Music Giants Recognized for Their Historic Contributions
At the 2017 Winter NAMM Show, Roland and BOSS presented lifetime achievement awards to Andy Summers and Jean-Michel Jarre, two monumental figures in modern music history. The annual awards recognize individuals for their invaluable contributions to the music industry while using Roland and/or BOSS gear throughout their careers. Previous recipients include Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
Roland International Press Conference
The lifetime achievement awards presentation was part of the 2017 Roland International Press Conference. Held in Anaheim, California, on the eve of the NAMM Show, the gala event was attended by artists, musicians, and leading journalists from the music industry. It was also streamed live around the world in 360˚ on YouTube.
You can enjoy the entire press conference in the video above. The awards presentation begins at 36:00.
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Andy Summers
British guitarist Andy Summers is one of the most influential musicians of his generation. As a member of the iconic rock band The Police, his shimmering tone, unique chord voicings, and masterful use of effects completely redefined the power trio sound. Summers’ innovative approach created a new paradigm for guitarists, and his far-reaching influence can still be heard in today’s music.
Since The Police disbanded, Summers has enjoyed an active career with numerous solo albums and collaborations, and he’s found further success as a photographer. In 2003, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Police.
Throughout his career, Summers has relied on lots of Roland and BOSS gear to create his signature sounds. He was an early adopter of Roland’s guitar synthesizer technology, using it to great effect on many classic tracks by The Police.
“Musical creativity is sometimes enhanced and encouraged by having these wonderful devices,” said Summers in his acceptance speech. “Over the years, the products that I have used from Roland were able to open up what I was able to do. Of course, I would have to cite my guitar sound with The Police in particular. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Walking on the Moon,” “Every Breath You Take,”—all those hits featured Roland products. And if I hadn’t had them, I might not be standing here today.
“Today, I’m still making records, of course. I believe in the interaction between technology and musical creativity, and one can inform the other. It seems to be particularly important if you play the electric guitar! Roland products have always made this interaction possible. It’s an interesting time, in that technology and music are in partnership to push the creative edge forward, and I think Roland is leading the way in that.”
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Jean-Michel Jarre
French composer and keyboardist Jean-Michel Jarre is one the true pioneers in electronic music. Starting in the 1970s, the artist elevated the genre to new peaks of popularity, and he’s sold 80 million albums worldwide to date. His dynamic concert experiences broke new ground, paving the way for state-of-the-art outdoor live events in the decades since.
Apart from his performance and composition activities, Jarre has been spokesperson for IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry), and has headed various lobbies for Internet copyright legislation before the European Parliament. Since June 2013, he has served as president of CISAC (International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies), succeeding the late Robin Gibb. For the past two decades, Jarre has also been a UNESCO spokesperson and ambassador, contributing to the awareness of “Water for Life” and “Education for All,” two key UN Millennium projects.
Over Jarre’s long, storied career, Roland synthesizers have played a vital role. “I started electronic music before these strange machines were even called synthesizers—back when we were actually considered a bunch of crazy guys working with machines,” said Jarre. “The whole idea was, for the first time, opening new doors and virgin territories. For the first time, we were able to become our own creators of sound. I wouldn’t be here without Roland synthesizers.”
Video: Roland Interview with Jean-Michel Jarre at NAMM
More on Flickr
Check out more pictures of the Roland and BOSS 2017 Winter NAMM events at the Roland U.S. Flickr gallery.