Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs Moves to Franklin, Tenn.

12/30/2005 [Corporate]

A dedicated staff outside Nashville makes the magic Possible for Yamaha artists.

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The heart of historic Franklin, Tenn. is home to the new headquarters of Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, which supports the thousands of musical artists who use endorse Yamaha products.
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (December 30, 2005) — Whether it’s Norah Jones warming up a New York nightspot, Elton John melting down a Las Vegas theater or Van Halen’s Michael Anthony laying down the bass line at Cabo San Lucas, more than 3,500 famous and soon-to-be famous musical artists have one address in common: a second-floor loft in Franklin, Tenn., where Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs (YCAA) has established a spacious new base of operations.

Here in a distinctive 4,000-square-foot space, a staff of seven led by Corporate Director of Artist Affairs Chris Gero manages the company’s worldwide relationships with Yamaha artists – a responsibility that includes concert production, imaging, piano logistics, media operations, tour planning, endorsements, production of the artist publication All Access, and occasional visits by the musicians themselves.

The office suite features exposed wooden beams, a fully equipped media room, and an artist lounge with a Yamaha C3 grand piano.

“Artists think they’re calling this huge corporate office, and it’s really just us in our jeans,” Gero told The Tennessean in July, when his operation moved here from a smaller office in nearby Leiper’s Fork. “This wouldn’t work in a corporate cube environment. We love the community, love the history here.”

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This Yamaha DC3A grand piano is a highlight of the new office. On the adjacent wall is a photo of the same piano in one of its previous settings – with Sir Paul McCartney at the Super Bowl XXXIX Halftime Show.
Meanwhile, Gero and his colleagues are helping to make history of their own. For example, they shipped Yamaha pianos and keyboards to nine of the worldwide locations for the Live 8 concerts that took place in July 2005. Yamaha routinely makes fine pianos available to its artists for use around the world, and except for classical music – which is handled by a separate facility in New York – the Franklin office makes all the arrangements.

YCAA manages Yamaha’s relationships with such artists as Alicia Keys, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Gavin DeGraw, Josh Groban, Britney Spears, David Gray, Phil Ramone, Steve Winwood, Justin Timberlake, Randy Jackson and Vanessa Carlton. Thousands of other Yamaha artists form the lifeblood of the music industry, even if they’re more often found in the liner notes than in the spotlight. “We support all of them on one level or another,” Gero says.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Corporate Artist Affairs, 98 4th Avenue North, Franklin, TN 37064; telephone (615) 599-1699; or e-mail infostation@yamaha.com.

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