NAMM 2023: MIDI’s 40th anniversary is set to be celebrated at the 2023 NAMM Show, and MIDI 2.0 is also being previewed

NAMM 2023: MIDI is so deeply woven into the fabric of music technology that many of us barely notice that it’s there, but we’d certainly miss it if it wasn’t. At the 2023 NAMM Show, this most creative of connectivity standards will be celebrating 40 years of hooking up synths, drum machines, samplers and other gear, and the MIDI Association has announced several events to mark this special anniversary.

The most immediately obvious of these will be a MIDI Showcase at the front of Hall A, which will celebrate a wide range of products and innovations relating to MIDI. More than 30 companies will be involved, and there’ll also be demos of MIDI 2.0, the next-generation of the standard.

What’s more, on Friday 14 April there will be panel sessions for both developers and musicians explaining what they need to know about MIDI 2.0 and how it will impact their businesses and creative lives.

"MIDI@40 not only showcases all of the amazing MIDI products that have impacted music over the past 40 years but also looks forward to the future with MIDI 2.0 products that will continue to shape the way music is made for decades to come,” says MIDI Association president Athan Billias.

NAMM attendees can also look forward to a special concert on Saturday 15 April, featuring the likes of Mark Garson, Mark Isham and Jordan Rudess. This will also include the presentation of MIDI lifetime achievement awards (or posthumous honours) to the likes of Bob Moog, Don Buchla, Ikutaro Kakehashi, Tsutomu Katoh, Roger Linn, Tom Oberheim, Alan Pearlman, Dave Rossum, and Dave Smith, all of whom played a key role in bringing MIDI to life.

MIDI’s 40th isn’t the only occasion being celebrated at NAMM, either: 2023 is also being recognised as the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop - a genre that’s been closely associated with MIDI down the years - and Public Enemy member Chuck D will make an appearance on Friday 14 April to discuss its history with Brian Hardgroove. Hardgroove will go on to perform with his new band, Resonant Alient, which also features Public Enemy’s DJ Johnny Juice, at the special concert on Saturday 15 April.

The 2023 NAMM Show takes place at the Anaheim Convention Centre from 13 to 16 April.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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