Day Three of the 2003 NAMM Summer Session: The Show Closes with Positive Reviews

July 20, 2003

NAMM, the International Music Products Association, began the final day of its 2003 Summer Session today with uplifting melodies at the Gospel Music Pancake Breakfast. Before the show floor opened, Dr. Bobby Jones and the Nashville Super Choir, among other gospel solo artists and groups, performed for the crowd at The Hang in the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Also in the morning, NAMM University keynote speaker Al McCree presented his session, “Putting It All Together and Bringing It Home: How to Affect Positive Change in Your Organization!"

In the Gaylord Entertainment Center, the final heats of the NAMM International Fastest Drummer Contest took place. Taking the title of “Fastest Hands” was Eric Okamoto with 1,018 strokes in 60 seconds, and the “Fastest Feet” honor went to Kermit “Thumper” Tarver with 768 beats in 60 seconds. In addition, a new world record was set today when current hand-drumming world record holder Jotan Afanador topped his existing record of 1,123 single strokes in 60 seconds with a new record of 1,165 strokes.

On the show floor, many show-goers were energized and optimistic about the future.

Paul Finke, a buyer from Willis Music in Florence, Ky., explained, “It’s a buyers’ show … there are a lot of deals that we’re seeing that we hadn’t seen before. I think the manufacturers are getting real aggressive, and I think there’s perhaps a flow back to the independent dealer that I’m seeing with increased profit margins and special product built just for independent dealers—these things are all positive to me. I think if you don’t come to the [Summer] Session, you’re crazy. There’s so much that we learn, pick up on—if I wasn’t here, I would not be prepared for Christmas, that’s for sure.”

Exhibitors shared similar sentiments as the show day came to a close.

“It’s been an excellent show,” said Harvey Levy of Levy’s Leathers in Canada. “The first day was probably the best first day we’ve had in a long, long time. Somebody told me yesterday after they saw the first two days, ‘It looks like the lights just went on in retail.’ It’s not only that they were out here in large numbers—they were buying; they were upbeat; they were confident. So I’m hoping the corner has been turned—it certainly looks like it.”