• NS Artist Michael Micucci Interview with For Bass Players Only

    In the most recent For Bass Players Only interview, NS Artist Michael Micucci talks about his childhood challenges of being homeless, how buying a bass guitar from a friend on a whim changed his life, apprenticeship with Berkelee’s Bruce Gertz while in Boston, the discipline his band The Company Stores brings to his bass playing abilities, and the promising future work he has ahead with NS Artist Bakithi Kumalo. Read More »

  • 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 »

  • 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. Read More »

  • 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

    2015 Benny Rietveld 1a alan Poulin

    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. Read More »

  • 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

  • Interlochen 2014

    IMG_0303IMG_0572IMG_0567Hey all –

    I had a blast on Tuesday, July 8, performing with the Intermediate Jazz Ensemble up here at Interlochen in Northern Michigan.  We did the old David Sanborn/Bob James tune, Maputo from the mid 1980’s.  I have my CR4 violin up here and have been giving it a work-out, performing with various groups and doing some of my solo stuff as well.  Here are some pics from the Intermediate Jazz performance and an art exhibit opening that I played for last week.  (Drastically different weather!!)  For the solo stuff, I loop my guitar on a Boss RC 300 Loop Station, then play the head and solos on my CR4 or CR 5, depending on how I feel that day!

    I will be performing again with the jazz students tonight at 6:30 and will certainly be soloing with an orchestra or two as the summer progresses.

    Peace.

    Scott