Remo Belli Passes Away

Remo Belli, founder of Remo, Inc., passed away on April 25. He was 88.

Remo first started his drumhead company in 1957 when he invented the first synthetic Mylar drumhead. He opened a store in Los Angeles, and then later moved to the San Fernando Valley and then to Valencia, California, where Remo, Inc. is headquartered today.

In 1983, Remo launched the World Percussion product line using Acousticon Shells — a 100 percent recycled wood fiber. The company maintained its focus on sustainability, receiving a WRAP Award (California Waste Reduction Award Program) every year since 1998.

By the early 1990s, Remo began to take note of the growing studies connecting music to improving health and education. In October 2014, Remo spoke with Music Inc. about how his company continues to support research between the use of music and the life-enhancement business.

"[We are focusing on] using musical instruments in ways other than learning how to play — like the entire field of caregiving, for example — whether you are a doctor or an educator, or whatever the case might be," Remo said. "We believe the use of music in these areas is going to grow substantially."

The MI industry has responded with its thoughts on the drumming legend.

"Remo Belli was music visionary, realizing early on that music education through drumming improves wellness," said Jay Wanamaker, president and CEO of Roland Corp. U.S. "He was also a cherished life long friend and mentor to me. Remo's contributions have made the world a much better and more musical place to live. He will never be forgotten."

"[My father Robert Zildjian and Remo] were friends, and I'm happy to say that I was lucky enough to participate in that friendship," said Andy Zildjian, president and CEO of SABIAN. "While on a trip to visit our mutual Mexican distributor, Remo, Ami, Freddy Shen and I enjoyed an afternoon amongst the ruins of Teotihuacan talking about history, philosophy, humanity and, of course, health and well being. Remo was a reserved man, but he was also a very wise, friendly and warm person. He was someone that my father respected, and I very much agree with that opinion."

Remo, Inc. released a statement on April 26 regarding Remo's passing stating that Remo "will be missed by people in all walks of life. His spirit lives on and we will continue to pursue his vision of making drumming available to everyone alive."