Alicia Keys and Yamaha Announce New Partnership

1/23/2009 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Legendary R&B Artist Performs Impromptu Concert at Winter NAMM 2009 and Announces Partnership with Yamaha to Produce 'Alicia's Keys'

BUENA PARK, Calif. — International, multi-platinum R&B sensation Alicia Keys and the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer, Yamaha, announced a new partnership to distribute piano-inspired sounds and future products. One of the sounds was introduced on Jan. 17, 2009 for an intimate gathering of press and dealers in the Yamaha booth at Winter NAMM music product industry trade show in Anaheim, Calif.

Alicia Keys
Yamaha artist Alicia Keys plays the newly launched AvantGrand hybrid piano.
The project was an intense collaboration between the 11-time Grammy Award winning Yamaha artist, her Grammy Award winning engineer Ann Mincielli, and renowned plug-in designer Thomas Hansen Scarbee, who all worked hand in hand to digitally reproduce the exact sound of Alicia's prized Yamaha C3 Neo grand piano. Keys' hope is to have her sounds available at a very affordable price within the next three months, so that young musicians from all backgrounds will be able to play her signature sound.

"I wanted to create a sound that is just magnificent and that would inspire me to play,"; said Keys. "It was an idea that was born during the creation of my last album As I Am, which was recorded at my own studio, The Oven Studios, in New York City. While we were there recording this album we were able to create a really warm and beautiful sound using my Yamaha C3 Neo, and we decided that we wanted to capture that sound and make it something that I can take with me everywhere.

"I believe it is really important to have access to a great sounding piano, and I hope this new virtual piano will inspire others and help them to hone their craft in a way like never before, regardless of their economic situation.";

Keys unveiled the new sound for the crowd through a Yamaha DGT2A piano. She played three songs, including "If I Ain't Got You,"; "Fallin,"; "How Come You Don't Call Me,"; and finished by playing "Sure Looks Good To Me"; on Yamaha's newly-launched AvantGrand, a hybrid piano that will be available later this year.

"During our five year history with Alicia, Yamaha has been honored to meet the challenges set forth by this groundbreaking performer, including customizing two purple Yamaha pianos for her videos for "Karma"; and "No One,"; commented Chris Gero, vice president of Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, Inc. "Today, we're proud to announce this new partnership with her, and we will be diligently working together to make this project a success and fulfill Alicia's vision of inspiring future musicians.";

Those who were unable to attend NAMM can watch the press conference on www.yamaha.com/namm as a live webcast courtesy of NewTek using TriCaster, their portable live production system.

Singer/songwriter/actress Keys has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide since the release of her first studio album Songs in A Minor in 2001. With 11 Grammy Awards (and three more current nominations), 17 Billboard Music Awards, 5 American Music Awards, and a recent fourth consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard Charts, it's no wonder she was recently inducted into the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists List.

For more information on Yamaha artists, please visit www.ycaa.com.

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