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Cello Bios

boris

Name:

  Boris

Maker:

  Boris De Grande

Birthplace:

  United States

Age:

  6 yrs

Weight:

  5.5 lbs

# of Strings:

  4

Typical Tuning:

  A  D  G  C

Influences:

  Yo Yo Ma, Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Steven Sharp Nelson

Hobbies:

  Practicing, chess, knitting, reading music

Marital Status:

  Single

Favorite Movie:

  Amadeus

Favorite Color:

  Brown

Favorite Food:

  Tree sap

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “Boris is my ‘nice’ cello – he is worth more than all my other cellos combined and then some. He is lightweight and plays like a dream. His bass range is very rich and powerful. I don’t usually travel with Boris – if I can only take one cello to a show he stays home. Boris is usually reserved for my ‘sweetest’ moments in concerts and on albums. He works hard at being social but he really just prefers sitting down to a good symphonic score.”

Little-known facts:

  “Once Boris was inside his case at a show and a huge rack came crashing down on him. A crack in his front (left side) opened up. I took him to JP Lucas – a well-known maker and master at repairing instruments. You can no longer tell where the crack was, but it was still a very traumatic experience for both Boris and me.”

sampson

Name:  

  Sampson

Maker:

  Franz Kirichnek

Birthplace:

  Germany

Age:

  21 yrs

Weight:

  6.5 lbs

# of Strings:

  4

Typical Tuning:

  A  D  G  C

Influences:

  Buddy Rich, Bobby McFerrin, Sting, James Taylor

Hobbies:

  Improvising, going to the movies, singing

Marital Status:

  Married

Favorite Movie:

  Tossup between Princess Bride and 3 Amigos

Favorite Color:

  Red

Favorite Food:

  Popcorn

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “Sampson has been with me since the beginning (at least since I was big enough to play a full size cello). He has taken a beating, very literally, and has never complained. He is a hefty, tough cello that usually travels with me wherever I go. I had his insides reinforced so that he doesn’t split when I bang on him for the percussion parts I play. He is versatile and can play just about any style of music, but his “forte” is classical-rock (not to be confused with Classic Rock). Girl cellos dig Sampson because of his scars.”

Little-known facts:

  “When I have to fly to a concert and the budget allows for it Sampson sits next to me on the plane. He always lets me win when we play Uno and I always get to finish his cran-raspberry juice. However, most of the time I have to pack him into an “airplane” case that looks just like a big steel coffin. I “gate check” him which means I carry him all the way to the boarding gate. With the way airports are these day you’d think I’d get more flak, but I’ve had more trouble over suntan lotion in my carryon than over Sampson in his big metal coffin. Go figure. One thing is for certain, the number of funny looks I get from people as I carry him up to the gate. Sometimes one will venture a question as to what’s in the case. Depending on what mood I’m in I could respond urgently with, “Shhhh! He’s sleeping!” and leave it at that.

brucelee

Name:  

  Bruce Lee

Maker:

  SMI (Sharp Musical Instruments)

Birthplace:

  Dual citizenship – China and the US

Age:

  Mysteriously Unknown

Weight:

  8.5 lbs

# of Strings:

  5

Typical Tuning:

  E  A  D  G  C

Influences:

  The Edge, Eric Clapton, BB King, Jimmy Page

Hobbies:

  Chillin’, jammin’, livin’ the dream

Marital Status:

  Single

Favorite Movie:

  Dragon

Favorite Color:

  Black

Favorite Food:

  Cream Cheese Wantons

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “Bruce helped me explore and discover the versatility of the cello even further. He is built for exploration. He was the star of my collaboration with Jon Schmidt Michael Meets Mozart. His extra high string allows me to reach heights never before imagined on my acoustic cellos. Bruce is at his best when paired with a loop pedal and an effects pedal. And he just looks cool. Wish I could be more like Bruce.”

Little-known facts:

  “Just about every inch of Bruce has been tested to see if hitting it, plucking it, or bowing it makes a ‘cool’ sound. During the recording of Michael Meets Mozart Bruce spent over 50 hours along with his other cellos coming up with just the right sounds to create the ‘magic’ of the tune. One of the most unusual sounds was produced by scratching a quartet on the second to lowest string just below the bridge.”

robertelee

Name:

  Robert E. Lee

Maker:

  SMI (Sharp Musical Instruments)

Birthplace:

  Dual citizenship – China and the US

Age:

  1 yr

Weight:

  8 lbs

# of Strings:

  5

Typical Tuning:

  A  D  G  C  F

Influences:

  Still being influenced; TBD

Hobbies:

  Surfing, long walks on the beach, water polo

Marital Status:

  Single

Favorite Movie:

  Amazing Grace

Favorite Color:

  White

Favorite Food:

  Thai

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “Bob is the middle child of the electric cello family and still has yet to fit in just right, but his potential is undeniable. He has a low ‘F’ string which allows him to get as low as an electric bass. You’ve probably already guessed that he often gets the bass part of the song. It will be interesting to see where Robert decides to take his life.”

Little-known facts:

  “Robert’s low F string is so thick the entire body of the cello hums and rattles slightly when it is played. This comes in very handy when a tune just needs that powerful ‘low end’ element.”

jackie

Name:  

  Jackie

Maker:

  Unclear – he was adopted

Birthplace:

  The Upper West Side

Age:

  Birth certificate was lost

Weight:

  5.5 lbs

# of Strings:

  4

Typical Tuning:

  A  D  G  C

Influences:

  Still being influenced; TBD

Hobbies:

  Martial arts, Base-jumping, Sky-diving, Rock climbing

Marital Status:

  Single

Favorite Movie:

  Kung Fu Panda

Favorite Color:

Anything shiny  

Favorite Food:

  Anything with noodles

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “Jackie is a living contradiction. He is nicknamed ‘pretty boy’ among my other cellos because of his shiny varnish, but he is the most adventuresome and, dare I say, reckless of all my cellos. He does his own stunts. And he is the stunt cello for all of my other cellos. His back story is one of sadness and loneliness, but he is generally very upbeat and chipper. I’ll have to admit, his sound isn’t the best, but he makes up for it in other areas.”

Little-known facts:

  “Jackie is the probably the only cello in the world who has played in an airplane hanger, on  a mountain top, in direct sunlight for hours at a time, and in the mist of a huge waterfall…and he still looks pretty…excuse me…I mean handsome.”

ziggy

Name:  

  Ziggy

Maker:

  SMI (Sharp Musical Instruments)

Birthplace:

  Dual citizenship – China and the US (but she thinks she should have been born in Jamaica)

Age:

  Less than 1-yr

Weight:

  7.9 lbs

# of Strings:

  5

Typical Tuning:

  E  A  D  G  C – but exploring other tunings

Influences:

  Bob Marley

Hobbies:

  Helping others

Marital Status:

  Single – but dating Bruce Lee

Favorite Movie:

  Pride & Prejudice and Cool Runnings

Favorite Color:

  Dark Pink

Favorite Food:

  Salad with bacon (on the side)

Review by Steven Sharp Nelson:

  “It’s hard being the only girl in a cello family. But Ziggy does fine – she’s tough. She may have her tom-boy moments, but deep down she is a sensitive, caring cello that would give anyone the string off her fingerboard."

Little-known facts:

  “Ziggy generally gets the most comments on YouTube (she is the prettiest, after all). She is the only one of the three that is really trying to figure out what tuning she wants to stay in. Rumor has it she is considering going SIX STRING.”

 
 
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