GUITAR CENTER'S "KING OF THE BLUES" ANNUAL SEARCH

World's Largest Guitar Competition Offers Career-Enhancing Grand Prize Package 
Including $25,000 Cash, Gear and Endorsement Deals
 Grammy Award-Winning Guitarist Derek Trucks to Perform at Competition's Finals
 
Continuing its support of aspiring artists, Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com) the world's largest musical instrument retailer, today announced the launch of its fourth annual King of the Blues (www.guitarcenter.com/kingoftheblues), the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. Starting today, guitarists can sign-up at any of Guitar Center's 214 stores across the country for the chance to compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and the opportunity to perform at the King of the Blues finals at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, and play on the same stage as Grammy Award-winning guitarist Derek Trucks. All store, district and regional finalists will win impressive prize packages including top gear from Gibson, Epiphone, Ernie Ball, Egnater and Boss. The guitarist crowned Guitar Center's King of the Blues will receive:

$25,000 cash · Endorsement Deals from Gibson, Ernie Ball, Boss and Egnater · A Feature in Guitar World Magazine · Gibson 1960 50th Anniversary ES-335 · Epiphone 1965 Elitist Casino · Egnater Renegade full-stack amplifier · Boss GT-10 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor and effects pedals "The Blues defines today's music--from Robert Johnson to Jack White and B.B. King to John Mayer," noted Dustin Hinz, Manager of Event Marketing and Promotions for Guitar Center. "Guitar Center is tapping into this rich and deep musical art form, so we can find true original talent--not clones of great guitarists, but rather great guitarists in their own right who deserve a place alongside the legends."

Local competitions will be held at each of the 214 Guitar Center locations nationwide, beginning May 13th. Each contestant will be required to give a live guitar solo, performed over one of thirty original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award-winning producer/guitarist, Pete Anderson (all backing tracks are available for free download at guitarcenter.com/kingoftheblues). One winner from each store will be chosen to move up to district competitions (25 locations), followed by regionally hosted semi-finals (5 locations), which culminate in the aforementioned King of the Blues finals competition on September 2nd. Here, the five finalists will perform in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges, and share the stage with world-renowned guitarist Derek Trucks, leader of the Grammy Award-winning Derek Trucks Band and member of The Allman Brothers Band. Trucks' extensive list of accolades and accomplishments includes being tapped by Eric Clapton to join the guitar legend's 2006/07 world tour as a featured soloist and appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone's "New Guitar Gods" issue, as well as being the youngest musician to make the magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time."

King of the Blues is one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community, including its annual Drum-Off, On-Stage and Your Next Record undiscovered artist programs. Guitar Center's Drum-Off, now in its 21st year, has been a launching pad for many drummers, including Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster Jr, two Drum-Off champions who have gone on to become acclaimed professional drummers (Prince and Jay-Z respectively). Guitar Center On-Stage, an unsigned band competition judged by Mötley Crüe, saw the winning band, The Last Vegas, go on to open for Mötley Crüe on tour and subsequently topped iTunes critics' 2009 "Rock Singles of the Year List" with their hit single "I'm Bad." Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash provides emerging artists the chance to win the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a 3-song EP with legendary producer, Mike Clink and have Slash write, record and perform on the winning artists' single -www.YourNextRecord.com.

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 214 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
 

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