Alex Matthews

Yamaha All-Stars @ Grand Plaza Stage – 01/25/2019

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On Friday evening January 25th the NAMM Show (National Association of Music Merchants) was treated to an all-star performance of Yamaha musical artists on the aptly named Yamaha Grand Plaza Stage in the main courtyard of the Anaheim Convention Center. This was the 2nd annual iteration of this spectacular event and thousands of music industry attendees gathered early outside of the convention center to see the mystery guests that Yamaha promised to deliver. The company does not announce the lineups for these star-studded shows, so the anticipation for who will appear on stage builds steadily throughout the day.

The theme of this year’s concert was “Make Waves” and the lineup that performed certainly did just that with all of the excited audience members. Leading the all-star backing band as usual was bassist Nathan East, while the rest of the band included Greg Phillinganes (keys and piano), Dave Delhomme (keys and guitar) Teddy Campbell (drums), Rafael Padilla (percussion), Tariqh Akoni (guitar); and Nita Whitaker, Kenya Hathaway and Stevvi Alexander (background vocals). Also featured were the Yamaha All-Star Singers, the Yamaha All-Star Horn Section and a world-class, 40-piece string section. The stage was absolutely jam packed with insanely gifted musicians.

The All-Star guests for the evening started with comedic host Sinbad, he introduced singer songwriter Jon McLaughlin, best known for his Oscar-nominated song “So Close” from the Disney film Enchanted. Up next was Loren Allred from The Voice who is known for her song “Never Enough” from the film The Greatest Showman. This was followed by Grammy nominated South African singer Jonathan Butler, who played a beautiful cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” Next was a true highlight of the evening, Grammy Award winner Sarah McLachlan came onstage and performed all of her famous hits including  “Building a Mystery,” “I Will Remember You,” “Sweet Surrender” and “Angel.” Last but not least was James “J.T.” Taylor a famous vocalist known as the lead singer on some of the biggest hits from Kool and The Gang. He played a ton of great classic songs including “Ladies Night” and “Celebration.”  

The 2019 Yamaha All-Star Concert on the Grand Plaza Stage was another fantastic night of live music. The event serves as not only a demo for the wonderful musical equipment Yamaha produces, but also showcases the diversity and talent of all of the artists that use their tools to create beautiful music for all to enjoy.

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