• NS Design welcomes Pascal Roggen to the NS Artist roster

    NS Design welcomes New Zealander violinist extraordinaire Pascal Roggen.

    Currently performing and touring with bass virtuoso Shez Raja Collective, including inspiring musicians, percussionist Trilok Gurtu and guitarist Wayne Krantz, Pascal fits in perfectly with his super-charged and electric improvisations.

    Pascal started his formal musical education in Auckland, NZ and soon became a staple by his teens in local Irish Rock bands.  His journey has taken him to Jazz festivals the world over and numerous solo and TV performances.  His folk infused vocal trio Albi and the Wolves partners Pascal with guitarist Chris Dent and upright bassist Michael Young.  Their crafty and soulful songs are tinged with Bluegrass and R & B harmonies adding a twist to their New Zealand blend of modern folk music.  Pascal also performs with New Zealand flautist Miho Wada and Miho’s Jazz Orchestra.

    Be sure to check out Pascal shredding on his CR5 Electric Violin with Shez Raja Collective at London’s Ilsington Hall.

    More on Pascal . . .

  • Featured Artist: Katie Larson

    Katie Larson and her Indie Folk-Rock band The Accidentals are celebrating their signing as Sony Materworks Artists and the release of a new album, Odyssey.

    Katie plays CR and NXTa Series cellos

    Read more about Katie…

  • NS Artist Jacob Collier recieves two Grammy Awards.

    Congratulations to NS Artist Jacob Collier on his 2017 Grammy Awards.

    Jacob was awarded 2017 Grammy Awards in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella category for “You And I” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for “Flintstones”  — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier). Read More »

  • Marcos Varela debut “San Ygnacio”

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    (Photo by Laura Meraz)

    Houston born native and New York City based composer and bassist Marcos Varela releases his debut “San Ygnacio” on Origin Records.

    Check out Jon Liebman of For Bass Players Only  and his interview with this burgeoning young artist.  Melding genres from be-bop to latin and african infused original compositions and jazz standards, Marcos has created a cross-generation debut with contemporary shining players of the NYC jazz scene.

    Read more at:  http://forbassplayersonly.com/marcos-varela/

    Photography by Laura Meraz

    Read more reviews about Marcos Varela’s latest release “San Ygnacio” on Origin Records.

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/san-ygnacio-marcos-varela-origin-records-review-by-dan-mcclenaghan.php

    http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2016/03/22/marcos-varelas-latest-generates-praise/

    http://republicofjazz.blogspot.com/2016/03/marcos-varela-san-ygnacio-2016.html

    http://www.midwestrecord.com/MWR1063.html

    http://lance-bebopspokenhere.blogspot.com/2016/03/cd-review-marcos-varela-san-ygnacio.html

    http://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2016/03/bassist-marcos-varela-bridges-generations-remarkable-debut-cd/

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/san-ygnacio-marcos-varela-origin-records-review-by-dan-mcclenaghan.php?width=1366

     

     

     

  • On the set of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night with Claire Courchene and Ric Markmann.

     

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    As a two-year-old growing up in the UK and listening to her older sister practicing, Claire Courchene was determined and inspired to pick up the cello. That determination continued unabated, and eventually attending The University of Miami as a double major on both cello and trombone, she crafted her performance and technique, ultimately leading her to Hollywood.  Her dedication and hard work has paid off. Claire has performed on some of the biggest stages and highest profile programs, including American Idol, Rhye and Josh Groban.

     

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    Currently on set with NBC’s Hollywood Game Night serving double-duty on both the NS Cello and trombone, she and music director Ric Markmann make exciting, fun and energetic music for a fast and furious game show with some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.

     

    Claire’s practical advice to anyone aspiring to making it in the LA scene is to “be on time, play exceptional and be reliable… take the extra time to go above and beyond.” About her instrument: after seeing her friend pick one up for a cruise ship gig, Claire chose an NS Cello for its portability and superior sound, a choice that has become “a fantastic investment.”

     

    2013 Emmy Award winner Ric Markmann serves as music director and bassist for HGN.  From cover bands as a youngster to roots in 90’s rock, including tours with Eleven, Chris Cornell and Heart, this Cambria, Australian bassist dreamed of being a composer. A self-studied composer with stints at conservatories and with private teachers, he honed his orchestration and music theory techniques, a perfect match for the demands of the Hollywood scene.

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    Wearing the dual hats as music director and bassist, the HGN show keeps Ric challenged in both composition and performance. He describes the gig as ” a lounge band with lots of energy.”

     

    While touring with Heart he saw Tony Levin performing with opener Todd Rundgren and was hooked on the NS Bass. “The NS Bass is ready for anything I throw at it, built strong, it’s the perfect instrument for me.  It’s great for touring, television and everywhere I go.” For HGN Ric runs his NS Bass direct through a Kempler Profiler amp, and live prefers an Ampeg SVT with a single 15 inch speaker cabinet.

     

    Check out the current schedule of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night:  http://www.nbc.com/hollywood-game-night

     

  • Benny Rietveld Shares Tales Of Musical Adventure

    Santana bassist talks to FBPO about working with Carlos, Miles, Sheila E. and his expanding roll as music director.

    By David Sands
    Top photo: Alan Poulin Photography
    June 3, 2015

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    Listening to Benny Rietveld, it’s hard not to be a little amazed at the places his bass has taken him.

    To start with, he plays with Carlos Santana and acts as musical director for the famous guitarist’s band. As if that’s not enough, he’s opened up for Prince as part of Sheila E’s ensemble and toured and recorded with the late jazz giant Miles Davis.

    In 2001, he released The Mystery of Faith, an adventurous genre-jumping solo album. Over the years, he’s also lent his talents to artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Eagle Eye Cherry and John Lee Hooker.

    FBPO’s Jon Liebman recently had the opportunity to interview Santana’s fascinating bassist, who spoke with us about his musical origins, choice gear and work with Santana, Davis and other artists.

    Read the full interview at:

    http://forbassplayersonly.com/benny-rietveld-shares-tales-of-musical-adventure/

  • Meet Wytold

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    If you’ve never seen him, this video is a great example of what NS Design Artist Wytold Lebing is all about.

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    Wytold has excited audiences with his unique artistry at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Strathmore Performing Arts Center, and a host of other venues. His recent performance with the National Symphony Orchestra was highly acclaimed by the Washington Post, and he’s now featured in an excellent new TEDx talk.

    As an educator, Wytold teaches both classical and exploratory cello. Along with hip-hop artist Chrystylez Bacon (who partnered with him on the Prelude video), he frequently travels throughout DC, VA, and MD offering ‘Classical Hip-Hop’ educational programs to elementary, middle, and high school students.

    5-Wytold and dancers

    About the NS Cello

    This instrument is designed for ease of performance in every sense. It’s light. It’s compact. The entire fingerboard is accessible and comfortable. The best part is when you start playing… at the heart of every NS cello is the Polar pickup system, which delivers an incredibly acoustic, feedback-free signal to whatever gear you use. Its full-bodied tone is also perfect for effects like looping, distortion or any other kind of signal processing.
    The NS Cello includes a Tripod Stand, with the option of an Endpin Stand for more conventional style playing, or the Frame Strap System which Wytold uses. Along with the CR6 which he plays, 4 and 5 string models are available in both the CR and NXT series.

    Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass: NS Design has an instrument for you. Explore here.

  • Students and NS Design at Interlochen

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    “Mr Laird!! It arrived! It arrived today!”

    These are the words I was greeted with on a Tuesday morning during my last week of the summer at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.  Cello student, Luis Enriquez, from Belgium, has been a student at Interlochen for the past 3 summers and has been part of numerous performances where I would solo on my CR4 or 5 violin with my Intermediate Concert Orchestra on the famous Kresge Hall stage.  I must admit, when he told me he was getting a new NXT 5 string cello, it didn’t come as a big surprise.   It was, however a great thrill.  Luis brought the instrument to the next rehearsal and showed it to me and the rest of the orchestra with great enthusiasm.

     

    Earlier in the summer, we had spoken about the possibility of him getting the NS Design instrument.  We had discussed amps, effect processing, and possible choices of  retailers as well.  In the end, I know the NXT 5 cello will be a great choice for Luis as he begins his electric journey on the cello.  He also picked up a small effects processor which led to  a great discussion about reverb, delay, and “mix.”

     

    This is how NS Design and music education fit together so neatly.  Kids want to be creative.   Kids get inspired.    Kids spend more time with their instrument and build their skill set as musicians.    Everybody wins!!

     

    Congrats, Luis.  I can’t wait to hear what you come up with as you begin to develop your technique on your new instrument,  new ideas as a result of the technology, and your new style of playing with your 5 string electric cello!

     

    Peace.

    Scott