Los Angeles, CA, January 21, 2016 — During the 2016 Roland International Press Conference, held Wednesday, January 20, 2016, on the eve of the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, Roland presented its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Awards to three monumental figures in American music: instrumentalist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, and the production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The Roland Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their invaluable contributions to the music industry while using Roland and/or BOSS gear throughout their careers. Chris Halon, Roland Corporation U.S. Vice President, Marketing, served as master of ceremonies for the gala event that was attended by artists, musicians and leading journalists from the music industry.
The evening began with Mr. Yoshihiro Ikegami, President, Boss Corporation, and Roland Corporation U.S. President & CEO Jay Wanamaker presenting Jeff "Skunk" Baxter with his lifetime achievement award. A GRAMMY®-winning American guitarist best known for work with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers in the 1970s, Spirit in the 1980s, and as a bass player for Jimi Hendrix early in his career, “Skunk” has been connected to Roland for over 40 years. He has been an integral part of the development and launch of several Roland and BOSS products, as well as involved with design work and consulting on Roland’s first guitar synthesizer and other guitar-related projects. To this day, “Skunk’s” go-to amp of choice remains Roland’s acclaimed JC-120 Jazz Chorus amplifier, which he has used on numerous award-winning albums and tracks.
The culmination of the evening was the presentation, by Mr. Jun-ichi Miki, Roland Corporation CEO & Representative Director, and Jay Wanamaker, of the Lifetime Achievement Award to the multi-platinum and GRAMMY-winning production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Known as the most successful writing/producing duo in modern music with more Billboard number ones than any other songwriting and production team, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are best known for their work with Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Herb Alpert, TLC, Yolanda Adams, Prince (Jam & Lewis were original members of Prince-affiliated act The Time), Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Boyz II Men, Sounds of Blackness, and dozens of others. Nominated for another GRAMMY Award this year for their work with Charlie Wilson and reuniting with Janet Jackson to record her chart-topping new album, “Unbreakable,” which debuted at number one, Jam and Lewis’ use of Roland products has been key to their signature sound throughout their career. Their use of such iconic products as the TR-808, 606, 909, SH-1000 and SH-101 helped define the sound of R&B for the 1980s and beyond.
“The Roland Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor true innovators for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the music industry and their long-time association with our company and its brands,” stated Jay Wanamaker. “We present these awards to Jeff “Skunk” Baxter for his body of work and contributions to our Roland and BOSS guitar products, and to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for helping to define Roland's iconic sound and decades of making indelible music using our keyboards, sound modules and drum machines. You are truly part of the Roland family and continue to be on the cutting edge of the music scene. We thank you for your contributions to Roland and to music and the recording arts.”