family man, musician, guitarist, sound engineer, gear tinkerer, and animal lover, Jeff had many passions. He was exceedingly accepting, loving, and kind, and he embraced everyone for who they were without judgement. Jeff was also a great listener, no matter the person or situation. He made people feel heard, he made people feel valued, and his door was always open. In a world filled with challenges, Jeff had a heart full of joy.

Jeff is survived by Jean Shen, his partner of more than 15 years, and his children Amanda (28) and Koda (23).

The teams at Roland and BOSS send heartfelt condolences to Jeff’s family, friends, and colleagues around the world.

Gibson Gives receives its largest donation to date from Hikma in response to the opioid overdose crisis.

Above: Kloxxado® (Naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 8 mg from Hikma.

Gibson Gives:

Announces 16,000 Dose Commitment of Kloxxado® 8mg Naloxone from Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Donation Valued at $1 Million for TEMPO–Powered By Kloxxado® Outreach Program

Gibson Gives’ TEMPO Program

Saves Lives From Opioid Overdoses By

Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose

Last year, Gibson Gives–the purpose-driven charitable arm of the iconic American instrument brand Gibson—launched TEMPOTraining and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose. The TEMPO program works with non-profits to provide both life-saving training for using the drug Naloxone (Kloxxado® Narcan), which is used to prevent opioid overdoses, and offer a support network for recovery from opioid addiction. Through TEMPOGibson Gives is training musicians, crew members, music industry professionals, and non-profits on how to properly administer Kloxxado® giving them the ability to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives.

Gibson Gives’ TEMPO program is proud to announce a generous commitment of 16,000 doses of Kloxxado® (Naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 8 mg from Hikma. The three-year commitment titled TEMPO, Powered by Kloxxado®  is valued at $1 Million, marking the largest single donation to Gibson Gives and its TEMPO program, so far.

Kloxxado® by Hikma contains a higher dose of 8 mg of Naloxone per spray–double the dose per spray of Narcan® (Naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 4 mg. With increasingly stronger amounts of illicitly manufactured fentanyl being discovered in substances including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and counterfeit pills (CDC, Drug Overdose – Other Drugs), 78% of opioid overdose reversals now involve at least 2 doses of Naloxone (DEA, One Pill Can Kill).

“We are beyond grateful to Hikma for their recent donation of Kloxxado® to TEMPO,” says Erica Krusen, Senior Director of Cultural Influence at Gibson Brands. “Opiate overdoses persist as a major public health problem, contributing to over 100,000 U.S. deaths just last year (CDC, Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 annually). These deaths are preventable through the timely administration of Naloxone–a safe, effective, and easy to administer medication that reverses opioid overdoses and helps save lives.”

Gibson Gives’ TEMPO program is now 12 non-profit members strong including MusiCaresThe Scars FoundationThe Clinic (Roadie Advocacy Group), Sandgaard FoundationSims FoundationHarbor PathMusicians For Overdose PreventionLife By MusicPassenger RecoveryNational Harm Reduction, and Solace For HopeThe TEMPO program believes it is important not only to save a life, but also to aid in recovery from opioid addiction. Select TEMPO partners will provide counseling for those suffering from opioid addiction, and to family members who have lost a loved one to overdose. Each non-profit member of the TEMPO Network is recognized as an official TEMPO program training center.

MusiCares–which provides a safety net of critical health and welfare services to the music community in Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services, Health Services, and Human Services–will be the first TEMPO partner to launch in the artist area during this weekend’s Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival in Franklin, TN. Pilgrimage Festival will mark TEMPO’s first distribution of and training sessions for Kloxxado® via MusiCares whose mission is to serve musicians and the music industry.

Gibson Gives and TEMPO will be producing training videos and distribute Kloxxado® to University Music Departments across the United States, and produce artist-driven Public Service Announcements. The timing of this life-saving overdose reversal drug comes as musicians are touring again, and in-person concerts and festivals are at an all-time high after post-COVID shutdowns. Lethal overdoses from opioid and fentanyl  are on the rise globally, and have reached an all-time high in the U.S.; with public warnings being issued regularly about fentanyl-laced products, awareness has never been more critical.

Gibson Gives:

GIBSON GIVES.ORG

TEMPO:

TEMPOMISSION.ORG

ACT Entertainment Acquires Ultimate Support Systems 

 ACT Entertainment, an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of live performance equipment, has acquired Ultimate Support Systems, the top manufacturer of unique support solutions widely used throughout the music and live performance industries. The official announcement was made in Windsor, Colorado at the home office of Ultimate Support Systems, on September 15.

“We are very excited to add the Ultimate Support Systems product line and their team to the ACT Entertainment family,” says Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Entertainment. “Like ACT, Ultimate has a passion for innovation at its core. The ability to design, develop and engineer state-of-the-art products while providing value and quality is unique in the category. The more I got to know Mike and the amazing team at Ultimate, the more excited I became at the opportunity to work together.”

By purchasing Ultimate Support Systems, ACT now provides yet another of the industry’s most respected brands and products to all the end markets it serves. With the ACT team now behind the brand, Ultimate will continue to grow its product line and create quality support solutions for performers and technicians.

Aarash Darroodi Appointed Fender Play Foundation™ President

 Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the appointment of Aarash Darroodi as the new President of Fender Play Foundation (FPF), the brand’s 501(c)(3) public charitable organization. Darroodi succeeds Co-Presidents Evan Jones, CMO and Ed Magee, EVP Operations who have moved to new roles on FPF’s Board of Directors. Effective immediately, Darroodi will be supporting the organization in its mission to expand access to music education, putting instruments into the hands of students and empowering self-expression using the power of music.

“We are fortunate to have worked alongside Aarash for many years, most notably as we developed the Fender Play Foundation,” said Evan Jones, CMO and Ed Magee, Fender EVP of Operations. “We are thrilled to see him take his personal commitment into the role as president to further our mission to equip, educate and inspire the next generation. A seasoned leader across the FMIC organization and legal industry, Darroodi’s extensive knowledge, deep understanding of the Foundation and vast cultural expertise will provide invaluable support to make music education accessible to all.”

In his current role as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Darroodi is responsible for all global legal matters across FMIC – whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel®, Bigsby® and PreSonus® – including mergers and acquisitions, compliance, litigation, intellectual property, corporate governance, advocacy and risk management. In addition, Darroodi serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for FMIC. 

“I’m honored to step into the role as President of the Fender Play Foundation and continue the great work that was started by its incredibly dedicated team,” said Darroodi. “Music is a universal language that empowers creativity, community-building, and self-expression and through the Fender Play Foundation, we aim to place instruments in the hands of youth who aspire to become the next generation of influential artists. We are committed more than ever to building upon our original mission and expanding the program so that thousands of new students – across Los Angeles and beyond – can experience the joy of music.”

The centerpiece of Fender Play Foundation is its music education partnership within two key programs with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the 2nd largest school district in the US. The virtual middle school music enrichment program provides equipment donations, a teacher-led curriculum with access to the Fender Play® app and artist experiences. The elementary school ukulele program, supported and championed by Billie Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, provides instruments and weekly in-school music instruction at 10 schools in Highland Park with the goal of creating a robust 3rd – 8th grade music pathway for nearly 2,500 students over the next 3 years.   Fender Play Foundation launched in Los Angeles in 2019 and has since placed instruments and Fender Play® app subscriptions in the hands of more than 10,000 students, donating over $1 million in resources and equipment. The goal is to give more than 35,000 students the opportunity to learn a new instrument by the end of 2025.