Urban Rock Violin Duo Nuttin’ But Stringz signs on to become spokespersons for Opus 118, Harlem School of Music In New York

Joseh Kelly-Kapaj and Emma Montero at Opus 118, Harlem School of Music. (Courtesy Opus 118)

“We were inspired by Roberta Guaspari who used her God given talent to inspire others,” said Damien Escobar of  Nuttin’ But Stringz, who plans to bring awareness to the financial obstacle faced by Opus 118

New York, NY April 28, 2010 Nuttin’ But Stringz, international urban rock violin duo brothers Damien and Tourie Escobar announced today that they have signed on as the spokespersons for Opus 118, Harlem School of Music to help prevent it’s closure during these economic times. Opus 118 transforms the lives of students and their families of the Harlem community, through access to quality music education while fostering teacher development and introducing musical performance to new audiences. Since 1991 Opus 118 has helped over 5,000 students achieve through quality music instruction.

Current Parent, Jesi Kelley shares her reaction to the news:

“It’s so important for urban kids, particularly minority kids to see another way to live, to know that such a thing as “practice” and working towards something can actually mean something. It’s PARTICULARLY important for urban minority boys to know there is another way “out” than to be a hip hop star or a gangsta rapper who curses; that cursing is not essential to success. And… it’s another avenue other than the usual basketball (football not so much only because, particularly in NYC there ARE VERY FEW places kids can actually play). The beautiful thing about NBS is that they actually went to college… to Julliard no less.

“They are GREAT role models for the Opus kids,” said Parent Jesi Kelley. ” Heck, they have inspired my non-practicing kid to work out ‘Broken Sorrow’ all on his own… the song has notes and a key that he hasn’t played before. In a 4:30 minute song, he’s about half way through. That’s a really big deal.”

“Opus 118 has experienced significant challenges in securing the funding necessary to sustain the organization” says Damien Escobar, Nuttin’ But Stringz.

Damien says he was inspired by the efforts of Roberta Guaspari, co-founder of Opus 118, who entered the community of Harlem in 1981 with very little teaching experience and a lot of passion. In 1991, public school budget cuts eliminated arts programs, but Guaspari and her students fought for their program and held a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. Her story would later be featured in films like ‘Music of the Heart’, starring Meryl Streep.

Unfortunately, after over a decade, Opus 118 finds itself in the same situation searching for funding to stay open. “Sometimes passion and drive is all you need.” says Tourie Escobar, “When my brother and I heard [Opus 118] was facing closure we felt motivated to help.” Ironically, younger brother Damien was asked to audition for the movie ‘Music of the Heart’. “I was asked to play the violin for that movie 12 years ago,” says Damien. “I was attending Julliard School of music so I missed the audition. But, I won’t miss the chance now to help out.”

Nuttin’ But Stringz is no stranger to giving back to the community. They brought music lovers to their feet Friday night (April 26, 2010) at the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall, in Houston for a benefit of the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke movement, an initiative that empowers people to reduce their risk for stroke and educates communities on the importance of its prevention.

As the spokespersons for Opus 118, Nuttin’ But Stringz has made it a priority to continue to give back and bring awareness to Opus 118’s fight to stay open. Beginning May 13th, at El Museo Del Barrio in New York City, NBS will host Opus 118’s Opening Honors Recital, which will kick off their concert campaign to raise $500,000 to keep the program running. Historically, Opus 118 has not had access to the resources that others may have had—“it has always been a fight for us to survive,” said Robert Gondola, Director of External Relations. “Opus 118 has seen a fair share of challenges through the years, but struggle parallels our humble beginnings. This year marks Opus 118’s 19th year and with the help of generous donors, will be in a position to sustain for many more years to come.”

“Our mission is far from accomplished,” explained Gondola. “There is so much left to do, and we need people to lend a hand to preserve the educational treasure that is Opus 118 in a neighborhood that needs it more than ever.”

The Honors Recital will begin at 6:00 pm with a cocktail hour, followed by a 7:00 pm performance. The newly renovated museum galleries will also be open exclusively for Opus 118 supporters. For more information on registration and tickets to the event contact Robert Gondola, Director of External Relations for Opus 118, Harlem School of Music at (212) 831- 4455 ext.105.

About Nuttin’ But Stringz

Teenage brothers, Tourie Escobar and Damien Escobar, who grew up in Queens, NY, are a true phenomenon of our musical age. Together, the Escobar brothers are Nuttin’ But Stringz (NBS). NBS combines the classical sound of the violin with Pop, R&B and Hip-hop. The result is a unique and uplifting fury of modern emotion and harmony, intensity and rhythm. Younger brother Damien says, “We play our violins so hard and with such force that we destroy a bow a show!” Tourie describes their urban rock compositions this way, “Our music is based on emotion not lyrics. We tell stories and the violin is our voice.”

At age 10 both were the youngest to attend the legendary Julliard School of Music in New York City where they were able to hone their craft and find their place. Their mission is to bridge the gap between Popular and Classical music. Nuttin’ But Stringz debut CD and most recent composition, Struggle from the Subway to the Charts by KOCH Entertainment and NBS Entertainment Inc. features their first single “Thunder,” showcasing their raw talent and digs into the soul. Other tracks include “Broken Sorrow” and “Dance with my Father.” For more information about NBS visit: http://www.Nuttinbutstringz.com and NBS Blog: http//nuttinbutstringz.wordpress.com.

[Editors: For media interviews or images of Nuttin’ But Stringz please contact Aida Mayo or George McQuade, MAYO Communications, Los Angeles, 818-340-5300 or Publicity@MayoCommunications.com.]

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” is set to make television history with the international, Emmy award-winning Violinists Damien and Tourie Escobar – “Nuttin’ But Stringz’ – Tuesday night

Hollywood, CA – “We have  been rehearsing and  practicing for hours for our  live performance  on Dancing with the  Stars tomorrow night  (Tuesday, April 13, 2010),”  said Tourie and Damien  Escobar, “Nuttin’ But  Stringz”, urban rock  composers, who make up one of the most talked about international violin duo to hit the airwaves. “We will be making history on Dancing with the Starsas the first instrumental music presentation,” said Tourie Escobar, “Nuttin’ But Stringz”. “It’s never been done on the show before, and we’ll have lots of eye-popping surprises.”

brothers, who grew up in a rough neighborhood in Queens, NY, were excited when they heard the news. “I couldn’t believe it, until Dancing with the Stars airline tickets arrived in the mail,” said Damien Escobar, “Nuttin’ But Stringz”.

“For emotions, for intensity, professionalism, for commanding the stage and electricity, you guys are my favorite act in the competition, you roasted it, I’m trembling,” said America’s Got Talent judge Simon Fuller at the last AGT performance of “Nuttin’ But Stringz”.

“Nuttin’ But Stringz” surfaced two years ago as one of the top three contestants on NBC’s America‘s Got Talent. The judges described “Nuttin’ But Stringz” this way:

“For emotions, for intensity, professionalism, for commanding the stage and electricity, you guys are my favorite act in the competition, you roasted it, I’m trembling,” said America’s Got Talent judge Simon Fuller at the last AGT performance of “Nuttin’ But Stringz”.

“Guys the tone that you get from your instruments is so sensational and the most perfect tone I have heard from any violin player ever,” said Judge and English singer, music promoter Sharon Osbourne, who is the wife of singer-songwriter, Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath). “The crossover, classical rock and hip-hop are sensational,” she said.

Actor and America’s Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff said, “You are raw talent, and you also move us with your music. You can makes us rock, make us dance, and make us feel so good, just keep it coming.”

Damie and Tourie Escobar, “Nuttin’ but Stringz”, began playing in New Yor’s subways growing up in Queens, New York. They were the youngest to attend Julliard School of Music at the tender age of 10.

“Nuttin’ But Stringz” performed at the “Declare Youself” Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama, January 19, 2009, hosted by Jessica. Other performances included Jamie Foxx, Maroon 5 and John Legend.

Additionally, “Nuttin’ But Stringz” performed in the Kennedy Center for the “Let Freedom Ring” with Aretha Franklin to celebrate Martin Luther King’s Birthday,  January 18th (the then Preisident-Elect Obama was there).

In November, 2008,  they performed for Princess Sheikha Hessa as the headline act.

Other performers included AKO and JAY SEAN. Other performances by Jamie Foxx, Maroon 5 and John Legend

“We have inspired a lot of kids, who now find it cool to pick up a
violin along with their basketball and play to their hearts content,”
said Damien Escobar. “I was called a ‘sissy’ and every other name
in school when I began playing the violin at age 8. My brother brought
it home from school and I was hooked on the instrument.”

“We have inspired a lot of kids, who now find it cool to pick up a violin along with their basketball and play to their hearts content,” said Damien Escobar. “I was called a ‘sissy’ and every other name in school when I began playing the violin at age 8. My brother brought it home from school and I was hooked on the instrument.” “Nuttin But Stringz” fly to Paris after Dancing with the Stars TV show to appear on the French version of America’s Got Talent TV show (April 17, 2010). On April 23rd,  “Nutting’ But Stringz” will peform on MTV Unplugged.

“Then it’s back to the recording studio for our new album due out next year,” said Tourie Escobar. “This will be the final performance of “Thunder” from our last album “Struggle from the Subways to the Charts.”

Editors: For media interviews or images contact Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade, 818-340-5300 or 818-618-9229, Publicity@MayoCommunications.com. To hear or buy their music visit: www.nuttinbutstringz.com. For blog updates visit:

https://nuttinbutstringz.wordpress.com.