On June 22 during the sold-out performance at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York, Moog Music celebrated the 3rd Annual Moogfest. Notable were the announcement of an important new fund for electronic musicians, the honoring of two legends with a new lifetime achievement award and, finally, the house-rocking inaugural performance of the Little Phatty.
During the event, Matt Moog, Bob Moog's son, announced the introduction of The Bob Moog Memorial Fund for Electronic Music. Created by Bob's family and friends, the Fund seeks to honor Bob's legacy as an electronic music pioneer and innovator by supporting important electronic musical projects. The Fund is currently supporting need-based scholarships at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, Berklee School of Music, and Cornell University; The Bob Moog Electronic Music Museum; and Electronic Music Outreach Programs to disadvantaged children.
Mike Adams, president of Moog Music, announced a $10,000 gift to the Fund as well, noting, "This fund is something Bob would truly be proud of. It addresses two concerns close to Bob: electronic music innovation and the needs of fellow human beings." Moog Music also recognized two of the most celebrated keyboardists with their first ever lifetime achievement award, "The Bob." Adams announced the inception of the award and called on fellow performers Roger O'Donnell (The Cure) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) to present them.
In presenting Jan Hammer with this prestigious award, Roger O'Donnell expressed emotional gratitude, saying, "Thanks to Jan the Moog became more than just a collection of knobs and wires, it became a beautiful, emotive and powerful voice, and an inspiration to young keyboard players." His performance that evening was Hammer's first appearance in the U.S. since 1991. Receiving his award, Hammer said, "This night is very special, and I thank Moog for this award and for creating these wonderful instruments." The second award, presented to Keith Emerson (ELP), was preceded by a tribute from Jordan Rudess, "ELP's record, Tarkus, was one of the most influential records for me. It's one of the reasons I'm standing here tonight," said Rudess. "It is my great honor to present this award to Keith Emerson." In front of a standing ovation, Emerson hoisted his award in the air, exclaiming, "Rock on, Bob."
Adams added, "Jan and Keith are long-time supporters of Moog and true friends of our company. We congratulate them for their career success and are grateful for our relationship over several decades."
The Moogfest, now in its third year, is produced by The Carlini Group and annually features a cast of renowned Moog influenced musicians who rocked BB Kings with the funkiest of music until the early morning hours. Of special note was the first ever live performance of the Little Phatty, with which Jordan Rudess promptly rocked the house, showing the latest in funky phat sounds to come out of Asheville.
It was another great Moogfest and a special one, honoring Bob Moog's contribution for the first time since his passing.
For more information on The Bob Moog Memorial Fund for Electronic Music, and to make contributions, visit www.bobmoog.com.