More Stars, More Events and More Celebration Announced For Les Paul 100th AnniversaryMay 18, 2015 by Les Paul Foundation
More Stars, More Events and More Celebration Announced For Les Paul 100th Anniversary
Legendary Musicians Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Founder of Journey Neal Schon, Steve Vai, Johnny A, Lou Pallo and the Les Paul Trio and Count’s 77 Kick Off Musical Celebration with Ken Dashow as Host
Zakk Wylde, John Varvatos, Marky Ramone, Eddie Trunk, Luther Dickerson and So Many More To Attend
New York, New York– May 18, 2015 – When Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience pulls into Times Square in New York on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 the festivities will officially begin celebrating the man who many say defined music today. Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience is the 53’ foot interactive state-of-the-art mobile touring exhibit that will kick off a national tour with its first stop at 44th and Broadway all day. Free and open to the public, guests will have the opportunity to experience 1,000 square feet of music exploration, sound and technology innovations and hands-on interactive entertainment. Visitors will even be able to mix and share music as they discover Les Paul. New York marks the first stop on a nationwide tour which will continue through May 2016 and cover over 40 U.S. markets as part of the 100th Anniversary of Les Paul. It also is part of an all-day kick-off program in New York which officially launches a year of programs, grants, events, concerts and announcements celebrating the greatest music innovator of all time, Les Paul. Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience will open to the public at 10:30 a.m. EST in New York.
Earlier in the day the City of New York will officially be proclaimed “Les Paul Day” marking the important anniversary of the father of the solid body electric guitar, inventor of multitrack recording, overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects, electronic echo and many other recording innovations that today’s recording artists use every day. Simultaneously other cities will proclaim it Les Paul Day including Waukesha, Wisconsin (his birthplace), Nashville, Tennessee (Music City), Hollywood, California (Capitol Records) and the state of Wisconsin. Legendary music icon Peter Frampton will accept the official proclamation in Nashville from Mayor Karl Dean and Program Director of the Les Paul Foundation, Sue Baker, will accept the Waukesha, Wisconsin proclamation from Mayor Shawn Reilly and the state of Wisconsin proclamation from state Senator Paul Farrow. Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation will accept the New York proclamation from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at the steps of Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at 10:00 a.m. in Times Square.
Also as part of the official kick off the 100th Anniversary of Les Paul, the Hard Rock Cafe New York will host an exclusive memorabilia exhibit.
The exhibit will be open from Tuesday, June 2, 2015 through Monday, June 15, 2015. The exhibit will feature never-before-seen artifacts from Les Paul’s own home and studios. Highlights of the limited engagement exhibit include vintage photographs, an original Les Paulverizer, the last guitar he ever played, studio equipment that Les Paul designed and used, his handmade acoustic sound baffling studio elements, an original amplifier that many still wonder how he made work and many personal effects.
A star-studded sold-out official Les Paul 100th Anniversary celebration will begin with the red carpet arrivals at 6:00 p.m. Stars from entertainment and fashion will arrive between 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at 43rd and Broadway before the musical celebration begins inside. The event which is hosted by popular radio host Ken Dashow features iconic musicians and some surprises that only Les Paul could have dreamed of. Performing in celebration of Les Paul are friends and influences including Joe Bonamassa, Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Journey’s Neal Schon, Steve Vai, Count’s 77, Johnny A and Lou Pallo and the Les Paul Trio. Opening the evening’s performance will be a special surprise. Others attending include famed fashion designer and music producer John Varvatos, TV show host and radio personality Eddie Trunk, famed rock photographer Robert Knight, musicians including Zakk Wylde, Marky Ramone, Gene Cornish from The Rascals, legendary music producers Bob Ezrin and Jack Douglas, Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French, Sonya Hensley, DJ Premiere, producer Joe Louis Walker, London-based Soundwaves artist Tim Wakefield, the Brumley Music family, Rick Derringer, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martingly, North Mississippi All Stars’ Luther Dickerson, guitarist Steve Costello, Earl Slick, Dennis Coffey, Canadian Musicians Lyric Dubee, Mickey Thomas, SNL Musical Director GE Smith and Les’ son Rusty Paul and more.
Anderson Cooper of CNN said that “It is literally true that what is now known as modern American music would not be what it is today without Les Paul.”
Other celebratory programs and events include an official limited edition Les Paul Hard Rock Cafe Pick Pin which will be sold at the New York location for the benefit of the Les Paul Foundation. The replica pin is of the guitar pick Les Paul designed and handmade using sand paper for a better grip. The oversized pick pin will be available as of Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
“The man is a genius. Whenever you turn on your amplifier, that’s Les Paul,” (B.B. King)
The Les Paul Foundation along with Universal Music Enterprises has released Les Paul Icon, an 11-track selection of greatest hits culled from his Capitol and Decca years, featuring vocals by then-wife Mary Ford. Additionally, four of Les Paul’s most monumental albums, The New Sound, The New Sound Vol 2, Bye By Blues and The Hit Makers are available digitally and two of the instrumental Decca Eps from his heyday, 1949’s Hawaiian Paradise and 1952’s Galloping Guitars, will be released digitally on iTunes for the first time as separate titles on June 9th. The Les Paul Foundation also has plans to release a collectible vinyl Les Paul this year. Newly designed Les Paul apparel is also now on sale at www.les-paul.com and features several new designs. Video presentation on Les Paul here: https://vimeo.com/118130294
The Les Paul Foundation continues to support numerous organizations across the country that profoundly represent the mission and purpose of the Les Paul Foundation while preserving the legacy of Les Paul. Recently the Les Paul Foundation provided grants to the Birch Creek Music Performance Center guitar education program (Egg Harbor, Wisconsin), First Stage in Milwaukee’s third grade classroom program, Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R) in San Francisco, California which is dedicated to preventing hearing loss and tinnitus among musicians and music fans, the Litchfield Performing Arts workshop in Litchfield, Connecticut, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center’s 3rd annual Guitar Competition & Festival in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Six Strings Heroes at Jefferson Barracks in O’Fallon Missouri providing free guitar lessons and guitars to injured U.S. military veterans, The Park Foundation of Waukesha for the restoration of band shell where teenage Les Paul performed and The Waukesha Community Arts Project for its Rock Camp program.
Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience will continue their year-long trek across the United States after the June 9th Times Square stop. Some locations already scheduled include the following. Other tour stops will be announced on www.les-paul.com periodically.
June 12-14 – The Mahwah Museum in Mahwah, New Jersey
June 17-18 – Hard Rock Café at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT
June 21 – National Make Music Day in Boston, MA
June 23 – 24 – Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia PA
June 27-28 – The DC BBQ Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC
July 3-5 – Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI
More initial dates include:
July 9-11 – Summer NAMM in Nashville,TN
July 24-26 – Maker Faire in Dearborn, Michigan
August 6-9 – The Ohio State Fair in Columbus
August 12 – The Hard Rocksino in Cleveland
August 14-16 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland
September 4-7 – The Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul
September 10-11 – The Les Paul Middle School Central Campus in Waukesha
September 23 – Stax Academy Soulsville in Memphis, TN
September 25-26 – Hard Rock Café in Memphis, TN
October 2-4 – The Texas State Fair in Dallas
October 7 – Hard Rock Café Dallas
October 17-18 – Arlington International Guitar Show, Arlington TX
October 31-Nov 3 – Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA
December 18-20 – Pier 39 Hard Rock Café in San Francisco
Known also as the “Father of the Solid Body Electric Guitar,” “The Wizard of Waukesha,” “Rhubarb Red,” “The Father of Modern Music,” and others, Les Paul’s curiosity about sound began at a very young age. Contemporary artists like Slash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Joan Jett, Jimi Hendrix and many others have paid homage to Les Paul throughout their careers.
“The players, the great musicians, the people we revere in our industry…they know every time they pick up an electric guitar why we have the electric guitar,” said Music Industry Executive Phil Quartararo. “They know every time they sit down in a studio at a mixing board, why that board exists. I can assure you that the people in this industry don’t go through a day in their life in this business without being touched by something Les Paul did, said, played or invented.”
More events honoring Les Paul around the country are listed on the new interactive Les Paul website at www.les-paul.com. Guitar Center’s flagship store in Times Square will offer special promotions in-store, a jumbotron in Times Square will feature special images of Les Paul throughout the day and Soundwaves artist Tim Wakefield is also creating a series of collectible artworks that feature actual sound waves from Les Paul’s most famous songs and transferred on to large canvases. The art will be signed by Les Paul’s famous rock star friends and displayed at Ross Art New York before being sold for the benefit of the foundation. To close out the festivities on June 9th there will be a private, ticketed only, jam session at The Iridium which is where Les Paul played every Monday night until his passing.
A national PSA campaign “Pledge to Invent” will launch later in the year. The PSA campaign features special messages from Slash, Sammy Hagar, Steve Miller, HEART’s Nancy Wilson, Neal Schon, Joe Satriani, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir, Richie Sambora, Big & Rich and other friends of Les Paul. A New York tribute concert with some of the world’s greatest stars will also be announced soon.
“The music industry, whether its artists like Eddie Van Halen or a Jimmy Page, if asked a question will always go back to Les.” said Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation. “The music industry understands that Les is a historic iconic individual who left his mark. Every generation including future generations will continue to stand on his shoulders.”
About the Les Paul 100th Anniversary
Les Paul was an innovator who inspired creativity throughout his life. As the inventor of the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recording, over-dubbing (sound on sound) and numerous other recording techniques, he left an unmistakable mark on the music industry and for future generations. The Les Paul 100th Anniversary is a year-long to celebration of Les Paul’s life and will include major events and programs, tours, promotional campaigns, education grants and marketing initiatives that will secure his legacy for generations. The Les Paul website has been re-launched and includes interactive opportunities for guests to experience along with the late, great Les Paul as well as new merchandise. For more information and up-to-date schedules of the official Les Paul 100th Anniversary activities go to www.les-paul.com
About Les Paul Foundation
Les Paul formed his foundation as a means to encourage young people to pursue their curiosity and innovation about music, sound and engineering. Recent grants from the Les Paul Foundation include funding to multiple music education programs, hearing loss research and prevention and the museums that tell the Les Paul story. The foundation’s comprehensive website is www.lespaulfoundation.org. The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The foundation is based in New York.
Caroline Galloway – firstname.lastname@example.org