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Bananas’ New
Ownership & Look

This year, Bananas at Large in San Rafael, Calif., celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new owner and a new look. Industry veteran JD Sharp and his wife, Andrea, have named Alan Rosen and his wife, Meredith, the new owners of the dealership. Rosen has served as general manager of Bananas since 1992. He is also currently on the NAMM board, chairing the grants and scholarships committee. Sharp will remain involved in marketing the company.

Fresh Look
Rosen and his landlord, Michael and Benjamin Smith of Waterford Associates, have planned to improve the look and layout of Bananas, beginning with new interior paint, carpeting and a side roll-up door. Rosen said he also expects to have new lighting installed in June.

Bananas’ new design will include vendor kiosks, a play area for kids, a green room for high-profile clients, sofas and armless chairs, mirrors, microphone testing stations, and window displays. The exterior will be repainted and feature new awnings and lighting.

New Brands, Programs
In honor of its 35th anniversary, Bananas at Large will offer several new brands, including Zemaitis Guitars, James Trussart Custom Guitars, Indie Guitars, Heritage Guitars, Ray Amplification and RC Davis Amplifiers.

Rosen said he plans to include more group lessons and increase the number of private teachers, in-store classes and events. Bananas will expand its teacher database to help local music teachers connect with more students.

Taking Community Action
Bananas will continue its Community Action Programs and Awards, which were started by Rosen. More recently, Rosen’s efforts drove more than $150,000 into non-profit programs, such as Little Kids Rock and Bread and Roses. He worked with NAMM on several of these charitable initiatives.

Bananas recently awarded Amber Morris the 2008 Community Action Award for her contribution to the making music community. The company also donates tens of thousands of dollars each year in goods, services and funds to many non-profit organizations, as well as public and private schools.