Beyond The Islands

Talented Filipinos at NAMM Show 2024

The National Association of Music Merchants brought together musicians and industry professionals from all over the world. One highlight was running into fellow Filipinos at NAMM Show 2024.

Joko Reantaso

A standout on the show was Joko Reantaso, a Filipino guitarist who started his musical career at a young age and gained recognition by representing the Philippines at the International Blues Challenge in 2015. However, the pandemic forced him to shift his focus online. 

In an exclusive interview, he shared insights on his unexpected journey into content creation. 

“I never planned to be a YouTuber. I wasn’t even really into social media when I started my journey. All I wanted to do was make music and play live gigs as much as I could. But I have to say, things turned out pretty well. Two brands I endorse, Sire USA Guitars and NUX Effects, found me online, and 4 years later, I have been traveling the world with them, and that includes representing them at this year’s NAMM Show.”  

Filipino Ingenuity Goes Global

Joko highlighted his past encounters with innovative Filipinos at NAMM Show 2017, such as Ramon Jacinto, the founder of RJ Guitar Center, and Jon Dela Cruz, the founder of Elegee Custom Guitars.

Present at this year’s show is US-based Filipino Jay Baldemor, the founder of
Gruv Gear.

Filipino Gearheads

Some notable Filipino musicians Joko ran into at the past NAMM Show 2017 include Karel Honasan, David Aguirre of Razorback, and Wolf Gemora of Wolfgang.

Present on the 2024 show are US-based Filipino drummer
Michael Alba and NAMM regular Perfecto De Castro, a former guitarist for Rivermaya and now a prominent YouTuber whom Joko considers a mentor.

Filipinos at NAMM
Joko Reantaso and Perfecto De Castro at NAMM Show 2024.

Legendary Moments with Icons

Despite his hectic schedule, Joko found time to meet guitar legends like Larry Carlton.

Filipinos at NAMM
Jazz Fusion legend Larry Carlton and Joko Reantaso at NAMM Show 2024.

Joko engaged with popular YouTubers such as The Captain and Danish Pete of Andertons Music Co.

Filipinos at NAMM
Joko Reantaso with The Captain and Danish Pete of Andertons Music Co. at NAMM Show 2024.

He also saw Mateus Asato from afar. However, his most cherished moment was jamming with a 13-year-old Filipina girl named Vea, which was reminiscent of his own journey starting out as a young guitarist.

READ: Filipino Talent in the Limelight in Italian Art Exhibits

Joko’s Words of Wisdom

When asked to offer advice to the new generation of musicians, especially those navigating the YouTube era, Joko encouraged them to disregard the ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ and listen to their hearts. 

“Forget about the numbers, follow your heart, focus on your music, and give it your all. I will always be a live player, and I believe in bringing your absolute best to every stage, no matter the crowd size. Aim to melt people’s faces with your performance; it’s all about the joy of playing at your best, always.”

Filipinos at NAMM Show 2024 were a testament to more than just musical talent; it was a showcase of meaningful connections and mentorships that are actively shaping the future of musicians.

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