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Official News From the Office of Communications

Gibson Brands Funds $100,000 Innovation Initiative to Honor Les Paul’s 100th Birthday

“The Les Paul Music Innovation Award” (powered by Gibson) will provide annual funds to students and faculty of the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont

Les-and-HJ-Smiling002-2Gibson Brands is providing a $100,000 fund to Belmont University in honor of Les Paul, whose 100th birthday would have been today.  “The Les Paul Music Innovation Award” (powered by Gibson) honors the life and contributions of Les Paul by funding research for faculty and students, inspiring the next generation of industry leaders to express innovation and creativity to strengthen the music economy.  It will provide annual funds to students and faculty of the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont.

“Les’ life and name are synonymous with talent, quality and creativity,” commented Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman/CEO, Gibson Brands.  “To honor his legacy of being one of the best music innovators of all time, we are assisting the future generations of Belmont music students and faculty with their dreams.”

“We give our most sincere thanks to the Gibson Foundation for their generous gift bearing the name of Les Paul, a true visionary and creative genius who possessed an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and who will inspire and support yet another generation,” stated Doug Howard, Dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, Belmont University. Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915 and became an internationally celebrated jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He is widely considered to be the single most important figure in the mass popularization of the solid-body electric guitar and is perhaps best known today for the iconic instrument he designed, the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. He is also credited with developing many modern-day recording innovations including overdubbing, tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording and his innovative talents in design, songwriting and guitar playing continue to influence modern day guitarists across the world in nearly every genre of music. Among his many honors, Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

About Gibson Brands

Gibson Brands, the fastest-growing company in the music and sound industries, was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in
Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson Brands is a global leader in musical instruments, consumer electronics, and professional audio, and is dedicated to bringing the finest experiences to consumers by offering exceptional products with world-recognized brands.

Gibson Brands has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names starting with the #1 guitar brand, Gibson. Other instrument brands include Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton, Chickering and Wurlitzer. In professional audio, KRK Systems, TASCAM, Cerwin-Vega, Stanton, and Cakewalk also continue Gibson’s tradition of quality in their respective markets. Consumer electronics brands include Onkyo, Integra, TEAC, and Esoteric.

Gibson Brands recently expanded its reach into consumer markets with the acquisition of Philips’ Home Entertainment based in Hong Kong—a company that invented the cassette tape, the CD format, the DVD format and the MP3 and MP4 format.  Under the Philips and Fidelio brand names, Gibson Brands continue to represent the ideal combination of innovation, tradition and a dedication to improving design while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship.

A global company, Gibson Brands has manufacturing, marketing and research and development centers throughout the world.

All Gibson Brands are dedicated to innovation, prestige and improving the quality of life and music for its customers. Its goal is to provide the most exceptional customer audio products and experiences in the world.

About the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

In 1971 Belmont University created a Music Business program designed to prepare young women and men for operational, administrative, creative and technical careers in the music industry.  The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business was established in 2003 to provide educational programs of study for future entertainment industry professionals. Three academic degrees and four areas of study in Music Business (BBA,) Audio Engineering Technology (BS, BS,) Entertainment Industry Studies (BA, BS) and Songwriting (BA, BS) are offered.  The college boasts an impressive faculty of academic scholars and authors, entrepreneurs, songwriters, producers, and sound and recording engineers.  It is a world leader in music business and entertainment industry education, and the only freestanding college of its kind.