NS Design Artist Gianni Luminati is one of the lead members of the multi-platinum selling indie pop act Walk off the Earth. Since 2006 WOTE’s viral and intriguing videos have captured the world over. Reimagining popular music’s most revered and coveted songs, Gianni and company have truly made a mark for themselves, inspiring many musicians to push the envelope of creativity by implementing non-traditional instruments in non-traditional roles of pop music.
Gianni says, “We have always been a huge fan of the Steinberger Electric Bass Guitar. When we found out Ned had started a new endeavor with NS Design, we were intrigued. We knew his attention to sound quality and detail was something we would see when we got our hand on these instruments.”
Check out Gianni and Walk Off The Earth joining Lisa Loeb on her 90’s smash hit Stay.
NS Artist and esteemed bassist Tony Levin and his long-time bandmates in King Crimson are embarking on their 2019 50th Anniversary Celebration American Tour. With his CR5M Upright Bass, Tony and the rest of the KC camp will be ploughing through their extensive history of fan favorites. After a Summer of European shows, this series of concerts are sure to please the most diehard fans.
Tony will also be doing a run of December dates with The Levin Brothers. Featuring tinges of mid-century Afro-Cuban Jazz, Tony on his CR5 Cello and CR5M Upright Bass along with keyboardist brother Pete Levin, carve out fiery improvisations and groovy compositions rooted in classic Jazz of their childhood.
Classical crossover trio Simply Three plays music that is anything but simple.
They have performed covers of artists from Adele to Michael Jackson to Queen, winning the hearts of thousands of concert-goers and millions of YouTube followers. Blending top-notch musicianship with high production value and a dose of good humor, their recent music video—a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”—sums them up pretty well:
(Please note: NS Design does not endorse playing your bass on top of a moving car. Even if you can.)
NS Design’s electric bowed instruments are integral to Simply Three’s music, both live and in studio. They perform with a matching set of CR Series instruments (CR Violin,CR Cello, CRM Upright Bass) with custom slate gray finish, in addition to their acoustic instruments.
The group takes full advantage of their NS instruments’ broad tonal palette and strong, clean signal. They also rely on NS Design’s ergonomics and patented support systems for their choreographed performances.
After all, not just any cello sounds good inside an AMC Pacer!
Here’s what Glen McDaniel, Zack Clark, and Nick Villalobos say about their NS instruments:
“NS makes a fantastic violin. It stands out against all the major brands in its ability to produce a warmth and resonance that sound natural despite being an electric instrument. To me, it has the most interesting and visual appeal as well.”
“The NS CR Cello is the best sounding electric cello on the market today. I absolutely love its unique look as well as the versatility I have with its dual pick-up system. It’s the only electric cello I use both on the road and in the studio.”
“I continue to discover the versatility of this instrument and it continues to impress me every day.”
Acclaimed by everyone from the Boston Philharmonic to the Huffington Post, Simply Three has over 1.1 million followers on YouTube. (Check out their channel here.) Their upcoming East Coast tour begins in Delaware on June 19. A new album is due out later this year.
Scott Laird, nationally recognized string pedagogue and conductor (and NS Design Artist and Educator), has received The University of North Carolina Board of Governors 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award.
Steven Krull Photography
Established by the Board in 1993 to highlight the importance of teaching, the award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of faculty members System wide, honoring 17 outstanding faculty members this year.
“We take great pride in honoring these recipients. They all bring a high standard of excellence in the classroom through creative teaching methods that impact our students,” said UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry Smith.
Laird, who has served on the faculty of The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is currently the Fine Arts Coordinator and Instructor of Music.
Beginning in 2001, Laird’s milestone achievements include promoting and developing a high standard of musicianship and pride in the Orchestra and initiating popular electives Classical Piano and Guitar, Audio/Digital Music Production, and History of Western Music. Taking on the new role of Fine Arts Coordinator in 2008, Laird has played an integral role in recruiting, hiring, and supporting all of NCSSM’s Fine Arts instructors with an eye toward developing a team that exemplifies excellence in teaching, scholarship, impeccable musicianship, care for students, and collegiality.
In his 18 years as NCSSM’s orchestra conductor, the string section has grown from only 12 members in 2001 to over 60 players this year. They have performed major works every year including symphonies by Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, and this year, Brahms and have featured over 70 student soloists over the years as part of an annual Concerto Concert. He sponsors and supports students who are selected for the NCMEA Eastern Regional Orchestra, NC Honors Orchestra, and NAfME National Honor Orchestra.
“This award is an opportunity to acknowledge the great work that’s being done by some of the finest instructors in all of higher education,” said UNC System Interim President Bill Roper. “It represents the talent we have in the UNC System and the high-quality education our students receive.”
Noted for his innovative approach to ensemble development and musicianship, Laird is a frequent conductor of honor orchestras and is a sought-after conference presenter. He has developed relationships with the Durham community by promoting the Fine Arts Series events to the community on area list-serves and our programs are now well known for their high quality, free admission, and family-friendly atmosphere.
He regularly performs on acoustic and electric violin and is known for his abilities in both the classical and improvisatory arena. We’re proud to add that his electric of choice is the NS Design CR Violin.
From the NS Design Booth at Winter NAMM 2019, here is NS Artist Donald Waugh’s Review of the NS RADIUS Bass Guitar with NS Design’s founder and award winning designer, Ned Steinberger:
“It’s not very often I play instruments that make me not want to stop playing… the WAV Radius Bass is one of those instruments. The NS Design bass guitars are all very beautifully designed, with a lot of tone options. The thing that stuck out most to me was the piezo pickup system that Ned Steinberger designed himself. It is not only dynamic, but also very warm; a unique blend of shimmering brights and deep lows. Don’t take my word for it, listen to the sound for yourself. Enjoy the video!” – Donald Waugh
October 12 – 14, 2018, Hallowell, Maine welcomes you to celebrate the craft of lutherie at the 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase at central Maine’s “New Orleans on the Kennebec”, with a gallery exhibition of Maine made instruments, craft demonstrations, and great live performances at auditoriums, restaurants, and pubs in the most charming, and rocking, downtown north of Portland.
Friday night’s reception at City Hall includes a meet and greet with Ned Steinberger, our keynote speaker and an internationally recognized innovator in musical instrument design and construction. He is an incredible example of innovative intellectual property producer who lives and works in Maine, and is part of an international manufacturing network.
The 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase is brought to you by the City of Hallowell, in partnership with The Harlow Gallery and Maine Craft Weekend, and funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Friday Night Welcoming at Hallowell City Hall
Keynote Speaker: Ned Steinberger, internationally recognized stringed instrument design innovator, City Hall Auditorium, 6:30 PM, with VIP reception at 5:30. General seating starts at 6 PM.
The electrifying trio of Glen McDaniel, Zack Clark, and Nick Villalobos, together known as Simply Three, have been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Be sure to catch Simply Three at upcoming appearances. Link to their website for more information on the new album Undefined: https://simplythreemusic.com/
The electrifying trio of Zack Clark, Glen McDaniel, and Nick Villalobos, together known as Simply Three, have been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Be sure to catch Simply Three at upcoming appearances. Link to their website for more information on the new album Undefined: https://simplythreemusic.com/
The electrifying trio of Nick Villalobos, Glen McDaniel, and Zack Clark, together known as Simply Three, have been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Be sure to catch Simply Three at upcoming appearances. Link to their website for more information on the new album Undefined: https://simplythreemusic.com/
NS Design is proud to co-sponsor the Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival in Philadelphia, PA, with events taking place throughout the month of April and a Grand Finale concert April 29th at the Ibrahim Theater. The festival is curated by renowned bassist and NS endorser Jamaaladeen Tacuma and produced by Jam-All productions. Taking place during Philadelphia’s Jazz Appreciation Month, the festival showcases diverse styles of risk-taking, progressive music and provides a platform for both renowned artists and up-and-coming performers.
Grammy-nominated bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma is celebrated internationally for his creatively free, avant-garde and funky approach to the electric bass. One of the most distinctive bassists of his generation, he is credited for redefining the potential of the instrument. He began playing a Steinberger bass in the 1980s and has maintained a relationship with Ned Steinberger ever since. Jamaaladeen now plays the NS Design WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar and WAV Electric Upright.
Tacuma’s Albums, Grammy-nominated Jukebox and Dreamscape, with original Steinberger bass.
At the age of 19, Tacuma caught the attention of Ornette Coleman and rose to prominence as the first bassist in Coleman’s electric band, Prime Time. He toured and recorded with the group throughout the 1970s and 80s. In 1989, Tacuma’s Jukebox was nominated for a Grammy for best jazz album of the year. In 2011 he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Tacuma has collaborated with a diverse roster of musicians, including Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Marc Ribot, Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr., David Murray, and Odean Pope, among many others. He has worked with orchestras led by Anthony Davis at Carnegie Hall, and he has appeared with Hip-Hop group The Roots and artists DJ King Britt and DJ Logic. He made an appearance as band director for the David Letterman Show and has performed on Saturday Night Live.
Since 2015, Tacuma has been producing the annual Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival in his hometown of Philadelphia. He is a recipient of the 2018 Benny Golson Award from the City of Philadelphia.
The Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival will host its Grand Finale April 29 at the Ibrahim Theater, International House, 3701 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time Band will headline the show. Music starts at 2pm. Visit www.jamaaladeenmusic.com for more information.
Recently awarded this year’s Benny Golson Award by Mayor Jim Kenney of Philaldelphia, PA, renowned jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, presents the fourth annual Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival. This year’s 3-event festival continues its mission of showcasing diverse styles of risk-taking, progressive music and groundbreaking artists on April 6th, 15th and 29th for Philadelphia’s Jazz Appreciation Month. Featuring Tacuma along with headliner Ornette Coleman’s PRIME TIME led by Denardo Coleman and FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS trio with G. Calvin Weston and Guitarist Vernon Reid.
NS Design Bassist Noor Che’ree is embarking on the “I Believe You 2018 Tour” with Rock-Pop musician Emiko. The National Tour begins on March 21, 2018. Along with drummer Lee Piatelli, the trio will play a series of shows throughout the US. In May 2018, Emiko Asia Tour will play in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bantam Border Stage Festival, The World Youth Jazz Festival (Kuala Lumpur), and Jakarta, Indonesia.
While on their US tour this spring, Che’ree and Emiko will hold the ‘Emiko LIVE! Songwriting & Instrument Demo Clinic Series’ at select Sam Ash Music Store locations around the country. Che’ree is representing NS Design, along with Emiko and her brand partner Hammond Organ USA. They will share their experiences and process in the music creation process, from concept to writing to performance and recording.
Along with sharing his insights and tips, Noor will demonstrate the versatility of the NS Basses and various types of available bass sounds from the RADIUS Bass Guitar. Attendees are welcomed to play the instruments and take part in the process during the clinic.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn and work with Che’ree and Emiko. Visit the Sam Ash Events Calendar at for a current list of locations, dates and times.
For tour dates and locations for the “I Believe You 2018 Tour” with Emiko visit her website: www.emikomusic.com
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
NS Violinist Jason Yang follows his creative instincts into innovative musical territory. As a young classical violinist growing up in New Jersey, Yang enjoyed performing with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He broadened his interests beyond classical music while at the University of Southern California, where he met musicians who sparked his interest in composing and improvisation.
Yang began composing, arranging, and teaching, and developed his own unique style. In 2007, he began playing the NS Design CR Series Electric Violin, which expanded his sonic palette and offered a new array of technical possibilities. Jason’s performances came to encompass a variety of genres, bound together by technological innovation and his deft, playful musicianship.
Yang is pictured here at NAMM 2017 with his composing mentor Mick Baumeister (left), and Ned Steinberger (right), founder and designer, NS Design.
In 2008, while still at USC, he started posting YouTube videos of himself from his dorm room jamming on the CR4 with various pedals and layering effects. Layering and mixing using the NS electric violin, his acoustic violin, and other instruments, Yang constructed an orchestral base for his music. The success of his YouTube videos raised his profile among a new generation of experimental violinists. Today, his YouTube channel has 198,000 subscribers.
At Yang’s workstation, pictured in foreground: NS Design CR4 Transparent Black Cherry High Gloss Custom Electric Violin displayed on the NS Violin Caddy; background: NS Design CR4 Amber Satin Electric Violin.
After college, Jason found increasing success as a professional musician. In 2012 he joined Madonna’s MDNA World Tour as her violinist. He continues to collaborate with dancer and performance artist Lil Buck, who also tours with Madonna. Lil Buck and Yang have also performed together on The Colbert Report, and recently at TED2017, in the premier of a performance as MAI: Movement Art Is, co-led by dancer/choreographer John Boogz. That work, “A Dance to Honor Mother Earth”, combined dance, spoken word, and Native American song and music performed by Yang on the CR Violin.
Performance by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Watch the full performance here:
Jason has played the CR Violin for almost a decade. In his own words, the instrument is “hands down the best electric violin available … sound, response, design, build quality, dependability.” Jason goes wireless in his live performances, with a wireless pack in to his CR, and wireless in-ears for monitoring. He uses Boss pedals and loop stations for his effects.
Here’s another example of what Jason does so well, in what he describes as: “Spontaneous 100% freestyle jam of Moonlight Sonata. With a lil’ bit of distortion…” in a video post with fellow Movement Art Is collaborator, John Boogz:
Recently Amazon.com approached Yang to host his own live streaming channel on their online streaming service TwitchCreative. Growing out of TwitchTV, which originally focused on live-stream gaming, TwitchCreative has channels for music, cooking, painting, and crafts.
Jason’s live shows feature jamming, requests from among his 14,000 followers and guest appearances by other artists he hosts from his living room studio. Some of the most popular streams include work with ChewieMelodies, The Luck, Cellist Mariko, and several collaborations with his sister, pianist Pauline Yang.
For more information about the CR Series Electric Violins that Jason plays and the entire selection of NS Bowed Electric Instruments, including the new Eco-friendly and battery free NXTa or the affordable and road-worthy WAV Series or to see a selection of our Custom CR Series Finishes, and available accessories for the NS Electric Violin, please visit our website: ThinkNS.com.
NS Artist and multi-instrumentalist Margot Lane is an accomplished writer, pianist and is currently violinist, keyboardist and music director for former child actor and musician Corey Feldman’s new outfit Corey Feldman and the Angels. Corey and the Angels includes Lane and three other musicians. They made an impact last summer with a unique performance on the Today Show, and by doing so created a social media storm filled with criticism and accolades.
Feldman explains in an article by Brett Callwood of LA Weekly: “There’s a strong buzz, and the reviews from the first show have been fairly tremendous,” Feldman says. “It’s not rocket science. We’re not The Beatles. But there’s an importance to what we’re doing. It’s tongue-in-cheek and we’re all having fun with it, but it’s also an important and positive message: Don’t ever think that your day is done. As long as you have the fight and fire in you, you can achieve anything.”
The momentum of that particular performance last year inspired Feldman to find testing ground for an exciting and theatrical production collaborative with the ‘Angels’ in a mini-tour. He continued to garner more attention and a full spectrum of press coverage from this new performance concept as Corey Feldman and the Angels, and a full U.S. summer tour was recently announced with several dates slated for venues all around the country.
Tour poster photographed by Maggie St. Thomas & with artwork by Chris Canote.
“Corey’s Heavenly Tour: Angelic 2 The U.S.” kicks off June 9th in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with Margot Lane featured on the NS NXT4a Electric Violin. She plays on hits from Feldman’s notable movies such as “Stand By Me,” “The Lost Boys” and even “The Goonies.”
Lane is no stranger to the theatrical realm and since moving to Los Angeles has written, performed and recorded soundtracks for film, worked in Asia with the Saigon Broadcasting Television Network and is also currently violinist in the Las Vegas based rock string group Bella Electric Strings. She also has time to lead a heartland rock band called The Grey Birds and Margot Lane.
To kickoff Winter NAMM each year Michael Angelo Batio and Neil Turbin host a metal concert, an artist collective of bands and players that play in benefit to a particular charity. Lane played her NS violin in the 9th Annual N.A.M.M. All-Star Metal Jam in benefit for the Rock Against MS Foundation. Here’s a great shot of her from that show playing her NXTa.
Joining him with an NXT Electric Cello is fellow multi-instrumentalist, composer and tour mate Mark Stewart who has been recording and touring with Paul Simon since the late 1990’s. Stewart is also one of the All-Star musicians inBang on a Can, awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year and heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Mark is also a member of Steve Reich & Musicians and the comic duo Polygraph Lounge with Rob Schwimmer and in 2013 was in a year-long residency at MIT in the Glass Lab teaching students to design and create a glass orchestra.
Photos: Bakithi Kumalo and Mark Stewart in rehearsal for tour with Paul Simon.
Watch: Paul Simon‘s debut performance at Austin City Limits with “Wristband” from his album Stranger to Stranger. The album is described by Andy Greene of Rolling Stone as “an experimental album heavy on echo and rhythm that fuses electronic beats with African woodwind instruments, Peruvian drums, a gospel music quartet, horns and synthesizers.” A great showcase for Kumalo’s talents, who opens this funny song playing his NXT Upright.
Watch: Bass Musician Magazine Interviewwith Bakithi Kumalo in which he describes how he got his start on stage at just 7 years old playing a Gibson bass in his uncle’s band in South Africa; his ultimate respect for finding the tone, the most influential bassists for him and his willingness to share lessons he has learned along the way to a successful career playing his music for audiences around the world. And at 22:00 in this interview…see and hear the slap sound technique he’s having fun with these days on his CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar, it’s a real treat and is as fun, adventurous and masterful as Kumalo himself. Enjoy!