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Guitar Center Says Aloha to Hawaii

Guitar Center opened its first location outside the continental United States, a 19,000-square-foot facility in Pearl City, Hawaii. This marks the third of six planned openings for Guitar Center in 2019. The grand-opening celebration took place on Friday, May 10, kicking off with a special gala celebration that lasted all weekend, including special in-store offerings. Prominent Guitar Center executives were in attendance, including CEO Ron Japinga and executive vice president of store operations Wayne Cowell. Weekend festivities included live music by award-winning local talent, exclusive giveaways, specials on lessons and rentals, and much more. “The opening of our first store outside of the continental U.S. is a landmark moment for Guitar Center and reaffirms our company’s ongoing strategy for long-term growth and expansion,” stated Guitar Center’s Ron Japinga. “Today’s musicians are looking for accessibility

RBI Music Acquires Grover

Rhythm Band Instruments LLC (RBI Music) acquired the assets of Grover Pro Percussion Inc., which since 1979 has produced and sold orchestral percussion instruments, including its signature Super Overtone triangles, Projection Plus tambourines and concert snare drums. “We are thrilled to be able to work with Neil Grover and to offer, as a key component of our RBI Music initiative, the world-class instruments and accessories that Neil has designed,” said Brad Kirkpatrick,

Josh Tatofi

to a large number of brands and services, and the new store reflects the future of retail experiences by offering a completely immersive experience for the music community in Pearl City and beyond.” The opening celebration began with Hawaii Councilmember Brandon Elefante, Stage Rep. Gregg Takayama and Sen. Brenne Harimoto, presenting Japinga, Cowell and Guitar Center Pearl City Store Manager Tim Ball with honorary certificates, followed by a presentation by the husband-wife team behind Kanile’a Ukuleles. Acclaimed musician and ordained minister Kahu Kawika Kahiapo then conducted an official “blessing” ceremony. The evening featured live entertainment from award-winning local musicians such as Anuhea and Kawika Kahiapo, as well as Grammy-nominated Polynesian musician Josh Tatofi. Additionally, the Pearl City High School Band Ensemble performed and was presented with a grant of wind instruments including flutes, trumpets, trombones and saxophones, donated by the Guitar Center Music Foundation. Guitar Center Pearl City features showrooms filled with guitars, drums, keys, live sound, DJ and recording.

president of RBI. “For as long as I’ve been in the music industry, Neil has designed products with the performer in mind. He’s performed for years with the Boston Symphony and the Pops so he knows percussion, and all of the products he produces are exceptional.” “I’m really excited to be joining RBI, and I intend to remain very active in the design of new products for RBI, as well as continuing a role I’ve always enjoyed in demonstrating and teaching percussion techniques to both professionals and students,” said Grover Pro founder Neil Grover. “What I’ve been most impressed with though, is how professionally RBI has approached the acquisition of our brand. I’m confident that our artists, vendors and dealers will not even notice the changes that naturally come with an acquisition. RBI has planned the transition with great attention to detail, so we’re not going to miss a beat. I’m confident that, with their existing distribution machine and ability to improve Grover Pro marketing, the brand I created will flourish,” Added Lane Davy, RBI’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, “I don’t know if we’re more excited about adding the exceptional Grover Pro products to our existing offering or working with Neil Grover on new product development and introductions. We are supremely confident that he’ll help us further the image and use of Toca products in the education world, but we are also looking forward to introducing certain tools and products that Neil has in the design phase for the education market, including the elementary instruments which are the historical foundation of the company. Coupled with the planned growth in Grover Pro sales, the next few years are going to be very exciting for RBI.” MUSIC & SOUND RETAILER


Profile for Music & Sound Retailer

Music & Sound Retailer June 2019, Vol 36 No 6  

In June’s Summer NAMM Preview issue, we recap the RPMDA Annual Convention, give insight into what’s in store for Summer NAMM attendees next...

Music & Sound Retailer June 2019, Vol 36 No 6  

In June’s Summer NAMM Preview issue, we recap the RPMDA Annual Convention, give insight into what’s in store for Summer NAMM attendees next...