Gibson–the iconic, American-made instrument brand–has been synonymous with shaping, creating, inspiring and contributing to the ‘share of sound’ for 126 years. After more than a century, Gibson artists, players, and fans continue to experience the brand rejuvenated. In studios and on live stages, Gibson is played by the best and brightest artists, across generations, genres, and genders and has emerged as the most relevant, most played and most loved guitar brand around the world. Gibson announced today, January 8, it will unveil a new era in guitar evolution at Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, CA.
One year after shifting from obstacles to opportunities, Gibson has more than delivered against expectations, with more to come in 2020 and beyond. Gibson has kept its promises and continues to deliver historical accuracy, contemporary updates, signature collections, customized creations, award-winning guitars, improved quality and new levels of artist and fan engagement.
Led by James “JC” Curleigh as Chief Executive Officer and a passionate music lover, Gibson shifted into 125-year-old start-up mode, with a clear focus on leveraging an iconic past and leaning into the innovative future. The starting point was a renewed obsession with making the best guitars by prioritizing craftsmanship, authenticity, and quality across the board. Gibson doubled-down on Nashville, aka Music City USA, with significant investments in the Gibson USA factory, new Leadership in the Gibson Custom Shop, and the new set-up of the Gibson ES range at both Gibson Custom Shop and at Gibson USA. Not to mention the recent relocation of Gibson’s Global Headquarters to the heart of downtown Nashville in the iconic Cummins Station building. The new HQ will enable Gibson to set the stage for an exciting future.
“We are proud of what we have achieved over the past year and we are encouraged by the feedback from our fans, the support from our artists and the growing confidence from our dealer base,” says JC. “We are back in growth mode, but we know we have more work to do to realize the full potential across all of our brands. We are obsessed with guitars, so we will continue to focus on setting the best conditions for success going forward.”
Last year, the brand launched Gibson Gives, the front end of the Gibson Foundation whose overall mission is to make music matter to more people in more ways, one guitar at a time. “We have committed to donating 1,000 guitars over the next 1000 days and are already ahead, having donated 160 guitars in just four months,” adds JC. Gibson Gives played a lead role in supporting the ‘Do it for the Love’ Foundation, outfitted Maplewood High School in Nashville with multiple guitars for a music room (in partnership with Give A Note) and played it forward donating 48 guitars and 19,000 string sets to Guitars For Vets bringing the power of music to returning U.S. military veterans with PTSD. Gibson Gives is off to a solid start, with much more to come in 2020.
The Gibson Alliance, the official forum of our iconic artists, focusing on everything from thought leadership, product development and creating guitars to engage the next generation of players, is in full swing. Likewise, the first class from the new Gibson Generation Group (G3) two-year mentoring program is underway. G3’s class of 2021 is currently working with 18 talented and undiscovered new players from India, Spain, China, Norway, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S., providing them with one-of-a-kind career opportunities only Gibson can offer. Spanning in age from 11 to 20 years-old, once selected, the young artists receive one-on-one mentoring from the Gibson Entertainment Relations Team, are showcased worldwide opening for legendary artists on tour, and perform on stages with our festival partners including Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival and more.
“We are very excited about our plans for 2020, which we will introduce next week at NAMM,” claims JC. “Gibson will go from strength to strength with brand new collections as well as a focus on the successful Original and Modern Collections. Epiphone will be reintroduced as the most authentic and accessible guitar brand, inspired by Gibson and made for every stage. And Kramer will re-emerge as the iconic rockers’ guitar brand made to rock hard!”
Across all of Gibson’s brands and collections, the story continues to be told with iconic and emerging artists that inspire the now and nurture the next generation of Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer fans.