Yamaha Drums assembled nearly two dozen world-renowned drummers on September 30 for some dazzling live music, a celebration of the company’s innovation and success over the last 50 years, and an exploration of the company’s plans for the future.

Yamaha presented special appreciation awards to Yamaha Artists Bill Gibson and Rick Marotta (second and third from left); presenting were, from left: Yamaha Drums artist relations manager Greg Crane, Yamaha Drums marketing manager Steven Fisher, Yamaha Drums assistant marketing manager Joel Tetzlaff. Photo By Twinfolk Creative.

More than 400 people gathered at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood for the event, which began with an interactive exhibit of both current and legacy Yamaha drum sets and gear as they evolved over the decades, including the company’s very first drum set released in 1967. Attendees, including students, dealers, professional drummers, hobbyists, Drum Magazine, and others, had the opportunity to test-drive all of the gear on display as they mingled with professionals from the Yamaha Drum Artist roster. Drum designers were on hand offering technical and historical perspective on the company’s evolution into the trailblazing drum manufacturer Yamaha is today.

Yamaha Artist Dave Weckl. Photo By Twinfolk Creative.

The hands-on presentation was followed by exciting stage performances by the three Artist headliners of the day: Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy), Dave Weckl (solo artist and session legend) and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne); all three Artists put on a spectacular show. The Yamaha team took time out from the festivities to honor two more Artists, Bill Gibson and Rick Marotta, with special appreciation awards.

A young visitor test-drives the Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple. Photo By Twinfolk Creative.

The evening ended with remarks by Yamaha Drums marketing manager Steven Fisher, who said, “Fifty years of making high-quality hand-crafted drums is a major milestone in Yamaha’s history, and it’s a pleasure to be celebrating it with our customers, artists, and Yamaha colleagues. What we’re really excited about, however, is the next 50 years. Yamaha has the resources, knowhow and innovative spirit to take drums and drumming to the next level for the next generation of drummers. You’ll see the next sign of that spirit this fall with a brand-new product every drummer will want, so stay tuned.”

Yamaha Artist Tommy Aldridge Photo By Twinfolk Creative.

Aldridge, a Yamaha Artist since 1980, said of his affiliation with the company: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent the majority of my professional career behind Yamaha drums; to say I depend on them would be a huge understatement. The sound and beauty of a Yamaha kit are unmistakable, and matched only by bullet-proof quality. Though I cherish each and every one of my Yamaha kits, I also subject them to some serious abuse; even so, day in and day out, city after city, they’re still there. Thank you, Yamaha Drums, and Happy 50th Anniversary.”

Find more information on the Yamaha Drums division, and www.yamaha.com/artists for more information on the Yamaha Artist roster.