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:




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. 

Sweetwater Launches The Sweetwater Gear Exchange

Sweetwater, the world’s leading music technology and instrument retailer, today announcedthe launch of The Sweetwater Gear Exchange. It creates a new opportunity for musicians to get the equipment and instruments they need to make music by buying and selling gently used gear in a safe and cost effective way through a trusted partner. Through Gear Exchange, there are currently zero seller fees incurred when the seller chooses a Sweetwater gift card as the form of payment.

Since 1979, Sweetwater’s mission has been to provide the best shopping experience possible for customers. That single focus continues to drive every aspect of the company’s operation and is the key to its ongoing success. By understanding and keeping a pulse on what customers want, The Gear Exchange further exemplifies Sweetwater’s ability to provide them with a top-notch experience. Gear Exchange sellers have the opportunity to create their own customized storefront, including setting a store address, outlining policies for returns, and adding a bio to let people learn more about them. Sellers can create listings that include photos of the instruments and gear they no longer need or want.

“Being avid music makers ourselves, we know how real the connection can be between the musician and their gear. It goes beyond just being an instrument and becomes an extension of the artist. Whether it’s someone’s first guitar or an old recording interface, every piece of gear has a story. The Gear Exchange provides music makers and gearheads the opportunity to find a common place to buy and sell items, sharing the remarkable stories behind each unique piece,” said David Stewart, Chief Marketing Officer at Sweetwater. “We are excited to provide a new forum for artists to find the perfect equipment to make the music they love.”

To maintain safety, Gear Exchange has implemented tight fraud prevention measures including requiring photos of the exact item listed. There will be badges available on the storefront pages showcasing how long Gear Exchange sellers have been verified Sweetwater customers. Additionally, there will be a full team of administrators monitoring the marketplace for any potential security risks.

Shipping labels for sellers can be purchased directly through The Gear Exchange, utilizing Sweetwater’s great rates. The cost of the labels can be subtracted from the payout so sellers don’t have to pay shipping bills until they get paid.

For more information visit

Shane Nicholas Retires from Fender After 25 Years

Shane Nicholas, one of the industry’s most well-regarded and beloved amplifier experts, has retired from Fender after 25 years with the company. 

Originally from eastern Pennsylvania, Nicholas worked in sales at Dave Phillips Music in Allentown for more than 10 years prior to joining Fender in 1997. With nearly half a century of guitar-playing experience, Nicholas is known for his intricate knowledge of amplifiers and flawless execution on guitar, as well as his passionate on-stage performances. He quickly realized that amplifiers are just as important as guitars for creating a good tone while playing. He took this mindset and went on a journey to play every single one he could find and learned what made each of them tick. 

During his 25 years with Fender, Nicholas held multiple roles, including Amplifier Product Specialist, Manager of Product Education, and various Product Manager, Marketing Manager, and Director roles. He played an invaluable part in Fender’s global project to become leaders in the amplifier space. Both former and current employees acknowledge Nicholas for his knowledge, dedication and leadership and feel privileged to have worked alongside him and the incredible legacy he leaves at Fender. 

“Shane Nicholas is an institution – both in Fender history and the guitar industry as a whole,” said Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President of Fender Products. “Over the span of his two-decade career at Fender, he not only applied his golden ears and vast vintage knowledge to our storied tube amps, but he also played an integral role in ushering in our first forays and subsequent innovations in the digital amplifier space. Not to mention, he’s an amazing player! He will always and forever be in the Fender family.”

Fender Appoints Amani Duncan and Maria Fernandes to Its Board of Directors

 Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturer, marketer and distributor, today announced the appointment of two industry veterans to its Board of Directors: Amani Duncan and Maria Fernandez, beginning May 2022. The appointments come during record-breaking growth in guitar-playing history. With more than 16 million people in the U.S. picking up guitar during the pandemic*, the rise of home studios and a flurry of digital-led performances and lessons taking place across social media, FMIC continues to provide players with the tools needed to succeed, living up to its mission to support artists at every stage of their musical journey.

“Over the past year, Fender has inspired a resurgence of people passionate about music, and we are proud of the incredible growth the brand has achieved,” said Mark Fukunaga, chairman of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “I am excited for Amani and Maria to join the FMIC Board, who both have a solid foundation of experience in the music industry in various roles. Their extensive knowledge and passion for music will be invaluable in guiding the brand.”

“We are very fortunate to have Amani and Maria join FMIC’s board at this time and the entire management team is looking forward to benefiting from their exceptional leadership experience,” said Andy Mooney, CEO Fender Musical Instruments Corp. “The current generation of guitar players enjoy a broader spectrum of music than ever. Amani and Maria’s experience in two of today’s most important musical genres coupled with their unique professional perspectives will prove invaluable in terms of executing our ambitious growth plans.” 

A Los Angeles native, Amani’s childhood was surrounded by musical influences starting at an early age with her father being a guitar player himself. Her upbringing was rooted in the belief of self-empowerment and the courage and optimism to achieve any dream. These foundational elements paved the way for her highly respected career within the music industry, leading marketing and promotions at Def Jam Records, Island Def Jam, Virgin Records and Capitol Music Group.  In 2008, she was recruited to Sean Combs Enterprises/Bad Boy Entertainment as CMO, providing her an opportunity to manage all aspects of Sean Combs’ growing business. Amani modeled business discipline with ventures in several different sectors including spirits, fragrance, film/TV and philanthropy. From 2011 to 2017, she served as Head of Brand Marketing for C.F. Martin Guitar, reviving an almost 200-year-old brand back into the cultural marketplace by fostering new relationships with Ace Hotels, Levi’s Strauss & Co., Stetson, Surfer Magazine and Ed Sheeran, who was an emerging artist at the time. These endeavors, along with the development of a new mid-priced product, helped position the company for growth. Thereafter, Amani joined MTV as the Head of Music with the goal of strengthening the brand’s connection with artists and focusing more heavily on the VMAs to showcase talent. Currently, she oversees BBH USA, an advertising agency that is part of Publicis Groupe, as CEO leading creative marketing efforts on behalf of top tier clients including Google, Heineken, Samsung USA, Barbie and Netflix. Amani serves on the BBH Global board and is also leading an inclusivity race for women in the workforce and racial diversity spearheading internal initiatives, including DEI, helping the agency become 64% female and reach 50% diversity in race. Amani joins the FMIC board with a wealth of creative and business expertise across many industries including music and media.

“From my time at Def Jam, Martin Guitar, MTV and my current position at creative agency BBH USA, music has been a constant presence and a cornerstone in my professional work and personal life,” said Amani Duncan, CEO of BBH USA.  “I have always been a huge fan of Fender guitars, and it is such an honor to join the illustrious board of this iconic brand.” 

Born and raised in Venezuela, Maria’s upbringing was rooted in musical culture. She is an accomplished music industry professional with an expertise in finance, operations and P&L orientation. Prior to her college graduation in Caracas, she began her career with The Walt Disney Company, where she started as a Financial Analyst. In 2004, she joined the DirecTV team followed by Probiz, a consulting agency through which she served as the Finance lead for a start-up voice over IP company.  After three years with the company she moved onto Sony Music Entertainment (SME) where she has been on an accelerated growth path in progressively senior level roles, achieving five promotions in the past fifteen years. Today she serves as EVP of Operations and COO where she works closely with the CEO to create and implement strategic planning, focusing on the Latin Iberia region, which is a key driver for the company with revenues in the triple digits.  In addition, Fernandez works  closely with their roster of artists leading deal negotiations on behalf of the company, oversees SME’s analytics initiatives on a regional and global level and handles mergers and acquisitions in the region. At SME Maria is dedicated to ensuring others have the opportunity to chase their dreams as well as fostering diverse teams that encompass both gender and race. Maria joins the FMIC board as a fierce female leader encouraging women to speak up and start the conversation because it’s the only path forward. 

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the board of FMIC, a company with a rich history, a culture of innovation and a service mindset,” said Maria Fernandez, EVP, COO Latin Iberia at Sony Music Entertainment (SME) “Growing up in Venezuela, I would have never dreamt of one day joining such a recognized company and it will be a privilege to work with their fantastic team. As someone who has always worked to support women, it is especially gratifying to be joining the board with an executive of Amani’s caliber.” 

Founded in 1946, Fender has created guitars, amps, pedals and accessories for players around the world and their innovative musical equipment has been played on more stages than any other company in the industry. Through their portfolio of brands, FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all artists and players alike, from beginners and students to history-making legends. Championing artists has been at the foundation of FMIC’s endeavors, an ethos that is an echo of Founder Leo Fender’s famous mantra: “Artists are Angel’s, it’s our job to give them wings to fly.” 

For over 75 years, the brand’s mission has been one hundred percent committed to serving players at every stage of their musical journey by creating and delivering best-in-class instruments that help artists and players move their craft forward and keep guitar relevant in music culture. In 2015, FMIC introduced its digital arm, and two years later, it launched Fender Play, which unlocked the power of musical expression for all players, providing fun and invigorating guitar lessons available conveniently at their fingertips. In late 2021, FMIC entered a merger with PreSonus Audio Electronics, a leading design manufacturer of recording and licec-sound hardware and software solutions that solve real-world problems for working creatives. Together, their passion for music and commitment to innovation will help equip and inspire current and future generations of artists.

With the additions of Amani and Maria to its Board of Directors, FMIC is very optimistic about the future ahead. Executive bios and headshots are both available here.

For additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender. 

*In 2021, FMIC released the results of a study, “Fender’s New Guitar Player Landscape Analysis,” commissioned alongside YouGov®, which revealed that an incredible 7% of the U.S. population ages 13-64 (approx. 16 million people)  started to learn guitar in the last two years. View the full results of the survey  here.


Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc. is excited to announce the acquisition of GrooveTech Tools. For more than 25 years, GrooveTech Tools has been providing musicians with professional-grade tools that would be welcomed on any shop floor.

When starting the brand, tool enthusiast Dan Parks designed each and every product according to the absolute dependability required by his two lifelong passions—riding motorcycles and playing bass. Getting stuck on the side of the road with a broken-down bike is out of the question—and with GrooveTech tools, you won’t be stuck on the side of the stage when the lights come on. That’s why legendary guitar manufacturers and the world’s top techs rely on GrooveTech Tools for the highest standard of instrument care. Dunlop will honor that same commitment to quality and reliability, and Dan will remain on the GrooveTech Tools team as a consultant to help develop new products for the line.

“While considering a landing spot for GrooveTech Tools, Dunlop was the first name that came to mind,” Dan said. “I’ve been both a fan and customer of Dunlop for decades, and I am super happy they felt the same way about us.”

Get the full story here:

GrooveTech Tools highlights:

  • Precision tools for musical instruments
  • Easy to use for players of any level
  • Built to last in the workshop and on the road
  • Trusted by legendary guitar manufacturers and the world’s top techs

GrooveTech Tools are available from retailers worldwide or directly online from

The Music People Announce Retirement of Co-Chairs

After three-plus decades, Sharon Hennessey and John Hennessey enter a well-deserved retirement

The Music People — manufacturer of the On-Stage brand of musical-instrument accessories and distributor of over 200 pro-audio, video, and lighting brands through TMP-Pro — have announced the retirement of Co-Chairwoman Sharon Hennessey, Co-Chairman John Hennessey and Controller John Gutowski, a group that served over 100 combined years leading the company.

Jam Industries — a leading value-added pro-AVL distributor in North America and global MI product  supplier which recently rebranded as Exertis | Jam — acquired The Music People in 2020.

“We were so proud to acquire The Music People—simply an excellent industry-leading company with an exceptional team. We were equally proud to have the Hennesseys join our organization and now wish them all — Jim, Sharon, John and John Gutowski — a well-deserved retirement. We hope to continue to develop on the Hennessey legacy for many years to come,“ said Stuart Frenkel, President and CEO of Exertis | Jam.

Sharon Hennessey and John Hennessey joined their family’s business, The Music People, in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Sharon’s career was primarily focused on sales and growing the On-Stage brand into one of the most respected MI brands in the world while John’s focus was making TMP-Pro an elite pro-audio distributor in the United States. Although they led the organization for many years previously, in 2016 they were formally named Co-Presidents.

“It seems strange and yet fitting that my sister and I retire with my father, Jim, from the company he started 43 years ago. I have had but one job in my life that lasted 31 years and resulted in my whole career. I started by stamping ‘battery not included’ and essentially did or directed every job since. We persevered, resolved, adapted, created, collaborated, supported and stepped aside in awe of the team that is now The Music People. What started as a rejected idea became a family business through years of hard work and wonderful relationships with employees, customers and suppliers,” said John Hennessey.

“The time is right for us to step aside. We are proud and appreciative to have had the pleasure of working with the best team in the industry, which is just beginning to hit its stride. Much was accomplished from creating and carrying innovative products — ultimately it is the relationships and the team that feel most significant. My father has always been smart, hard-working, lucky and ahead of his time. Somehow, he knew when he named the company The Music People it was going to be all about the people. We thank our team, customers and suppliers for all of their support over the years, as well as the enduring relationships we’ve shared,” said Sharon Hennessey. A retirement reception was held March 30, 2022, to honor their many accomplishments. Due to Covid-19 restrictions which prevented a celebratory gathering after his retirement in 2020, Founder Jim Hennessey was also honored at the event.

Tom Tedesco, who was promoted to President and CEO in November 2021, said: “All of us at The Music People could not be happier for Jim, John, Sharon and John. We are forever grateful for the contributions they made toward creating the amazing company we are all proud to be a part of today. Their passion will remain the foundation of our culture forever.”

PRS Guitars Opens New Artist Showroom at Soundcheck Nashville

 PRS Guitars is proud to announce the opening of its new artist showroom at Soundcheck Nashville on March 14, 2022. Nashville has long been a city that attracts incredible musicians of all styles, and PRS guitars have become a staple for those professional recording and touring musicians, providing inspiring tools that consistently provide the highest level of performance.

PRS is excited to further strengthen its connection to local professional musicians through this new space.

“The PRS Guitars Nashville showroom will provide an easily accessible, inspiring space for musicians to connect while fostering a deeper relationship between PRS and artists in the Nashville region,” said Bev Fowler, PRS Director of Artist Relations.

Located at the legendary Soundcheck Nashville studios, known for being the home of the famed CMA awards, the new PRS showroom is equipped with the latest offerings of PRS guitars and amplifiers for artists to check out or to borrow and test on the road. PRS will also be offering guitar tech work to qualified artists.

The PRS Guitars Artist Relations team is excited to share their passion for the instruments with old friends and new friends alike. The showroom will be open to artists Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and by appointment. To learn more about what PRS Artists are up to, visit

D’Addario Foundation Launches Bridge Fund

The D’Addario Foundation is honored to announce the launch of the Bridge Fund, a new initiative focused specifically on bridging the gap between access to music education and the Black community, which has been historically ignored and too often denied access to these life-changing programs. 

For over 40 years the D’Addario Foundation has fought to overcome the decimation of music education in America’s schools by supporting innovative community music programs that not only restore access to music education by breaking down all barriers to entry, but nurture youth development, mentorship, and leadership. 

Looking at the landscape of music education funding over the past twenty-five years, we can see that budget cuts disproportionately impact school districts that serve students of color, immigrant students, and low-income communities. 

“The damaging consequences of COVID has only exacerbated the need to address the enormous gap in educational resources and opportunities,” says D’Addario Foundation Executive Director, Suzanne D’Addario Brouder. “We honor the values and needs of communities by launching the Bridge Fund that very intentionally identifies and supports innovative, immersive, and accessible music programs in Black communities. In particular, we seek programs that take place after-school and are available multiple days per week – elements that very clearly contribute to higher levels of engagement and academic achievement as an actionable solution to “bridging” this gap and giving every student a chance to reach their highest potential.”

Programs supported through this fund include the Sphinx Performance Academy (Detroit, MI), Cleveland Institute of Music’s Musical Pathway Fellowship (Cleveland, OH), Buffalo String Works (Buffalo, NY), Atlanta Music Project (Atlanta, GA), HARPS Foundation (Richmond, VA), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Nouveau Program (Cincinnati, OH), Project STEP (Boston, MA), The Roots of Music (New Orleans, LA), Soulsville Foundation’s Stax Music Academy (Memphis, TN), West Point School of Music (Chicago, IL), and many more. 

One of the newest grantees who recently was awarded support from the Bridge Fund is West Point School of Music’s Urban Music Makers program. It is a Black-led and Black serving band and steel drum program engaging urban youth through free in-school and after-school music instruction and performance. Their goal is to build bands at multiple schools that students will be proud to call their own.

100% of every donation goes directly to funding these programs; administration costs are absorbed by the D’Addario & Company. All programs have been curated over decades based on their ability to deliver three things: inspiring a child’s musical ability, lifting their self-worth, and elevating their academic performance. Contributing to the Bridge Fund can help lead children on a path to higher education and a more aspirational future. 
To learn more and donate to the Bridge Fund, please visit: