For many years, Yamaha’s All-Star Concert has earned the reputation of the must-see event at the NAMM Show, and this year’s spectacular show was no exception. After a short, impactful film about the power of music to change lives and a welcome from Yamaha President Tak Nakata, host Sinbad turned the stage over to the evening’s musical guests.
Nashville singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin opened the show with a spirited performance which included “So Close,” the song he performed at the 80th Academy Awards. Loren Allred, the powerhouse vocalist who competed on The Voice and sang “Never Enough” from the Golden Globe winning film “The Greatest Showman,” also won over the audience with her rendition of Journey’s “Faithfully.”
She was followed by South African singer-songwriter Jonathan Butler, who brought a soulful flair to his mix of jazz, R&B, and spiritual songs. There was a mutual emotional connection with the audience, especially during his cover of “What the World Needs Now is Love.” Next up was Grammy award winner and Canadian Hall of Fame member Sarah McLachlan. She graced the stage on both piano and guitar as she gave an emotive performance of some of her best-known songs, including “I Will Remember You” and “Angel.” James “J.T.” Taylor, former singer of Kool and the Gang, closed out the show with a high-energy set of their greatest hits, and fittingly ended the night with the song that summed up what everyone in the audience and on stage was feeling: “Celebration.”
All the performers were accompanied by a stellar house band led by musical director Nathan East, which included the Yamaha All-Star Horns and a 40-piece string section. It’s also worth mentioning that it was a pleasure to experience a sound mix that was so clean and balanced, one could hear all the instruments and vocals to perfection throughout the venue.
After attending this show, there is little doubt that Yamaha will continue to set the standard for must-see concerts at NAMM for years to come.
Beautiful Disaster (Jon McLaughlin)
So Close (Jon McLaughlin)
Why I’m Talking to You (Jon McLaughlin)
Never Enough (Lored Allred)
Faithfully (Lored Allred)
Cape Town (Jonathan Butler)
Lies (Jonathan Butler)
No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley cover- Jonathan Butler)
What the World Needs Now Is Love
Building a Mystery (Sarah McLachlan)
I Will Remember You (Sarah McLachlan)
Sweet Surrender (Sarah McLachlan)
Angel (Sarah McLachlan)
Ladies Night (Kool & the Gang song -James “J.T.” Taylor)
Too Hot/No Show Interlude/Joanna/Cherish/All I Want Is/Forever (Kool & The Gang songs – James “J.T.” Taylor)
Celebration (Kool & The Gang songs – James “J.T.” Taylor)
We would like to thank Peter Giles of Giles Communications for the credential to photograph & review the show.