NS Artist Marcos Varela’s 2020 Interview with For Bass Players Only

The latest For Bass Players Only interview is with jazz bassist and NS Artist Marcos Varela, who sat down with Jon Leibman at the NS Design booth during the Winter NAMM Show 2020. Among the topics, they talk bass technique, Mingus Big Band in NYC, a new debut record release planned with the Illumination Quartet on Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent, and Varela’s rock jazz projects in the works with the NS CR Radius bass guitar.


Lionel Dean Jarvis

Congratulations to NS Artist Lionel Dean Jarvis who recently received the Legacy Award from the African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) for his work in the Canadian community and with noted artists as Grammy Award recipient Alessia Cara, as well as bassist and music director for the Weeknd, Nelly Furtado, Enrique Iglesias, Backstreet Boys, George Clinton and Neverest.

Dean recently sat down with Raul Amandor from Bass Musician Magazine for an in-depth interview.

Catch Dean on tour with Alessia Cara in 2020 and beyond.

 

More on Dean . . .


Laurie Anderson Resident Artistic Director SF Jazz Center

Phtotograph of NS Design Artist Laurie Anderson playing the NS CR Electric Violin at the SFJazz Concert Series

NS Artist Laurie Anderson visited San Francisco last week as Resident Artistic Director at SF JAZZ Center for a four-night performance series. Anderson, who plays the NS CR electric violin, shared the stage on night one with her NYC Improvisations Series collaborators – virtuoso bassist Christian McBride and cellist (NS Artist) Rubin Kodheli; night two included the strings duet of Kodheli again, with Anderson; the third evening also included Kodheli with the addition of avant-garde vocalist Mike Patton, of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More; night four featured Anderson’s solo performance with her NS violin, keyboards, and filters.

Visit Laurie Anderson’s NS Artist page for more information about the artist, reviews of these remarkable SF Jazz Center performances, and video links to a variety of her performances throughout the years:
https://thinkns.com/artists/ns-design-artist-laurie-anderson/

Photo credit: Geoffrey Smith II


NS Design Booth at Winter NAMM 2020

Winter NAMM 2020 at the NS Design Booth has been lively with NS Artists and friends. Stop in to say hello if you’re in the neighborhood. Hall D #4729.

Winter NAMM 2020 Night scene with fountain

We have a number of great players at the Winter NAMM 2020 booth performing and demonstrating NS, including: legendary bassist Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), violinist Daneille Turano, Marcos Varela – Grammy nominated Jazz artist and composer, Los Angeles’s favorite electric ensemble Quartet 405 with a special demonstration including Symphonic Planet, solo bassists Noor Che’ree, Chance Wilder Onody, Donald Waugh and much more!

NS Artist Danielle Turano with the custom NS CR Sparkle Electric Violin at the Winter NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artist Danielle Turano

NS Artists Quartet 405 NS NXTa Electric Violins, Electric Viola and Electric Cello at the Winter NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artists Quartet 405

NS Artist Chance Wilder Onody with the custom NS CRM Electric Upright Bass at the Winter NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artist Chance Wilder Onody

NS Artists Bakithi Kumalo, Noor Che'ree and violinist play bass guitar, upright bass and electric violin at NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artists Noor Che’ree and Bakithi Kumalo

NS Artist Killian Duarte with the prototype NS CR6 Bass Guitar at the Winter NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artist Killian Duarte

NS Artists Symphonic Planet at the Winter NAMM 2020 NS Design Booth

NS Artists Symphonic Planet with Quartet 405

NS Artists Donald Waugh and Bakithi Kumalo playing the CR Radius Bass prototype and the WAV Electric Upright Bass at the Winter NAMM 2020 booth

NS Artists Donald Waugh and Bakithi Kumalo


Carolyn Routh – Bass Musician Magazine Interview

Photograph of NS Design Artist Carolyn Routh with her CR4 RADIUS Bass Guitar in Nu-Blu.

NS Design Artist Carolyn Routh with her CR4 RADIUS Bass Guitar.

Check out the new interview with Bass Musician Magazine with NS Design Artist Carolyn Routh of Nu-Blu. She talks about her role in Nu-Blu, her recent podcast and VJing with The Bluegrass Ridge TV, among many other projects.

 

“I’ve been searching for a long time to find the perfect bass guitar to fit my needs and add a new dynamic to our stage show. The NS CR4 RADIUS is that bass.” – Carolyn Routh of Nu-Blu

Learn more about Carolyn and Nu-Blu . . .


Ned Steinberger Visits the Worchester Poly Technical Institute Guitar Innovation Lab

NS Design Founder Ned Steinberger meets with scientists at Worchester Poly Tech Innovation Lab Ned Steinberger (center) meeting with Tommy Maloney (left) and V.J. Manzo (right) in the Electric Guitar Innovation Lab at WPI.

NS Design Founder and award-winning instrument designer, Ned Steinberger recently spent some time in collaboration on confidential research regarding electric guitar technology, with Tommy Maloney and V.J. Manzo of the Electric Guitar Innovation Lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worchester, MA.

The Guitar Innovation Lab explores opportunities for research, innovation, and education related to the electric guitar and the various components associated with the electric guitar including instrument design and modification, amplifiers, pickups, effects processors, and more. Check out the Lab’s website here: http://electricguitarinnovationlab.org/


Lionel Dean Jarvis – Bass Musician Magazine Interview

NS Artist Lionel Dean Jarvis sat down with Bass Musician Magazine for an intimate interview about his start in music, to his current tour as bassist and Music Director with 2018 Grammy Award winner Alessia Cara.

Check out Lionel and his CR5M Upright Bass on Alessia Cara’s North American tour!

learn more about Lionel Dean Jarvis…


Premiere Guitar – Nothing But Bass Volume 5 – Reviews

Premiere-Guitar-–-Nothing-But-Bass-Volume-5 ebook cover photo

NS Design is proud to be a sponsor of Nothing But Bass eBook from Premier Guitar.  This new 32 page eBook Vol. 5 – has 11 sub-rattling reviews of gear from Fender, Aguilar, Darkglass, MESA/Boogie, and more!

We invite you to download your free copy here:  http://digital.premierguitar.com/digital-press-nothing-but-…


NS Design Instrument Registration Form

NS Design has launched an NS Instrument Registration Form on our website. Registering your NS instrument helps us serve you better if you need to request technical support from us in the future. When you complete your registration, we will issue you an NS ID number for your instrument that you can refer to in future communications with us.

If you need technical support for an NS product, please use the Technical Support Form. If you have an informational request, please visit our FAQ page, or write to info@nedsteinberger.com.

We hope you will take a few minutes and register your instrument today. Visit the website home page or follow this directly to the registration form linked here: https://thinkns.com/register-your-ns-instrument/⁠


NS Design welcomes Fiddler Anna Blanton to its roster of Artists

NS Artist Anna Blanton violinist fiddler

NS Design Artist Anna Blanton has spent years playing a wide range of musical styles from bluegrass and classic country to Celtic, folk and orchestral pieces. Blanton started her early training in music at her grade school orchestra program under the direction of Catherine Moeller-Cunanan. As a child she particularly enjoyed Irish music which led her to study Irish and Bluegrass fiddle tunes and the mandolin under Jeff Guernsey. Later, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, Anna studied classical violin and continues to perform and record with area symphony orchestras. In 2016 and 2017 she partnered with Kentucky Shakespeare on their productions of Twelfth Night and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead under the music direction of Jack Ashworth and in 2018 Anna was part of a 52 piece orchestra that recorded Bear McCreary’s The Professor and The Madman movie soundtrack.

Anna Blanton with CR Violin New Bees Band

NS Artist Anna Blanton (left) with the New Bees Band.

While dedicated to performing with acoustic instruments, after finishing a challenging tour with Canadian singer-songwriter Colter Wall and experiencing environmental issues with her acoustic violin, Blanton felt it was time to explore available electric options. Anna was introduced to the NS series of electric violins while performing with the roots-rock five piece Jericho Woods. Jory Hutchins, Jericho Woods’ former fiddle player had a CR Series Violin and their bassist, and fellow NS Artist Paul Priest, who plays CR RADIUS and NXTa RADIUS bass guitars, encouraged her to try out the NS.

Anna found it very easy to transition to the NS CR5 electric violin, only having to change her bow angle to accommodate the low C string. Now a dedicated NS player, Anna appreciates how easy it is using her CR5 violin on the road. She says, “I’ve played lots of scorching hot outdoor gigs. I’d always worry about my 200+ year old acoustic fiddles getting damaged or going out of tune. This CR5 fiddle not only sounds great and looks cool; it also handles the heat outside remarkably well! I’ve had no tuning issues and don’t have to worry about seams coming open at any of my outdoor gigs. I can just enjoy playing and not stress about my gear!”

NS Artist Anna Blanton with Jericho Woods guitarist, Aaryn Martin at Fourth Street Live! Louisville, KY.

NS Artist Anna Blanton with Jericho Woods guitarist, Aaryn Martin at Fourth Street Live! Louisville, KY.

Anna’s advice for acoustic violinists considering the transition to electric is to keep in mind that the electric violin’s sound isn’t as loud as an acoustic in a player’s ear. To that end, Anna uses a Fishman Loudbox Mini mainly for self-monitoring on stage while running a direct line out the front-of-house PA. Along with the Fishman, Anna occasionally uses a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah pedal, MXR Phase 90 and a boost pedal.

NS Artist Anna Blanton plays the CR5 Violin with Jericho Woods | Abbey Road on the River.

Anna’s schedule is as full as you might expect for someone playing a wide range of music. Whether touring with Jericho Woods in support of their new album One Perfect Song, releasing an album of traditional instrumentals and original folk music with her band Croghan’s Crossing, or working with students of all ages through private instruction, Blanton keeps building her fan base and her career with a dedicated passion for music.

New owners, Charlie and Anna Blanton in front of their Kentuckiana Music Center, New Albany, IN.

New owners, Charlie and Anna Blanton in front of their Kentuckiana Music Center, New Albany, IN.

 

NS Artist Anna Blanton plays “What Happiness Looks Like” for Red Barn Radio with Jericho Woods, also featuring NS Artist Paul Priest with the CR RADIUS Bass.

For more information about Anna and her music visit: www.annablantonmusic.com

For more information and tour dates for Jericho Woods, visit: https://jerichowoodsband.com/home

Also, check out the Kentuckiana Music Center recently purchased by Anna and her husband Charlie at: www.kentuckianamusiccenter.com


NS Design at IBMA and World of Bluegrass 2019

Here is your IBMA 2019 World of Bluegrass Conference and Awards Recap!

Jeff Parker and the Company with bassist Tyler Griffith at King’s in Raleigh, NC.

Jeff Parker and the Company with bassist Tyler Griffith playing the NS Upright Bass at King’s in Raleigh, NC.

NS Design attended and exhibited at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Expo, Booth #315. Many NS Artists, friends and fans stopped in to say hello to NS National Sales Manager Tommy Wilson and NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett, who showcased a variety of NS instruments for attendees to plug in and pick, pluck, bow and strum! The Expo ran from Wednesday, September 24 through Saturday, September 28, 2019.

IBMA 2019 mix NS boothThe NS Booth at IBMA 2019 was lively with visitors all week.

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IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award & Collaborative Recording of the Year Award

IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award 2019 recipient Joe Mullins and the Radio RamblersIBMA Entertainer of the Year Award 2019 recipient Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers

NS Design congratulates NS Artist Randy Barnes bassist with Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers who took home top prize, earning the Entertainer of the Year Award, along with the Collaborative Recording of the Year Award for “The Guitar Song”, at the 30th Annual International Bluegrass Music Association. Randy Barnes plays the NXT4a Electric Upright Bass and CR4M Electric Upright Bass.

NS Design Artist Randy Barnes plays the NXTa EUB.NS Design Artist Randy Barnes plays the NXTa EUB.

More about Randy Barnes . . .

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IBMA’s Momentum Award for Band of the Year

More great news out of Raleigh, NC where NS Design Bassist Dylan Lawrence with Cane Mill Road just won International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award for Band of the Year! Congratulations guys! Dylan plays the NXT5a Electric Upright Bass.

NS Design Bassist Dylan Lawrence plays the NXTa EUB.NS Design Bassist Dylan Lawrence plays the NXTa EUB.

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Grammy nomination for The Moore Brothers Band

Big news from the NS booth at International Bluegrass Music Association attendees when Jake Moore showed up to share with our Artist Relations Manager, Corey Redonnett, that the Moore Brothers Band are now in the running for a few Grammy nods this year. Jake plays the NS CR4 Omni Bass with The Moore Brothers Band, Jubilee and Cane Mill Road. Congratulations!

NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett at the NS Booth at IBMA 2019 with Jake Moore.NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett at the NS Booth at IBMA 2019 with Jake Moore.

We love seeing NS instruments represented so well in the wide world of Bluegrass! Congratulations to all the NS players on a great turn out in Raleigh this year.


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 . . .


Gianni Luminati of Walk Off The Earth

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.

Gianni plays the WAV4 Omni Bass, WAV5 RADIUS Bass Guitar and the NXT5a Fretted Electric Cello.

 

More on Gianni . . .


NS Artist Jamaaladeen Tacuma speaks with Premier Guitar Magazine

Jamaaladeen Tacuma with the WAV Electric Upright Bass and the WAV Radius Bass guitar

NS Design Artist Jamaaladeen Tacuma speaks with Premier Guitar in the August, 2019 issue about producing The Last Poets 2019 release Transcending Toxic Times, and his Steinberger and NS Design Basses.

Read the full article linked here: Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Grooving Hard, Embracing Risk – Premiere Guitar Magazine

Tacuma plays the NS WAV Electric Upright Basses and WAV RADIUS Bass Guitars.

Read more about Jamaaladeen Tacuma and The Outsiders Festival. . .


Classical crossover trio Simply Three plays music that is anything but simple.

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:

Glen McDaniel (CR Violin)

“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.”

 

Zack Clark (CR Cello)

“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.”

 

Nick Villalobos (CRM Upright Bass)

“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.

Learn more about Simply Three by visiting https://simplythreemusic.com/.


From Winter NAMM 2019 NS Artist Donald Waugh’s Review of the NS RADIUS Bass Guitar

Donald on the WAV Radius Bass from NS Design!

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

For more of his reviews, music and what’s new from Donald, visit https://donaldwaugh.com/

For more information about the RADIUS Bass Guitar Series from NS, visit: https://thinkns.com/instrument/the-ns-design-radius-bass-guitar/


Ned Steinberger, NS Design Founder, Keynote Speaker at 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition & Music Showcase

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.
  • Featured Performers: Adam Frederick, bassist, NS Design Featured Endorser, City Hall Auditorium, 7:30 PM; The Katie Matzell Band, City Hall Auditorium, 8:00 PM

NS Artist Adam Frederick with the Fretless Sunburst NXT5a RADIUS

Music and woodworking vendors and demonstrations including:

  • Bourgeois Guitars, Hallowell City Hall
  • Kennebec Instrument and Amplifier, Hallowell City Hall
  • Carter Ruff, Luthier, Hallowell City Hall
  • Shelter Tool, Hallowell Bandstand (next to The Harlow)

All days Featuring:

  • Maine-Made Stringed Instrument Exhibition at The Harlow
  • Raffle drawings for great stringed instruments including a NS Design WAV4 Radius electric bass guitar and a Yamaha Revstar RS502 electric guitar
  • Music Performances in Downtown Venues throughout the weekend

Visit http://hallowell.org/luthiers/ for more details and to reserve your tickets!


NS Design 5-String NXTa Radius Bass Guitar Review

Bass Musician Magazine

NS Design 5-String NXTa Radius Bass Guitar Review

Author : Ty Campbell
Date : 10-09-2018

New from NS Design is the NXTa Radius Bass Guitar.

If you aren’t familiar with NS Design instruments, you should know the NS abbreviation stands for Ned Steinberger. The way I see it, Leo Fender introduced us to the electric bass and Ned Steinberger has taken what Leo has done and added engineering and innovation not only to the electric bass, but many other instruments produced by Ned and his great team at NS Design. Ned is the designer of the famous Spector NS basses. What Ned Steinberger does for any of his instruments takes years of research and development until everything is just right and his ideas and innovation are turning up in other manufacturers’ instruments later on.

The NXTa Radius is an innovative and engineering work of art, beauty, and tone to perfection.

Read the full article on Bass Musician Magazine’s website: https://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2018/09/ns-design-5-string-nxta-radius-bass-guitar-review/


NS Announces New and Improved Adjustable Chin Rest for the NS Violin!

If you could take all the energy you use to hold your violin and apply it to your playing, would you play differently? Optimal chin rest position is crucial for player comfort. Full adjustment allows each player to customize the chin rest to fit vastly different body shapes and playing styles. Using your hand to overcome the friction of the clamp allows you to experiment to find a desirable chin rest angle. The chin rest can tilt forward and back, as well as left and right.

The clamping screws in the center of each hub can be adjusted to provide the desired amount of friction to insure that the chin rest does not move in use.

Using the 5/32″ hex wrench (provided) to adjust the level of friction, the chin rest position can also be moved closer or further from the instrument. It can also be rotated more to the center or more to the side.

To order an Adjustable Chin Rest for your NS Violin contact your NS Design Dealer or Find A Dealer here.


Featured Artist: Zack Clark

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/

Zack plays the NS CR Electric Cello in Custom Slate Gray Finish.

Check out Simply Three’s latest original song “S.O.A.”

More about Zack . . .


A Conversation with Bakithi Kumalo and Ned Steinberger

Those who have been following his career know that Bakithi Kumalo joined Paul Simon’s band in 1985 and has performed with him ever since. His playing on Simon’s album Graceland became one of the iconic bass performances of all time. In February, Simon announced Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour, the final phase of his fifty-year performance career. Kumalo will accompany him on this tour, as he has for the last thirty years. He plays an array of NS instruments, including the CR5 RADIUS bass guitar and the NXT4 electric upright bass.

Last October we had the pleasure of capturing highlights of time spent between Bakithi and Ned Steinberger at Ned’s studio and workshop in Maine. In the course of their conversation, Ned shared his thoughts on instrument design and the relationship between designer and musician. Bakithi played and shared his own thoughts on Ned’s instruments, including some of his experimental creations.

This is a must-watch video for any fan of Bakithi or Ned, and fascinating for anyone who thinks deeply about music.

For additional footage of their day together at Ned’s workshop and studio, please visit the NS Design YouTube Channel.


The String Theorist Ned Steinberger Design New England Magazine – May/June 2018

The String Theorist
From his Maine workshop, instrument designer Ned Steinberger is reinventing the tools of music’s superstars

 

 

 
Ned Steinberger’s workshop in Nobleboro, Maine, stands beside the family home he shares with wife, Denise, and their two teenage sons. Originally a barn, the structure dates to the mid-1800s. After years of neglect, it was torn down in the early 1980s but rebuilt on the same foundation to the original specifications. In 1997, when the Steinbergers moved in, Ned, a musical instrument designer, modernized. He added a second floor that serves as a listening room and sound laboratory. On the main floor, which received only a few necessary modifications, violin necks, electric-guitar pickups, and projects both in progress and set aside fight for space with clamps, jigs, and soldering irons. “My work spaces have always been practical in nature,” he says. “They’re certainly not neat.”

From the outside, the shop blends into the rural Maine landscape. On the inside, it looks like countless other woodshops — but looks can be deceiving. This is a laboratory where, with the analytical mind of a scientist and the creative heart of an artist, Steinberger pushes the boundaries of musical instrument design.

More simply, Steinberger makes tools, some of the best of their kind. His tools have found their way into the hands of some of the world’s best-known musicians, who in turn have created every kind of music imaginable and some that defies belief.

When discussing Steinberger’s instruments, renowned bassist Tony Levin, who has shared the stage with artists ranging from Peter Gabriel to King Crimson to John Lennon, says, “If you’re a bass player and you go into a studio and you play just one note, one big, low note, and the engineer goes ‘Wow — I love this,’ and the artist goes ‘Wow — I love this,’ and the producer says, ‘I’m so glad I got you, Tony,’ it’s the sound of the instrument, not me.” That’s the Steinberger sound.

Much like his workshop, which is built on its centuries-old foundation, Steinberger took the fundamental aspects of acoustic bowed instruments and evolved their design so that they are every bit as powerful onstage as electric guitars and basses. His stable of instruments has grown to include a violin, viola, cello, double bass, the unique “Omni Bass” (which combines the features of an upright bass with the size and feel of a bass guitar), and the headless Radius electric bass guitar. Awards and industry recognition have been constant since the first electric upright in 1990. The Radius bass guitar recently won “Best in Show” at this year’s National Association of Music Merchants winter trade show.

 

 

 
As a teenager in his father’s basement woodshop in their Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, home, Steinberger eschewed plans in favor of creativity. If he wanted to make a chair, he’d take one apart, study it from all angles, and use that as the jumping-off point for his own model. He learned by doing and questioning, always asking why and how things worked. He came across that mind-set honestly. His father, physicist Jack Steinberger, is a Nobel Prize recipient. His mother, Joan Beauregard, was a celebrated artist. As with any true inventor, it’s impossible to separate the science of his work from its art. Both drive his passion for exploring questions of sound, form, and function

Next, he made electric guitars and basses under his own name. Some of rock’s best musicians, including Sting, Eddie Van Halen, The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Mike Rutherford, The Who’s John Entwistle, Rush’s Geddy Lee, and David Bowie, played Steinberger guitars. In 1987, Ned sold the rights to those instruments, along with the brand name Steinberger, to the Gibson guitar company.

That sale allowed Ned to create a new company, NS Design, and to go back to his first love: designing innovative instruments. NS Design’s work grace the stages of an equally impressive and growing list of musicians. Some, like virtuosos Charles Yang, the DaPonte String Quartet, and David Darling, value the instruments’ ability to sound like their traditional acoustic counterparts. A Paul Simon bassist, Bakithi Kumalo, values their unique voice. “I want people to be able to recognize that it’s me playing right away,” he says. Others, like Laurie Anderson, Margot Lane, chart-topping pop band Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto, Les Claypool, and Living Colour’s Doug Wimbish, love the way the instruments can take on effects like distortion and reverb and sound every bit as massive as Jimi Hendrix’s electric guitar.

Originally a furniture designer and custom cabinetmaker, Steinberger made his very first instrument, a bass guitar, for luthier Stuart Spector in 1976. It is still Spector’s most popular model.

NS Design’s 51 models, ranging in price from $849 for an entry-level violin to $7,200 for a top-of-the-line upright bass, are made in the Czech Republic and Asia. This leaves Steinberger free to keep asking questions and pushing boundaries in his Nobleboro shop. As Steinberger says, “It’s a continuing quest!”

http://www.designnewengland.com/

NS Design; thinkns.com. Steinberger: A Story of Creativity and Design by Jim Reilly will be published this fall by TwoHanded Press.


NS Artist Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Presenting the Outsiders Festival

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 plays the WAV Electric Upright Bass (left) and the WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar (right).

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.

More details and features for all the NS Basses that Jamaaladeen plays, along with our new eco-friendly NXTa active series  EUBs, Omnis, Cellos, Violins and Violas, featuring battery-free electronics, are found at our website ThinkNS.com.


Featured Artist: Jamaaladeen Tacuma

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.

For tickets and venues visit:  https://www.jamaaladeenmusic.com/

Jamaaladeen plays a WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar and WAV Electric Upright Bass.

More about Jamaaladeen . . .


NS Artist Noor Che’ree Joins the Spring 2018 “I Believe You” Tour and Clinic Featuring Emiko

 

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

For more information about Noor Che’ree visit www.noorcheree.com