Rock Musicians and Industry Influencers to Judge Executive Talent in Eleventh Annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands

Best Corporate Band in North America to Win National Title on Oct. 1

Sep 20, 2011, 05:47 ET from NAMM

CLEVELAND, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An elite panel of five music industry judges comprised of rock legends and music professionals, will select the 2011 "Best Corporate Band" in the 11th Annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands. Presented by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the finals event will take place at The Rock Hall on Oct. 1 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The judges panel for the grand final competition includes Starship bassist Jeff Adams, American rock drummer and former member of Billy Joel's band Liberty DeVitto, Sheryl Crow's guitar man Peter Stroud, .38 Special founding member Jeff Carlisi and Pro-Mark Drumsticks Director of Sales Worldwide, Pat Brown.

"The Corporate Battle of the Bands brings to life the benefits of music making in the workplace," said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. "As the program celebrates its 11th anniversary, more companies are supporting recreational music making activities for their employees and really embracing the fact that playing music at work relieves stress and makes for happier, more motivated employees."

Eight of the best rock bands from top companies across North and Central America will take the stage at the finals event to perform live for the top honor of being crowned FORTUNE magazine's "Best Corporate Band." The international competition provides amateur, company-sponsored bands the opportunity to showcase their talent and passion for playing music with the goal of promoting the benefits of making music, which have been proven to increase employee and team morale as well as boost creativity and productivity in the workplace.

About the Judges

Jeff Adams is a seasoned singer, songwriter and former bassist for American rock band Mickey Thomas' Starship. Other performance credits include opening for Eric Burdon & The Animals, Richie Havens, Pete Best, Connie Francis, The Platters, Bobby Lewis, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Drifters and more.

Pat Brown, Pro-Mark Drumsticks Director of Sales Worldwide, serves as the company's "Dr. Evil," with the goal of world drumstick domination. He admits to playing drums for fun and bass for money.

Jeff Carlisi is the founding member and former guitarist of rock band .38 Special. He co-wrote several of the band's hits, including "Second Chance," "Caught Up In You" and "Hold On Loosely." Carlisi is also co-founder of Camp Jam, , a training camp for young musicians and Camp Jam Inc., a corporate team building experience.

Liberty DeVitto, former drummer with Billy Joel for more than 30 years, sits on the honorary board of directors for Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools in the U.S. He has also received the honorary title of "Distinguished Professor of the Arts" from Marshall University, where he lectured on music appreciation. 

Peter Stroud is an American lead guitarist, best known as the guitarist with Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Pete Droge and Sarah McLachlan. He is also the co-founder of 65amps, maker of guitar amplifiers.

About the Finalists

Selected from more than 25 qualified entries, the best 18 bands from across North America were chosen to participate in one of three semi-final regional competitions, and in the end, eight top finalists were selected to compete for the top honor of "Best Corporate Band." The finalists of the 11th Annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands are:

  • "The Slim Jim Blues Ensemble" from ConAgra Foods– Omaha, Neb.
  • "AmericanPI" from Ernst & Young – Seacaucus, N.J.
  • "Life Size" from GE Healthcare Life Sciences  – Wauconda, Ill.
  • "The Toys" from Mattel  – El Segundo, Calif.
  • "Kash is King" from Procter & Gamble  – Panama City, Panama
  • "The Messengers" from Progressive – Cleveland, Ohio
  • "Rewired" from Resource Interactive – Columbus, Ohio
  • "Metalibuxx" from Starbucks – Seattle, Wash.

FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands is a collaboration between NAMM, FORTUNE magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. JBL by Harmon and Gibson Guitars also sponsor the competition, the proceeds of which benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's educational activities.

About NAMM

NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK(7625) or visit


FORTUNE is a global leader in business journalism with a worldwide circulation of more than one million and a readership of nearly five million, with major franchises including the FORTUNE 500 and the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. FORTUNE Live Media extends the brand's mission into live settings, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including the FORTUNE Global Forum. FORTUNE magazine's online home is, the most visited and utilized business destination website.


Amy Hamaoui or Taya Varnichpun
Public Relations | Phone: 213-623-4200 and

Scott Robertson, APR – NAMM
Marketing Communications | Phone: 760-438-8007, ext. 102

Margaret Thresher – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Public Relations | Phone: 216-515-1215

Caroline Couvillon – FORTUNE
Marketing | Phone: 212-522-5480