Time Magazine Reviews Yamaha’s New TransAcoustic Piano


It’s a fully acoustic, optionally silent piano teamed with a pair of transducers and a digital sample set lifted from Yamaha’s premium CFX concert grand, producing a piano sound you’ve never heard before.

Imagine, however improbable this sounds, an electrified piano that didn’t use speakers to send music vibrating through the air — a device that required electricity to trigger its sampled sounds, but that didn’t have two or four or however many discrete sound-generating cones planted somewhere beneath the skin of its frame to conjure audible vibrations.

What if instead, the entire device were the speaker? Just as a fully acoustic piano’s soundboard amplifies the sound generated by the piano’s hammers striking strings, the electrified device could channel its digital samples through that same resonant slab of wood, in turn projecting the samples through the body of the instrument, aping the acoustic hammer-string paradigm by making the entire piano the sound source. What sort of name would you give this bizarre-sounding electroacoustic contraption?

Yamaha, which makes just such a device, settled on the name “TransAcoustic,” or “beyond acoustic.” That’s because it’s an acoustic piano with strings, but also a digital piano that can trigger samples — and if you like, a third thing that combines both and produces sounds you’ve never heard before. Yamaha unveiled it at NAMM 2013, demoed it again at the winter show in 2014, and it’s just now shipping.

Read the rest of the article at time.com

A Tribute to Clement D’Avella


A Tribute to Clement D’Avella
1931 – 2014

Today we celebrate the life of Clem D’Avella, a man who had a great impact on so many of us in the music industry.

Clem was born in Italy but spent most of his years in the Washington DC area. He lived in Washington DC, in Sliver Spring and eventually settled in Potomac, Maryland.

In 1956, Clem began his life-long career in the music industry at the original Arthur Jordan Piano Company store on 13th and G Streets in NW Washington DC. He was assigned to the piano department and quickly became a store manager, moving to the Silver Spring, MD store. Moving steadily up the ranks he eventually became Executive Vice President
and ultimately, in 1988, President of Jordan Kitt’s Music.

Clem remained in that position until his retirement in 1991. Even after retirement, however, Clem’s dedication to the company and it’s employees remained as he was called back in 1993 to again lead the sales organization. Even after his second retirement Clem was senior advisor to Jordan Kitt’s until owner Bill McCormick’s passing in 2007.

Clem was instrumental in so many ways to the company, including the period of expansion into the Baltimore and Richmond markets. He was a key figure in the acquisitions of Wells Music (Denver market) in 1981, Wilmington Piano Company (Philadelphia market) in 1988, and Temple of Music (Virginia Beach market) also in 1988.

Clem quickly became Mr. McCormick’s right hand man, both in motivating the Jordan Kitt’s sales force and during his vendor trips to Italy with Mr. McCormick’s company, Georgetown Leather Design.

Giving back to the community and the industry was also a big part of Clem’s life through his years of service on the NAMM board. But his true contribution was his huge impact on so many lives within and outside of the industry. He worked very hard to ensure that his mother and father were well taken care of, participating in their care together with his sister. He was devoted to his family, including his wife Mary, both admiring what she accomplished in her career and cherishing their many years together, and his children, Mike and Frank.

According to friend and former Jordan Kitt’s executive Dennis Houlihan, Clem was “a man with a huge heart – filled with love and compassion.”

Clem. You were a truly great man. I will never forget the influence you had on my life and your unwavering guidance in my career. Thank you for the person you were and your invaluable contribution to this world.

Chris Syllaba
President & CEO

Jordan Kitts and NAMM in Washington, D.C. – Day 3


Chris Syllaba with former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley (left) and Savoy Players on stilts (right).

Wednesday was the primary day for the 130 Congressional meetings on Capitol Hill that were scheduled by the NAMM Delegates. There was also a morning Congressional Briefing by Dr. Nina Kraus, PhD, Professor and Researcher at Northwestern University, for House and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Caucus Staff at the Capitol. She presented findings in her latest music/brain research investigating the neural encoding of speech and music and the brain’s ability to change as a result of experience and learning new things.

This was followed by a press conference on the benefits and importance of music and the arts in education led by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Co-chair, Congressional STEAM Caucus. Also commenting were Richard Riley, Joe Lamond, and Chad Smith. Present were Larry Morton, NAMM Chairman, Bernie Williams, NAMM Delegates and others on the House Triangle.

Additionally, NAMM Leadership held meetings throughout the day with key Members of Congress, including with Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The evening concluded at the offices of Nelson Mullins with their annual roof-top party attended by over 500 guests, including government officials, clients and Nelson Mullins leadership and associates.


Press Conference on the House Triangle. From L-R Larry Morton, NAMM Chairman; Kent Knappsberger; Bernie Williams; Dr. Nina Kraus; Actor Doc Shaw; Chad Smith; Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici; former Secretary of Education Richard Riley; and Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM.

The Fly-In concluded on Thursday morning with an 11am SupportMusic Coalition conference call from the Nelson Mullins offices. Several hundred individuals joined in on the call lead by a panel of NAMM Delegates reviewing and commenting on this year’s Fly-In. The SupportMusic Coalition is a public service initiative and advocacy effort that now unites over 8,000 national, regional and international organizations comprised of parents and community leaders seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning.

This was an exciting series of events and experiences and is a vital part of keeping music in our schools. I, along with my fellow NAMM Delegates, look forward to participating again next year!


Jordan Kitts with NAMM in Washington, D.C. – Day 2

Tuesday morning began with a visit to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The visit was kicked off with briefings and welcome comments by Darrell Ayers, Vice President, Education, Kennedy Center; Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM; Leo Coco, Senior Policy Advisor, Nelson Mullins; and Mary Luehrsen, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM. Briefings on Education Reform, Common Core, and Arts Education were presented by Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership; Richard Riley, Former United States Secretary of Education; and Maria Voles Ferguson, Executive Director, Center on Education Policy, George Washington University.

The morning continued with “Community Collaboration: Achieving Access and Equity in Arts Education”, presented by Darrell Ayers and Barbara Shepard, Director of National Partnerships, Kennedy Center. This session explored the Kennedy Center’s innovative Any Given Child initiative promoting arts education nationally. The visit was concluded with an overview and tour of the Kennedy Center, including the BlueNote at 75 exhibit, led by Kevin Struthers, Director of Jazz Programming, Kennedy Center.


The NAMM Advocacy Fly-In Delegation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In the afternoon, NAMM Delegates participated in a working lunch at the Nelson Mullins offices. Peter Fenn, Partner, Fenn Communications Group, provided an overview of the current political climate, outlook for 2014 Congressional elections, and projections for the 2016 Presidential race. He and Leo Coco facilitated a Q&A while a select group of delegates attended a White House event celebrating the Turnaround Arts Initiative with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Both President Obama and the First lady were present for the event that included the Savoy Players performing.

The afternoon concluded with a training, message and logistics discussion for the Capitol Hill meetings the next day, facilitated by Leo Coco. It included individual State teams meeting in small groups to prepare for the Hill visits.

On Tuesday evening, NAMM Delegates headed for the Library of Congress for a reception and dinner honoring the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) Turnaround Arts Initiative. The talented Savoy Players from Savoy Elementary performed a wonderful dance and vocal routine that dazzled the audience. Kristen Madsen, GRAMMY Foundation, presented the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award to Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher from Upstate New York. He was the top nominee in the U.S. from over 32,000 submissions.


Mr. Syllaba Goes to Washington

This week, Chris Syllaba, President of Jordan Kitt’s Music, and over 60 fellow members of NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) gathered in Washington DC from across the country to advocate for music education in the public schools. During this 10th anniversary of the annual NAMM Advocacy Fly-In, over 130 meetings were held with Members of Congress and their staff about the importance of music education.

NAMM Delegates started the week with a “day of service” event, making music with students at Savoy Elementary School in Anacostia, in SE Washington DC. Savoy is one of eight Turnaround Arts project schools, a program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). Delegates first met with Patrick Pope, principal, and Carol Foster, Chief Creative Officer, after which students part of the Savoy Players performed a dance routine for the group. They then participated in a drum circle, a guitar workshop, and a ukulele workshop, with assistance from NAMM members. Bernie Williams, former Yankee’s baseball player and Latin Grammy Nominated jazz musician and Chad Smith, drummer for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, were both on hand to assist as well.


Chris Syllaba with Chad Smith

At the first “White House talent show” where the Savoy Players performed the next day, First lady Michelle Obama declared “with the help of this [Turnaround Arts] program and some school improvement grants, math and reading scores have gone up in these schools, attendance is up, enrollment is up, parent engagement is up, suspensions have plummeted, and two of the schools in our pilot improved so dramatically that they are no longer in ‘turnaround’ status. That’s amazing.”


Chris Syllaba with Bernie Williams

Monday evening, NAMM Delegates convened at the Capitol Hill offices of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough for a NAMM Foundation reception honoring Senator Tom Harkin with a SupportMusic Award celebrating 10 years of NAMM Fly-In’s.

Review: Yamaha G2 Grand Piano

Yamaha G2 Piano Review

Although a great number of people are familiar with the brand of Yamaha, many are unfamiliar with the fact that the company has been building musical instruments since the 1800’s. The company began in Japan with its founder Torakusu Yamaha building his first reed organ in 1887. The company grew and prospered from its foundation in 1897, developing a vast array of product ranges including audio products, sports equipment, motorcycles and musical instruments.

Yamaha began making pianos in 1900, with their launch of the newly constructed models of upright pianos. This soon developed into a complete range of designs with their first grand piano being produced in 1902. The Yamaha G2 reflects the culmination of Yamaha’s decades of piano designing experience. It is an acoustic grand which produces big, clean sound with great ambience. The piano is capable of producing classic traditional sounds which create an outstanding effect. It is very easy to see why Yamaha grand pianos have become world renowned for their value and quality.

Yamaha G2 Grand PianoYamahas are a leading choice for pianists of any skill level around the world. They are consistently recommended by technicians and piano tuners simply because of the craftsmanship and uncompromising care which has been combined with the Yamaha expertise to create reliable and eloquent instruments.  Yamaha pianos are created in a state of the art production facility which utilises the skills, knowledge and dedication of an experienced workforce with an amazing degree of expertise.

Yamaha pride themselves on having in house access to a full range of technology which allows them to manufacture almost every single component of each piano themselves. This permits the initiation of development advances and maintenance of a superior level of quality control which sets the industry standard.

The Yamaha G2 features and advanced scale design and is wonderfully constructed with dovetail joints, solid maple caps and bridge, solid spruce ribs and soundboard, copper bass strings and spruce keys featuring hardwood buttons. The piano features balanced action which is unique to Yamaha designs, with specially created hammer shanks exclusive to the Yamaha range. The G2 was available in a number of finishes including polished ebony, American walnut, white, ivory or mahogany. It was also available in satin finishes such as ebony, American walnut or mahogany.

The G2 provides a well-rounded and full bodied sound. It typifies the delicate balance Yamaha has created between state of the art innovation and technology with the dedicated skills of experienced artisans. The G2 maintains the high Yamaha standard with few flaws and providing a great example of an acoustic grand.

If you are looking for used pianos, Atlanta musicians will struggle to find a model better than a Yamaha G2. It provides a wonderful tone and quality of sound which you may struggle to find on newer less crafted models. Yamaha has designed and constructed the G2 to endure the passing of time, which allows for, with a little tender loving care, a lifetimes enjoyment of this wonderful sound.

Right now, we currently have one Yamaha G2 for sale in our used pianos listings.


Dont Forget: Elton John “Live” at the AFI Silver Theatre

Elton John "Live" at the AFI Silver Theatre

On January 25, 2013 history was made as Elton John’s performance from Disneyland’s Hyperion Theater “brought pianos to life” around the world thanks to DisklavierTV™ powered by RemoteLive™ technology. Sir Elton’s actual piano keystrokes were faithfully re-created, note for note, in real time on each of the remote instruments, while the entire 60-piece orchestra was seen and heard on adjacent monitors, in perfect sync with the remote piano performances.

This groundbreaking performance was broadcast live to remote instruments in multiple countries including Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Join us for a very special reprise of this historic event, featuring Elton’s performance on screen at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, accompanied by the exact nuances of his performance LIVE via a Yamaha Disklavier piano on-stage.

The event is FREE, but you must RSVP, or call (703) 573-6070

Gerald Clayton Masterclass via Yamaha’s Remote Lesson


Jordan Kitt’s Music partnered with DCPS, The Kennedy Center Jazz Club, and the Yamaha Disklavier Education Network to bring an unprecedented learning experience to students at five District High Schools.

On Friday, February 28th, Grammy Nominated Pianist Gerald Clayton gave a special masterclass with local piano student Joshua Jenkins from The Ellington School For The Performing Arts. Such masterclasses are not only instrumental for the development of the student participating, but are extremely valuable learning experiences for those students sitting in the audience. While time and travel constraints have historically limited the number of students that can participate in such an event in the past (the logistics of bringing in more than a few area students for one of these events would be overwhelming and has limited these opportunities in the past), new technology allowed us to bring this learning opportunity to a record number of students in five separate locations.

B7FE6CAE-4120-4B3E-9C29-C96EABDB8577Yamaha’s patented Remote Lesson and Remote Live Technologies allow students with access to current model Disklavier Pianos to communicate with and interact with teachers located around the world. When one pianist plays a note on a Disklavier piano, the optic sensors within the instrument capture every possible bit of information about the note played. The velocity of the key and hammer, the length of time sustained, the attack and release technique, all are captured and transmitted over via the internet to other Disklavier pianos which faithfully reproduce every nuance of the original performance. This gives the pianist the literal opportunity to perform on multiple pianos simultaneously. Thanks to this amazing technology and the acquisition of five of these amazing instruments by the District of Columbia Public Schools, music students at Ellington, Ballou, Wilson, McKinley, and Woodson High Schools were all able to participate in this lesson.

BAD9FAC1-24B9-43B0-B6E9-0893ECB608F6The response to the class was overwhelming, as students and instructors were thrilled with the potential opportunities awaiting them. “ Today was a magical, memorable, historical jazzy/technological event!!!” tweeted Lori Williams, instructor at Wilson High School and a wonderful Jazz musician in her own right. “The Yamaha Disklavier provides unprecedented opportunities for students and schools to engage with musicians and teachers they might not have been able to before, and we hope that the D.C. public schools are the first of many across the country to take advantage of this dynamic connectivity.” enthused Yamaha Institutional Solutions’ Walt Straiton.

For more information regarding Remote Lesson and Disklavier Educational Opportunities, please contact Brad Prentice at (202) 578-0109 or bprentice@jordankitts.com

Piano Review: Cristofori G62L Grand Piano


Many experts credit the first ever piano produced to Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori. This young creator of musical instruments dreamt of achieving musical perfection with a sound which would touch the heavens. His relentless pursuit of this goal led to the invention of the piano itself. For three hundred years, manufacturers have been producing various designs of piano, but one company sought to pay homage to the great musical inventor with their Cristofori branded range of pianos.

This six-foot two inch grand piano has been constructed with a solid soundboard of Siberian spruce to create a superior quality of tone and sound. This is complemented with the Mapes Gold Series duplex bar and German Roslau strings to clarify the tone. The solid maple bridges have been capped for strength to provide the best possible transmission of sound. These elements work in concert to provide a soft and rich tone which is wonderful for piano players of any level to experience and at a price that is pretty hard to beat these days.

The Cristofori Grand Piano features a wide tail design to allow a larger area at the rim and a bigger sound. This unique design allows for smaller models of piano to create the sound effect experienced with conventional larger grand pianos. This is accentuated with the custom design, reinforced and double felted hammers which are made from the highest quality material. The German hornbeam used for the action creates a superior precision, durability and tensile strength. This is supported with an extruded aluminum rail and action hangers to increase stability.

The multi-laminated birch/maple rims add a strength encouraging superior projection of tone. While the overall strength of the design is ensured with spruce beams, a laminated maple key bed and hard rock maple pin block. The Cristofori G62L also has a wonderful aesthetic appearance with available finished including ebony polish, ebony satin and walnut polish.

Cristofori are looking to follow the original dream and ambition of Bartolomeo Cristofori. They take pride in producing a musical instrument which is capable of producing passionate music to inspire everyone. They utilize the latest in Japanese piano manufacturing for ultimate precision.

Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced player considering used pianos, Washington D.C. piano players would make a sensible choice with a Cristofori G62L. The quality of finish and soft sound will complement any playing style and be a wonderful addition to any home.

You can inquire about a New Cristofori Piano here, or browse a few of our restored models available at hard-to-beat prices here.