Gibson Guitar CEO to speak at Digital October

On Oct. 20, Digital October will be hosting a live-linkup lecture with Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of the world-renowned manufacturer of musical instruments and equipment, Gibson Guitar Corp.

Well-known musicians from different generations and genres will be attending the Gibson CEO’s lecture to discuss the role of technology in art: Rudolf Schenker, the founder of the legendary rock group the Scorpions, Noize MC, the hero of the Russian alternative stage, and Andrei Ivanov, the founder of the electronic project Triplex. The discussion moderator will be Alexander Anatolyevich, the legendary VJ from Russian MTV.

And the surprises do not stop there. For an hour before and after the lecture, participants will have the opportunity to personally try a new piece of musical technology: RockSmith, a game that has taken the simulation genre to a new level, leaving projects like Guitar Hero in its rearview mirror.

It allows the user to learn how to play rock hits by connecting a real guitar to an Xbox, PlayStation, or Windows computer, even if he or she is picking up the instrument for the first time. RockSmith will be available to try out starting at 6 p.m.

In 1986, Juszkiewicz and his partners acquired the faltering Gibson guitar operation from the Norlin corporation. Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos.

Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, the Gibson Guitar Corps. family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Maestro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer.

Juszkiewicz's aggressive management style affected an immediate turnaround, and Gibson became profitable within a month's time. With creative and innovative marketing tactics, he concentrated on the consumer rather than the retailer.

Refocusing the company on achieving the highest possible standards of quality and customer service, he drove Gibson from the brink of closing to a company that has regained worldwide respect with annual average growth of 20 percent over the last decade.

Juszkiewicz began fulfilling his vision of Gibson as a full-line, global, musical instrument company by acquiring other instrument companies, establishing a Gibson-owned European distribution center with joint-venture distributors, and acquiring manufacturing facilities in China.

He dedicated a standalone division to R&D, resulting in the introduction of the world’s first digital guitar, which represents the biggest advance in guitar technology since the invention of the electric guitar over 70 years ago. He continues to expand the company worldwide, with new consumer electronics accessories and the acquisition of the Wurlitzer Jukebox company and several other facilities in China.

 Over the course of the live-linkup, Juszkiewiczwill discuss:

  • Whether or not the ordinary tablet could become a universal musical instrument
  • The future of music and the role of the computer in it
  • How the development of digital technology is affecting the process of simultaneously creating and recording music

Register and show up at the Digital October Center.

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