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Friday, July 25, 2008

Pump Up The Violin

When I played the violin, all I played was Bach, Beethoven, Schuman, Mozart – the old heads. Which was great, but a lot more can be played on the violin. Damien and Tourie Escobar, the two brothers who formed the duo Nuttin’ But Stringz, are showing just that and are attracting young , urban kids to violin music and violin playing.
Damien and Tourie are from New York City and started playing the violin when they were 7 and 8 years old. In their tough neighborhood, it wasn’t easy moving through the streets with violins. Despite great obstacles , they ended up getting accepted to Juilliard-how about that. Juilliard is one to the best music schools in the world. They played in New York City subway stations for pocket change.
“We would play the trains and we had a captive audience. We broke down the trains on a marketing level. Damien chose the C train for its demographic and I tackled the A train. We raked in over $300 each in 2 hours and we did it 3 times a week.” Damien adds, “The subway is the equivalent of playing several performance hours each week and we were able to refine our technique before a live audience.”
It was their subway playing that got them noticed. They were able to get a manager and a record deal. Nuttin’ But Stringz plays classical music, hip-hop, jazz and R&B. Please listen to Broken Sorrow and Thunder to hear how amazing they are.
Vanessa-Mae is another young violinist whose style of playing is attracting young audiences to the violin. Click on the sidebar to the left to hear Nuttin’ But Stringz
and Vanessa Mae.

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