The NS Blog

  • Anthony Cooperwood – Circue du Soleil: Dralion NS CR5M Double Bass

    From award winning classical piano competitions to the Montreal Jazz Festival Anthony Cooperwood,  Keyboardist/Bass Guitarist/Backup Conductor for Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion show, has toured the world several times over, performing thousands of shows.

    Anthony has emerged as a gifted multi-instrumentalist and excels at whatever instrument may be in his hands at a given moment.  Aside from his “day job” at Cirque, Anthony is currently the music director for The Freddie James Project Musical Revue and bassist for Makaya (Haitian Jazz Quintet) based out of Montreal, Quebec.

    Over the course of a three-year tour of Europe and North America, Anthony performed in well over 1800 shows.  His experience has made him a solid performer and bandleader well-rounded in every aspect of the entertainment industry.  He has played at venues from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to The Royal Albert Hall in London. He has appeared on The Tonight Show in Los Angeles with Jay Leno and Musique Plus (Canadian MTV) in Montreal as well as  worldwide for Telemundo in Mexico and TV5 in Paris, France.

    Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Anthony Cooperwood won the 1989 Piano Fellowship Competition and received a 4-year full scholarship to Truman State University. After earning two Bachelors degrees in music and piano performance and a Masters  in Education, he moved east to New York City to continue his career there.  Anthony is also a trained classical pianist occasionally serving as a representative for Steinway & Sons pianos and further collaborations, endorsements and partnerships with Roland, MTD Basses, NS Design, The Chapman Stick, Dean Markley Strings and Canada’s own Piano Prestige.

    Cooperwood about his work with Circque du Soleil.

    Click here to listen to the interview and watch the slideshow.

  • Yorgis Goiricelaya – NS Omni Bass

    Even before receiving his five-string NS Omni Bass, Yorgis Goiricelaya was immediately attracted to its slim profile and portability.  He wanted a bass he could carry on a plane, and the Omni fit the bill perfectly. Replacing his acoustic double bass,  it gave him the “upright” sound desired by the Latin music bands he plays with.

    Originally from Matanzas, Cuba, Yorgis’s musical path has led him all over the world backing up Award winning Latin and Cuban music singers and bands.   After establishing himself in Cuba and then in Costa Rica, he moved to Miami, FL, where he and his studio are currently based.  He performs with prestigious groups Rey Ruiz, Luis Enrique, Isaac Delgado and Luis Boffil.  Yorgis also joined Grammy Award winner Albita Rodriguez on her live CD, “Lena”.

    Yorgis is recording and arranging for Robert Vilera’s new CD, and will be touring this summer with Luis Enrique in Italy, Puerto Rico, Canada and Curacao.

    Yorgis’s newest solo release “Elegance” highlights his mastery of Cuban and Latin music.  Arranging original compositions and favorites, Yorgis shines as a bassist, tackling everything from trio arrangements to 16 piece large ensembles. “Elegance” is a must listen for Latin music fans.  If you are in the Miami area, there is a CD Release Party for “Elegance” Thursday, July 22, 2010, at 9pm at the PLACE in Miami (833 SW 29 Ave).  Some of Miami’s finest players will join Yorgis perfoming pieces from the album.

    Check out more of Yorgis Goiricelaya at http://yorgismusic.com/live/ and be sure to  view the video documentary “Making of Elegance”, a beautiful and moving montage into Yorgis’s musical life.









  • Sean O’Bryan Smith – Solo Artist/ Session Bassist/ Anna Wilson – NS NXT5 Double Bass

    Solo artist and session bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith recently moved from a NS WAV4 Double Bass to the just released NS NXT5 Double Bass.  While not gigging and recording in an already demanding schedule, he is an entertaining clinician and prolific instrument reviewer in many music magazines.

    As a solo artist, Sean has opened for and performed with Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Brian Bromberg, Jonas Hellborg, and Esperanza Spalding.

    Throughout his twenty-plus years of playing, Sean has had the opportunity to perform for thousands of people and share the stage or studio with a diverse variety of artists including Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Larry Carlton, Kenny Rogers, Lady Antebellum, Anna Wilson, Sara Evans, Rodney Atkins and Rebecca St. James just to name a few.

    Sean has also been actively involved in Nashville’s jazz scene as bandleader for Transfer Records recording artist Anna Wilson for the last seven years.

    Worked with renowned producers including:  Dan Huff (Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts), Monty Powell (Keith Urban, Anna Wilson), Allen Morgan (U2, Dolly Parton), Craig A. King (Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Usher), Jan Smith (Matchbox 20, Usher), and Huston Singletary (Whitney Houston).

    Sean is also a writing contributor to Vintage Guitar Magazine, Premier Guitar Magazine, Bass Player Magazine, Mel Bay’s Bass Sessions, Christian Musician Magazine and Worship Musician Magazine.

    Sean’s first solo CD “Tapestry” is a return to his roots in jazz, blues, and soul.  Featured on fretted, multi-string, upright, and fretless basses as well as guitar and keyboards, the CD transcends many musical genres and reunites Sean with a collection of his favorite fellow sidemen including Jeff ”Skunk” Baxter ( Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers ), Jerry Marotta ( Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan ), Rich Eckhardt ( Toby Keith ), and Ken Rarick ( Madonna, Cher ).  The initial responses to “Tapestry” cover the gamut of top radio personalities to legendary musicians and prove why Sean has become one of the most in demand bassists in the industry.

    “…soulful, melodic, and unpretentious…..” – Bryan Beller, Bass Player Magazine

    Voted “#1 Most Recommended CD of All Times” at All About Jazz.com it has received rave reviews worldwide in numerous publications including Bass Player magazine, 20th Century Guitar, and Christian Musician.

    Numerous major network TV appearances including performances on Kenny Rogers-The First 50 Years, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, CBS’s coverage of the 2004 thru 2006 CMA Music Fest, and FOX’s series Nashville.

    Sean’s newest CD “Reflection” that is due out in late Fall of 2010, featuring Randy Brecker, Gerald Albright, and Chuck Loeb.

    Look for an upcoming 2011 tour with vocalist Anna Wilson, which Sean will be playing mainly upright.

  • Matt Wallace – Audie Blaylock and Redline NS NXT4 Double Bass

    Right before Audie Blaylock and Redline took the stage at 3:20 on June 18th at the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival in Litchfield, Maine, I delivered Matt’s bass to the band van just fresh in from Tennessee.  Although “stick” basses are not allowed at this “traditional” festival, Matt and his bandmates were thrilled to see the bass, especially sitting on a tripod surrounded by campers and touring vans.  Audi and company played a wonderful set and it was nice to be brought back to a time when four singers around one microphone could bust out the tightest and well blended harmonies!

    Matt Wallace has been a member of Audie Blaylock and Redline since 2007, and before that playing for the Legendary Paul Williams, where he was part of 2007 and 2008 SPBGMA Traditional Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year. After departing the Victory Trio, Matt spent time with New Road before joining Redline.  Matt’s style of playing is a perfect fit for Audie’s music and really lets him showcase his talent on upright bass and vocals.

    “Matt Wallace knows his way around an upright bass and is as true as any metronome.” -Phil Leadbetter


    Audie Blaylock joined Jimmy Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys at age 19 and spent nine years on the road learning the craft of bluegrass from one of the music’s first-generation legends.  Audie is an award winning traditional Bluegrass guitarist with a Grammy® nomination for Best Bluegrass Album and an IBMA nomination for Recorded Event of the Year for ” A Tribute to Jimmy Martin: The King of Bluegrass.”    Audie Blaylock and Redline had the honor of being nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006.


    Check out more of Matt with Audie Blaylock and Redline at:  http://ruralrhythm.com/ and  http://www.audieblaylock.com/.

  • Joseph Patrick Moore – Earl Klugh NS CR4M Double Bass


    NS Design’s newest addition to it’s Artist program, bassist Joseph Patrick Moore (Earl Klugh), had first his official outing with the CR4M Double Bass for his performance with esteemed jazz guitarist Earl Klugh at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 in Chicago, IL, on June 26th.  It is with great pride that NS Design is represented by such a vibrant and accomplished bassist in support of such a wonderful and important charity event.


    ” The CR4 is a beautifully crafted instrument.  It sounds rich and warm like a true acoustic Double Bass, furthermore its playability is refreshing and inspiring.  The CR4 is hands down the best electric double bass I have ever played.” – JPM


    Based in Atlanta, GA, Joseph Patrick Moore has established himself as an artist with a unique voice and a diversity of talents. His skills as bassist; composer; arranger; producer; author; an educator with musicdojo.com and founding partner of Blue Canoe Records, illustrate why he is a highly sought after musician. Touring and recording with artists from cult legend and jamband guru Col. Bruce Hampton (and the Fiji Mariners) to Earl Klugh, Leo Neocentelli, Chris Duarte and Stewart Copeland (The Police).


    On his debut solo effort, “Never Never Land”, JPM received a nomination for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences premier player award (Memphis chapter/April, 1997).


    Joseph’s current journey continues in the pursuit of the sounds, colors, and rhythms of music. His latest cd release, “To Africa With Love” is a collection of songs inspired by the magical enchantment of Africa.   JPMAfricaLove.com


    Please visit Joseph Patrick Moore’s websites www.josephpatrickmoore.com and  JPMAfricaLove.com for more information on this wonderful musician.


    It should be noted that the main focus of this event is to aid The Crossroads Centre Antigua.  Crossroads Centre is a non-profit, International Centre of Excellence for the treatment of alcohol and other drug addictions.  For more information please visit and donate at:  http://www.crossroadsguitarfestival.com/





  • NS Design Instruments and the Lamar Stringfield Summer String Camp


    Hi all! Today, just a quick note about the Lamar Stringfield String Camp and NS Design Instruments.

    For the past two weeks, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC has been hosting the Lamar Stringfield String Camp, a day camp for students to focus on string playing, technique, and ensemble playing. Students may attend for 1 or 2 weeks and the camp is open to students ranging in age from early elementary students through high school age students.  I have been pleased to be on the faculty of this fine camp for the past 3 years and had a great experience again this summer

    As part of the final concert on Friday, Orchestra Conductor, Kirk Moss (President of the American String Teachers Association) programmed a really cool funk tune called Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (By Josef Zawinul, arranged by Bert Ligon, and published by Latham Music) that includes several open sections for improvisation. Kirk invited me to play on the tune and opened it up for student solos as well. As part of that performance, my son, Matt (in the photo on the right), and violinist Jacob Henderson (in the photo on the left) jumped in on the fun and performed improvised solos on their NS Design Wav violins. The performances was really well-received and the Wavs were perfect for the guys.  The instruments sounded great and the kids had a ball getting their solos together and dialing in the instruments.

    Thanks to NS Design for making such great instruments and making performances like this possible for so many!

    Peace.
    Scott

  • NXT5 Bass: “high quality…still a bargain.”

    Writing in the July issue of DownBeat Magazine, reviewer Jon Paul has high praise for our NXT-5 upright bass:

    With the NXT5, NS design has improved upon an already successful model. With high quality Czech workmanship and better woods, this bass is still a bargain, going for only $300–$400 more than the WAV.  Nothing can replace the “dog house,” but if your musical situation works with an EUB (electric upright bass), you need to give the NXT5 bass a try.

    Click here to read a PDF reprint of the review.  (Requires Adobe Reader.)



  • NS Artist: Jenn Adams, Montana Skies

    Jennifer and Jonathan Adams of Montana Skies create a “new acoustic” sound with their pairing of six-string electric cello and Spanish/classical guitar. These award winning musicians delve into music from Pink Floyd and Rush to Vivaldi, House of the Rising Sun, and Bach, as well as their own originals that have been featured everywhere from NPR to the Travel Channel. Using a wide range of effects, Jennifer Adams’ blazing electric cello and Jonathan Adams’ guitar wizardry combine to create a sound that is truly remarkable. With an extensive tour schedule which has taken them all across the US, Canada, Russia and Asia, this vibrant duo is a must see in concert with the finesse and vitruoso of seasoned classical players crossed with the energy of a rock band.


    I was recently able to connect with them at their appearance at the TCAN (The Center for the Arts Natick) in Natick, MA on April 30th and was amazed by their purely flawless and excitable performance. With Jonathan reserved, exhibiting his technical prowess on guitar and mastery of technological gadgetry and Jenn dancing across the stage with her NS CR6 Cello and NS’s Original Strap System on her shoulders, these two partners sparred and blended their musical passion into a memorable night of music.


    I sat down with Jenn and Jonathan via phone earlier this month and chatted with them about their early beginnings, partnership, Jenn’s experience using the NS CR6 Cello, and both Jenn and Jonathan’s view of music technology, memorable performances and what’s on the horizon for Montana Skies.


    Click here to listen to an interview with Jenn & Jonathan Adams and to watch a slideshow. And make sure to check out the Montana Skies website at montanaskiesmusic.ning.com


  • James “Hutch” Hutchinson – Bonnie Raitt Band – NS CR4 Omni Bass

    Growing up in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts, James “Hutch” Hutchinson was introduced to the vibrant music scene in Boston and Harvard Square during the folk and blues revival of the 1960’s

    Hutch has been the primary bassist for legendary blues guitarist and popular singer Bonnie Raitt since 1983, having played and toured with Bonnie on her multiple Grammy Award winning and Double-Platinum selling albums and singles.

    Even if you don’t know his name, you have certainly heard him as a studio musician on numerous recordings by such artists as The Neville Brothers, Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Al Green, Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young, The Chieftains, Joe Cocker, Elton John, Jackson Browne, Hank Williams Jr., Garth Brooks, Lyle Lovett, Tanya Tucker, The B 52s, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, The B-52’s, and many film and television projects as well.

    You might want to check out his full Biography on Bonnie Raitt’s website.

    This past January in Anneheim, CA, Hutch walked into the NS Design booth at NAMM 2010, the industry trade show and immediately latched onto the NXT series Double Bass.

    I had the pleasure of hooking up with Hutch for some of his gigs in Boston and spent the afternoon at Mouradian Guitar Co., luthier Jim Mouradian’s shop in Winchester, MA.  On the road, Hutch relies on the NS Omni Bass and specifically likes having that big upright sound while having the  portability and size of a traditional 34″ scale electric bass that he can carry onto any flight, and easily fits in airline overhead compartment.

    Hutch dubbed NS Design’s Boomerang Strap System the “best strap I’ve ever used!”

    He has recently used the Omni Bass for select gigs with Bonnie Raitt and several recordings of “new” artists he is working with.

    Needless  to say, NS Design is very pleased to add Hutch Hutchinson to our roster of NS Design working artist endorsers.

  • Underground Caverns

    Hi all! the following is a video that was created by the NCSSM Distance Education Department. It centers around a performance of the NCSSM Orchestra and Ligon Middle School Orchestra in Wake County, NC. This was a really cool performance and a marvelous technological and artistic experience for the students of both schools. I think that my music technology friends around the country will be pleased with this one. I hope that you enjoy the video!

    NCSSM Music Instructor Scott Laird explains a collaboration with Ligon Middle School Music Instructor Ruth Johnsen. Interactive Videoconferencing was used to conduct ‘Underground Caverns for Double String Orchestra’ by composer Martha Bishop, a piece specifically written with the built-in latency of videoconferencing in mind. Student musicians from both schools got to experience a unique musical collaboration using IVC technology.

    If you are interested in more information on this performance, the following is a link to an interview with Ruth Johnsen from Ligon Middle School that is posted on the WakeCounty Schools website.

    http://www.wcpss.net/announcements/archives/2010/04/two_orchestras.html

    Take care.

    Scott