The Great Guitar Show rocks the Rec!


The Freeport Recreation Center was electric on May 4 as the Great Guitar, Musical Instrument, and Audio Show took center stage, the first event of its kind on Long Island in five years.

The Long Island Music Business Organization hosted the event, drawing vendors from across the region and featuring an impressive array of vintage guitars, equipment, pedals, amps, basses, drums, special effects, DJ gear and audio equipment.

The show celebrated Long Island’s vibrant music scene and provided a platform for businesses and musicians to connect and thrive.

Richard Branciforte, organization president and owner of Good Times Magazine, a Long Island music publication that just celebrated its 55th anniversary, played a pivotal role in organizing the show.

The organization was established about six months ago to unite various music-oriented businesses on Long Island and boasted more than 65 businesses at its inaugural major meeting in March.

Branciforte explained that the organization is basically a chamber of commerce but for music businesses.

“It’s got a board of directors that’s really like a who’s who of the people who have been instrumental in building the Long Island musical businesses,” he said.

Branciforte said that he had tried to select people for the organization not just that have been active for years but who have “built something.”

The group’s board members include Jeff Frohman, the owner of Murphy’s Music in Melville; the Long Island Drum Center in Hicksville; Tina Kollar, the marketing director of West Hampton Beach Performing Arts Center; and the co-founder of Reverb Nation, a leading online music-marketing platform.

“Over the years everyone has always said there’s not enough recognition for Long Island businesses… the idea came up for the trade association years ago,” Branciforte said.

“Right before the pandemic, we were all set to go with it,” he added. “We had over 100 businesses that wanted to be a part of it. Pandemic hits, and then like everything else it slowed down.

“Over the last years or so… business has definitely been picking up for the onsite stores… more people are getting tired of looking at a computer screen — they want to go in and take a guitar and hear what it sounds like.”

Inspired by the Philadelphia Music Show, Branciforte wanted to display a diverse selection of instruments and gear at various prices.

Representatives from Long Island’s leading musical instrument stores and vendors, such as Rivington Guitars, attended the May 4 show.

Local artists showcased their talent and connected with fans at the dedicated Musician’s Row on the event floor, while various organizations, including the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Long Island Blues Society, engaged those who attended.

Long Island artist Chris Milo, who sings in the styles of R&B, soul, Latin and pop, also was in attendance.

Milo, 20, performs in English, Spanish and Italian, and has performed at the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, as well as noted venues such as The Suffolk Theater and the Roosevelt Hotel.

Milo is also an accomplished dancer, having performed at a number of international ballroom dance competitions.

Joe Piket, who was recently award Best Piano Entertainer of the Year by, was another acclaimed musician in attendance.

Media outlets like The Shark Radio, Long Island Talks TV, Long Island Sound Podcast, and WGBB Radio covered the event. Attendees were encouraged to bring old equipment or instruments for potential sale to music dealers.

The music business organization is now in the process of gearing up for the Support Long Island Music Festival taking place on July 25 and July 29, where 150 bands will be playing 100 different locations throughout Long Island.

Call LIMBO at (516) 280-2100 for more information.