GB artist Michael Carabello is currently featured with the Original Santana linup in a feature PBS special presentation concert. See this fantastic show featuring Michael with original members Gregg Rolie, Neil Schon, Michael Shrieve and Carlos! The featured photo here of Michael was from Woodstock, playing Gon Bops!!
For the past 30 years/plus, Brad Dutz has performed with many of music’s most recognizable names, has performed on some the biggest film soundtracks, has written and recorded releases as a leader and has published many educational works. His name has been associated with everyone from David Benoit to Alanis Morrisette, LeAnn Rimes to Rickie Lee Jones and Jeff Bridges to Willie Nelson. Just a few of the hit film titles featuring Brad’s percussion artistry include The Bourne Legacy, Cowboys and Aliens, Syriana, Star Trek 5, Ocean’s Eleven and Anchorman. Dutz has conducted clinics and master classes for countless educational institutions, has performed numerous times at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention and continues to push the musical envelope with exciting, inventive and unusual ensemble configurations. Gon Bops is proud to welcome this talented artist to our artist family!
Congratulations to percussion legend and long-time Gon Bops Signature artist Walfredo de Los Reyes Sr.! We recently presented Walfredo with the Gon Bops Lifetime Achievement award for his invaluable contribution to the craft. We’re honored to work with Walfredo and thankful for his knowledge and expertise. Our thanks extend to all of our amazing GB artists!
2014 marks a milestone in the world of percussion instrument manufacturing. It was 60 years ago this year, that a Cuban-American named Mariano Bobadilla first started his company Gon Bops, humbly in his father’s old garage in downtown Los Angeles, California. Along with featuring a classic Cuban conga shape, Bobadilla’s innovations broke new barriers, including revolutionary hardware design, exciting new instruments and other creations now considered standard today. Some of the world’s most iconic and influential percussionists made Gon Bops their instrument-of-choice including Mongo Santamaria, Francisco Aquabella, Armando Peraz, Poncho Sanchez and still to this day, Gon Bops Signature artist – Alex Acuna.
Says Alex, “50 years ago was my first experience with Gon Bops when I played in the LA latin scene with Perez Prado. I continued to play with them into the early 70s with Elvis Presley at the Las Vegas Hilton and then on my first tour with Weather Report. There’s live footage on YouTube with Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Chester Thompson and Alphonso Johnson, where I’m playing my black Gon Bops Congas, a Tambora and a set of Bongos. They were and still are the best looking and best sounding percussion instruments, by far. I’m still using them on movie soundtracks and last week, I used my Gon Bops congas, djembe, original Bata set and my cajons on the new “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” soundtrack. Looking forward to 50 more years!”
Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, Gon Bops rose to become the leader in Latin Percussion, including the predominant percussion instrument at the infamous Woodstock festival. But as the 70s concluded, American manufacturers began moving production offshore in efforts to reduce labor costs and Bobadilla’s effort to remain a true American-made instrument became more and more difficult, eventually causing him to close his doors.
Fortunately for us all, in 2001 the Drum Workshop drum company bought the company with all it’s patents, bringing it back to world prominence. Daniel De Los Reyes: “I am the middle child in a family of 5 kids, with my brother Walfredo Jr. being the oldest. He was able to work before me and afford to purchase his own drums and one day, he came home with two beautiful congas. They were the best looking, most comfortable to play and best sounding drums in the house. They had very dark skin on them and sang every time you played them. For the longest time these drums stayed in my mind as the drums I wanted to have have one day. Guess what? Those drums were Gon Bops and now, I use Gon Bops on tour with the GRAMMY Award Winning Zac Brown Band! Congrats to the GB family on their 60th anniversary.”
In 2010, the Gon Bops’ helm was passed on to a new owner – Sabian, a company highly regarded for its dedication to innovation and true craftsmanship. Looking to the future, Gon Bops is expanding distribution and is focused on continuing groundbreaking designs that fulfill the needs of today’s discerning, eclectic group of musicians. Terry Bozzio says: “The first time I played a Gon Bops conga back in 1971, I got a great sound…and I’m not a conga player! I bought them on the spot! Now I use the whole line! So easy on my hands for a stick player like me!”
Eagles’ Drummer/Percussionist Scott Crago says: “My introduction to Gon Bops was playing on Don Henley’s original 1970s congas, during our Hell Freezes Over rehearsals. Ever since that time, they’ve helped me develop my own personal sound and have even helped me grow as a performer. I can’t imagine playing any other brand.” Legendary percussionist Walfredo Reyes Sr. states: “Congratulations to Gon Bops on 60 years of incredible workmanship. I have played many different percussion instruments throughout my musical career in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the United States on recordings, live shows and clinics. I play Gon Bops because they afford me the ability to get the sound that I am looking for with today’s ingenuity.”
Gon Bops thanks everyone around the world who’ve supported us for the past 60 years and like Alex says, here’s to the next 50…and many more!
Gon Bops and master percussionist Luisito Quintero recently teamed up to produce a series of product videos, highlighting the legendary, authentic sound across the entire line of Gon Bops instruments.
“It was fantastic to work with an incredible talent like Luisito and to hear these instruments played the way they’re meant to be played,” commented Gon Bops Marketing Manager Luis Cardoso. “Being able to deliver these fantastic videos to our partners around the globe is a huge win for everyone.”
The new videos are available widely at Vimeo.com/Channels/GonBops or YouTube.com/GonBopsTube.
The 2013 NAMM show in Anaheim was a busy one for the Gon Bops team. In addition to non-stop meetings with Gon Bops dealer and distributor partners, the booth was buzzing with activity as artists Alex Acuna, Orestes Vilato, Walter Rodriguez, Miguelito Leon, Jaz Sawyer, Bernie Dressel, Blair Sinta and others put in regular appearances, often performing on the booth. Alex Acuna and the Unknowns also delivered a blistering performance at the annual SABIAN Live show on Friday night.
The brand new Gon Bops Orestes Vilato Signature Timbales were a hit on the booth with customers and artists alike. These new instruments feature a shallow 4″ pan design, aluminum construction and a lightweight stand. The cascara is warm — and loud.
Gon Bops is pleased to announce the appointment of Pearl Japan as its exclusive distributor in Japan.
“In Japan, we need a distribution partner with the infrastructure and resources to maximize each and every business every opportunity — with Pearl we now have that partner,” comments Gon Bops International Sales Manager Terry Ryan.
In addition to Pearl drums and percussion, Pearl Japan carries a number of other premium brands such as Remo, Vic Firth, Hughes & Kettner and more.
For more information, please contact www.musicgw.com.
Gon Bops is pleased to announce the appointment of Rich Mangicaro as West Coast Artist Relations Manager. Throughout his successful career, Rich has worked extensively on all sides of the music industry. Most notably, for 19 years he served as Paiste America Director of Artist Relations and Education, in addition to a stint as one of the company’s Marketing Directors.
Rich is a published music journalist and his work has been featured in Modern Drummer, Drumhead, UK publications Rhythm and Drummer, and France’s Batteur. As a writer, producer and director of AV and print content, Rich has worked with Graham Nash, Chris Hillman and others.
As a musician, Rich has performed and recorded with a number of artists, most notably Jeff Bridges, Michael McDonald, Billy Idol, Jackson Brown and more. He continues as a member of the Glenn Frey-Joe Walsh band.
“We are happy to Rich have join the Gon Bops AR program,” says Gon Bops CEO Andy Zildjian. “Rich carries a multi-dimensional portfolio rich in experience and accomplishments and we’re looking forward to having him on our team.”
Currently a resident of Los Angeles, Rich will assume his new role effective immediately.
Although Tropical Storm Sandy created major havoc and devastated large portions of the East Coast of the US, most MI manufacturers were able to display and maintained a presence at PASIC, held in Austin, TX on November 1-3, 2012. While traffic was light, no doubt due to the cancellation of most flights out of the East Coast, attendees were very enthusiastic about the Gon Bops instruments on display on the booth.
“It’s rewarding to see our instruments so received by the great bunch of kids from music programs all over the US and Canada,” says Gon Bops Marketing Manager Luis Cardoso. “Not only are they great players, they’re very smart consumers to boot, and they appreciate the detail and design innovation that goes into every one of our instruments.”
Apart from a full line of Peruvian Cajons, including the latest El Toro and Fiesta models, Gon Bops also displayed a wide selection of bells, hand percussion, congas and bongo drums. Connect with Gon Bops on Facebook (http://www.Facebook.com/GonBops) for live updates from PASIC, NAMM, MusikMesse and other shows throughout the year!