Honoring the Legacy of Fender’s Mike Lewis

Fender has issued a statement regarding the recent passing of Mike Lewis, a stalwart member of the Fender team. During his tenure of more than 30 years, Lewis played an essential role in the development of Fender’s Custom Shop and Gretsch instruments, as well as the company’s line of amplifiers.

“Today, we reach out with heavy hearts to share the news of the passing of Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at the Fender Custom Shop. Mike’s departure has left a void that will be felt deeply within the Fender family and guitar community. While his legacy and impact cannot be replicated, FMIC is honored to continue his legacy.

Mike first joined Fender in the Sales department in 1991, where he engaged with dealers over the phone. Later, he revitalized Fender’s evolving amp line, ensuring the business reclaimed the #1 market position by introducing iconic products such as the DeVille Series and the Vibro-King. Mike’s innovations also extended to Fender’s electric guitar department, where he actively contributed to guitar innovations based on player preferences. Notably, he introduced Fender’s first production Stratocaster with a regular humbucker: the Lone Star Strat.

His pioneering spirit was further demonstrated as he spearheaded Fender’s first online store, showcasing his commitment to pushing boundaries. Mike went beyond just overseeing the site; he immersed himself, acquiring unique coding skills. Mike consistently exhibited a voracious appetite for learning new skills, whether in bowling, tattoos, ukuleles, painting, photography, or web design—he delved deep into each pursuit.

Mike’s impact reached new heights when Fender collaborated with Gretsch. He revamped the entire line, restoring specifications to the original magic recipe, which resonated instantly with fans. His commitment went so far that he took an old ’59 6120 to a medical facility for an MRI and CAT Scan, ensuring authenticity in its internal construction.

In the Fender Custom Shop, Mike brought his design aesthetic and keen management skills, resulting in the best 10-year run in the shop’s history. His legacy is not just in running product lines but reimagining them, often tearing them back to their essence before rebuilding them anew.

Fender and the Fender Custom Shop mourn the loss of not just a colleague but a beloved member of our family. Mike’s passion for guitars and his unwavering dedication to his craft was evident in every project he touched. His legacy at the Fender Custom Shop is a testament to his profound influence, and we are deeply grateful for the time we spent alongside him.

“Mike Lewis didn’t merely oversee product lines; he possessed the rare ability to reimagine them, stripping them down to their essence and rebuilding them anew. His strong vision, cultivated over decades as a player, shaped his approach. From touring with Chuck Berry and opening for the Rolling Stones to serving as a studio session musician in 1970s NYC and owning a music store in Virginia, Mike’s wealth of experience, perspective, and wisdom became the foundation he brought to Fender. He didn’t just work here; he lived and embodied the spirit of the brand. Though I initially worked for him for many years, there came a point where the dynamic shifted, and he started working for me. And yes, throughout our time he consistently remained a mentor, a wellspring of wisdom, and, above all, a treasured friend until the end.” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at FMIC. 

Our thoughts are with Mike’s family, friends, and loved ones. We extend our deepest condolences and support during this difficult period.”


3RD POWER has promoted Jon Hurley to the position of Artist Relations and Business Development Manager. The move represents a strategic shift in artist and business development both locally and beyond. Hurley’s responsibility now expand beyond production and R&D, to also include artist, client, end-user experience and optimization, as well as new business development, better positioning 3rd Power for growth.

“From the moment I met him, it was obvious that Jon is a unique talent with an impressiveblend of passion, talent, creative capacity, strong business instincts and leadership traits,” said 3rd Power’s CEO, Founder and Designer Dylana Scott. “With this strategic change in how 3rd Power operates, we are excited about the positive impact it will bring to the business, our dealers, our artists and guitar tone seekers everywhere.”

“Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to learn and be mentored by one of the most creative minds in the industry,” said Hurley. “I can’t put into words how special it is to be a part of such an iconic brand and what an exciting time is to be a part of 3rd Power’s future with such positive energy aimed at success. 3rd Power was founded on a platform of product excellence designed to deliver every nuance of a guitarist’s performance to their audience, an inspirational exchange Dylana calls, ‘emotional translation.’ I’m excited to be a part of this journey and we will remain focused on fulfilling the needs of our customers and creating the most inspirational guitar products possible.

Hurley most recently served as Lead Production Technician and has been with the company serving in a variety of key roles since 2021, rising from an entry-level solder tech position to his current executive role. Among his many accomplishments at 3rd Power, Hurley has served in a product development advisory role (2022 – 2023), an especially creative period during which he was instrumental in developing some of 3rd Power’s most innovative products. Prior to joining 3rd Power, Hurley studied audio engineering at Berkelee College of Music, was an audio engineer, live sound technician as well as guitar instructor. Hurley is
also a successful touring guitarist and 3rd Power endorser.

Gibson Brands Announces Beth Rasnick as Chief of Staff

Gibson, the iconic, leading American instrument brand, is proud to announce the promotion of Beth Rasnick to the role of Chief of Staff to the CEOGibson Brands, reporting to Cesar Gueikian

In her new role, Beth is empowered to act strategically as representative for the Office of the CEO internally and externally, collaborating with the Gibson leadership and extended leadership teams to determine and prioritize business strategies and action plans. She will lead the CEO Office with sponsored high-impact projects, as well as strategic business initiatives from ideation to implementation.

“Beth will be instrumental in driving our strategic priorities, leveraging 130 years of history shaping the sound of music, and focusing on our future through strategic actions in service to music fans around the world,” said Cesar Gueikian, President and Interim CEO, Gibson Brands.

“I’m honored and so excited to be taking on this important role in leading Gibson Brands into the future alongside an exceptionally talented team whom I know very well,” said Beth Rasnick, Chief of Staff, Gibson Brands. “My focus will continue to be on shaping our thriving world class instruments, sound and media/entertainment business across the global landscape and supporting our team through the limitless opportunities ahead.”

Throughout nearly a decade at GibsonBeth has held diverse key positions spanning finance, accounting, treasury, business acquisitions and divestitures, transformation initiatives, and corporate strategy. She is an emerging player of rhythm guitar which she has learned from her father. Prior to joining Gibson, Beth held leadership positions in Voya, Inc’s strategic finance group including during the company’s IPO and rebranding initiatives. She began her career at Ernst & Young serving multiple clients in Ernst & Young’s assurance practice. Beth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Georgia. 

To view all current career opportunities at Gibson Brands, visit: https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Careers.


Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Yamaha Corporation, today announced the acquisition of Córdoba Music Group. The addition of the Córdoba line-up to Yamaha Guitar Group’s portfolio—
alongside the Yamaha, Line 6, and Ampeg brands—adds an iconic selection of acoustic and electric instruments, as well as accessories to the widespread offerings already available from Yamaha.

Córdoba Music Group (CMG) was originally founded as Córdoba Guitars by Tim Miklaucic, with a mission to bring the nylon string guitar to a wider guitar community. “The nylon string guitar is the mother of all guitars,” stated Miklaucic. Beginning in 1997, Miklaucic assembled a team of master luthiers to create guitars built with a nod to
classic techniques of Spanish guitar makers from the late 19th and early 20th century. From there the Córdoba brand blossomed.

As it grew, Guild Guitars, with its own impressive history dating back to 1953, was added to the CMG portfolio in 2014. Following the addition of Guild, HumiCase, and DeArmond pickups joined the group. CMG also took over distribution of Savarez and Aquila strings in the U.S.

“We’re thrilled to be making this announcement,” said Joe Bentivegna, President of Yamaha Guitar Group. “Córdoba Music Group’s brands, in particular their flagship Córdoba and Guild lines, are revered throughout the world. We are honored to take on the next phase in maintaining and evolving these beloved brands.”

“Córdoba and Guild guitars, as well as our other products from HumiCase, DeArmond, Savarez, and Aquila have created a strong and lasting bond with both our customers and our employees,” added Miklaucic. “We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work on this transition with Yamaha, and I’m confident that both the customers and employees are
going to find that our brands are now in great hands.”

The addition of brands from Córdoba Music Group expands on the already wide variety of offerings for acoustic, electric, and bass guitar products from Yamaha, Line 6, and Ampeg. This new venture is an instant complement to Yamaha’s own array of nylon fretted instruments and adds ukuleles and acoustic bass guitars to the mix, as well as a selection of pickups, cases, and strings. The addition also brings with it skilled US-based premium guitar manufacturing and processes. All of this is in service to an initiative by Yamaha to continuously broaden the scope, quality, and innovation it can offer guitar players.

Over the next several months, the teams at Córdoba Music Group and Yamaha Guitar Group will be looking for opportunities and interesting ways to provide new value to their customers, dealers, and distributors.

MISCO names Cobi Stein as VP of Marketing

Loudspeaker manufacturer MISCO hired industry veteran Cobi Stein as Vice President
of Marketing for its branded and custom OEM divisions, including their Oaktron, Bold North Audio, Red
Line, and ToneSpeak brands.
Stein served as Director of Marketing and Artist Relations for Eminence Speaker for nine years, and also
served to manage sales and distribution during his tenure. “I’m thrilled at the opportunity to build upon
MISCO’s tremendous success across the many industries they support,” said Stein. “Through their
engineering and state-of-the-art testing and measuring, there is no audio solution that isn’t within their
“MISCO’s growth has been fairly organic for the last 74 years.” said Dan Digre, MISCO President and
CEO. “With Cobi joining our team we feel we can better capitalize on the opportunities in front of us, as
well as continue to make MISCO and our branded product lines top of mind among both OEM
manufacturers and consumers.”

64 Audio Promotes Stewart Millager to Senior Executive Officer

64 Audio, the leader in custom and universal fit in-ear monitors (IEM), is proud to announce the promotion of Stewart Millager to Senior Executive Officer. Millager has been with 64 Audio since 2017, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, and prior to that he led the company’s R&D team.

“Since its founding in 2010, 64 Audio has become the leader in the custom and universal fit in-ear monitor market, and that’s due to both our people and our product,” said Millager. “Our founder and chief sound designer Vitaliy Belonozhko is the real creative force behind the company and its products. As I take on the senior executive officer role, it will allow him to have more opportunity to work on new products, patents, and inventions while I take on more responsibility for the day-to-day and overall operations.”

Millager will now create and maintain 64 Audio’s business processes based on Vitaliy Belonozhko’s strategic vision. He will also create synergy and keep the company’s staff working on the same sheet of music, making sure 64 Audio’s mission and values are understood and represented every day. Under Millager’s leadership, the company’s managers will also have even greater roles in ensuring that all teams are communicating and working together towards a common goal.

“As a results-driven professional with an impressive resume in the consumer and Pro A/V markets, Stewart has proven himself in our COO role the past few years and through the pandemic,” said Vitaliy Belonozhko, 64 Audio founder and chief sound designer. “As 64 Audio continues to grow, shifting and adding responsibilities his way was the natural course of action with today’s challenging business environment in order to keep us on track and on the path to even greater success.”

From studio to stage to sophisticated home audio environments, 64 Audio has created the industry’s most innovative universal and custom-built in-ear monitors available to date. The company was founded in 2010 by Vitaliy Belonozhko, a sound engineer who has been working with musicians and production companies for nearly two decades. He discovered the advantages of IEMs over traditional floor “wedges” and recognized that a better solution to in-ear monitoring was needed. Today, 64 Audio supplies products worldwide to some of the best-known musicians, singers, and engineers in the world, as well as discerning audiophiles who demand nothing but the best sound reproduction from their systems. With new and unrivaled technologies such as apex®, LID™, tia™ and 3D-Fit™, 64 Audio excels in challenging traditional earphone designs to bring-to-market unique and innovative audio products.

For more information on 64 Audio, please visit www.64audio.com.

Ray Maxwell Appointed CEO of Source Audio

Industry veteran Ray Maxwell has joined Massachusetts-based effects pedal company, Source Audio as CEO. Maxwell previously served on the management team at Eventide, leading a pivot into plugins and pedals. Previously, Maxwell held positions at Lexicon, Rocket Network, and Digibid.com.

Source Audio’s owner and current president Roger Smith remains intimately involved with the company as Chairman, including working with future product development and continued community immersion. “Source Audio 1.0 was all about pure innovation with products like Hot Hand and the Multiwave Distortion,” said Smith. “Source Audio 2.0 was about building out our vast library of effects and Neuro presets via products such as the Nemesis DelayVentris Dual Reverb, and C4 Synth. Source Audio 3.0 starts today, with the addition of Ray Maxwell to our team. He is uniquely qualified to lead the company as we deploy our sounds and technology across a new array of exciting effects platforms. I feel enormously lucky to have found the ideal partner to take our company to new heights”.  

The Source Audio team welcomes Ray Maxwell into the fold and recognizes him as an important new asset to the company’s future. Maxwell’s breadth of experience at Eventide and Lexicon speaks volumes to his passion for audio creation, engineering, and processing, something Source Audio takes very close to heart. “Early on in my conversations with Roger, I quickly realized our values were aligned,” said Maxwell. “Source Audio has a tremendous team dedicated to the enhancement of the creative process of making music by expanding the boundaries of sound – a mission near and dear to my heart. I am honored to be entrusted to nurture and build upon the tradition of excellence he created.”

Source Audio released their first effects pedal in 2006. Since that time pedals like the Collider Delay+ReverbC4 Synth, and EQ2 Programmable Equalizer have found their way onto the stages and recordings of musicians like David Bowie, John Mayer, David Gilmour, Aerosmith, Phish, Living Colour, King Crimson, Billy Strings, The Killers, The Cure, Victor Wooten and more. Source Audio has been recognized through multiple awards from Premier GuitarGuitar PlayerSound on SoundGuitar WorldBass Player, and Electronic Musician Magazines

PRS Guitars Opens Applications for the 2023 Pulse Artist Class

PRS Guitars is pleased to announce they will begin accepting applications for the Class of 2023 Pulse Artist Program. In its third year, the PRS Pulse Artist Program continues to shine a light on leading regional artists from around the world through PRS’s existing dealer network.

PRS Pulse Artists are granted exclusive discounts on guitars, amps, and accessories through their local Authorized PRS Dealer. They will also receive an exclusive membership kit that includes PRS strings, picks, cables, and more! Additionally, these artists will be considered for exposure through editorial content on the PRS Guitars website and posts on its social platforms. The program’s goal is to promote these musicians and their art and help to connect more people through music. The Pulse Artist roster currently boasts more than 100 guitarists, representing a diverse range of playing styles and genres from sixteen countries.

All guitarists interested in becoming a 2023 PRS Pulse Artist must submit their application through any Authorized PRS Dealer or Distributor. Submissions for the 2023 class will be accepted from July 1 – August 15, 2022. All applications will be reviewed by the PRS Artist Relations team.

“We’re delighted to have developed this ongoing, global program that helps support influential regional players while also helping fans and musicians discover each other. The Class of 2022 Pulse Artists have been busy at work, releasing numerous albums, EP’s and Singles, interviewing with magazines, livestreaming performances and even collaborating with a few Official PRS artists,” said Bev Fowler, Director of Artist Relations. “We look forward to connecting with potential new Pulse Artists and seeing the program continue to help amplify these musicians.”

For more information on the program and to stay up-to-date on PRS Artist news, visit https://prsguitars.com/artists.

About PRS Guitars:

Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a leading manufacturer of high-quality instruments in Stevensville, Maryland and has provided some of the world’s most renowned musicians with instruments since 1985. The PRS team of highly skilled craftspeople design and build a wide variety of musical instruments and gear for worldwide distribution, including electric, acoustic, and bass guitars as well as boutique-style guitar amplifiers. The PRS SE line of products complements the Maryland-made PRS line by offering highly approachable and more affordable electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. Carlos Santana, Mark Tremonti, John Mayer, Neal Schon, Jimmy Herring, Zach Myers, Mark Holcomb, Tim Pierce, Tyler Larson, Orianthi, David Grissom, Mark Lettieri, and Martin Simpson are among the artists currently playing PRS instruments and/or amplifiers.

PRS Guitars Info: www.prsguitars.com

Images: See attached

RBI Music Names Eric Sands as National Sales Manager

Rhythm Band Instruments, LLC, has announced that
Eric Sands has been named National Sales Manager for RBI Music. Eric will be responsible for domestic sales and sales administration for all RBI Music brands including Toca, Silvertone, Grover Pro, Boomwhackers, Vintage, Aulos and Big Joe.
Previously, Eric worked as Sales Manager – Americas for Positive Grid, National Sales Manager for Orange Amplifiers and District Sales Manager for KORG USA. “Eric’s experience working with dealers, key accounts and rep firms are a perfect fit for us. He will help us to move forward, build great relationships and grow the market for our brands,” said Brad Kirkpatrick, President, and CEO of RBI Music.

Eric added, “I look forward to working with the team and great brands at RBI Music while providing excellent support for our dealer partners”.


D’Addario Foundation Awards $487,500 in Monetary & Product Grants

The D’Addario Foundation is thrilled to announce the award of $487,500 in monetary and product grants to 170 music education programs across 104 cities throughout the US and Canada for 2021.

With a 13% increase from 2020, The D’Addario Foundation set an ambitious goal to keep music for social change thriving through the difficulties of the past year. A majority of their grantees have reported that they’re back to in-person music-making; although these programs effectively reached students in a virtual format, the vital communal element has been restored and students can once again experience & reap the benefits of making music in-person alongside their peers & mentors.

This year, a big focus for the D’Addario Foundation is to highlight the diverse ways their partner programs provide music education to their students. For example:

“A grant like this means that kids who may never have thought about music before get a chance to take part in something meaningful,” says Tom Gariepy of the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie County. “The days when kids get weekly music lessons in their schools – especially at-risk kids in underserved neighborhoods – seem to be long gone. We’re trying to take up the slack, and your grant will help us do it.”

The D’Addario Foundation conducts two grant cycles per year where non-profit organizations may apply for support after first submitting an initial letter of inquiry. Prospective non-profits must clearly illustrate critical elements for success including intensity & need, leadership strength, sustainability, and community commitment. 100% of donations to the D’Addario Foundation go directly to supporting & expanding their initiatives including their grant-making, college scholarship fund, Girls in Music initiative, and more. To make a contribution, visit https://daddariofoundation.harnessapp.com/wv2/donate