Photo: Design: F Inomata/Recording Academy
Damien Escobar Showcases His Sultry Violin Sounds For Press Play
The pop and R&B-influenced violinist performs an original song, "Phoenix," letting his passion shine through on the latest episode of the Recording Academy's newest video series, Press Play
Violinist Damien Escobar's journey is deeply inspiring, involving a rise to fame with his brother, a fall of hard luck and a surge of perseverance and hard work to restart his career as a solo artist. You can feel his passion for music—and life—in his performances. Luckily for you, he is the star in the third-ever episode of the Recording Academy's latest video series, Press Play, which will let you discover, get to know and love artists you may not have heard of yet through original performances.
In this episode Escobar performs "Phoenix," which he wrote for his sophomore solo album, 2017's Boundless. The song's name comes from the mythical bird of the same name, inspired by the idea to "be gone with what was and accepting what is." While the violin may be his primary instrument in his music, his sound is far from simply classical, with his style more along the lines of a mix of classical, R&B, jazz & pop
Music has always played an important part of the artist's life. Born in Queens in New York City, he started playing music at a young age, performing in the city's subway platforms as a kid and even became one of the youngest people to attend the prestigious Julliard School of Music when he was just 9 years old. He and his brother formed a group called Nuttin But Stringz, where they both played violin, and gained global rose to fame after they appeared on "America's Got Talent" in 2003. But commercial success was not without some major challenges for Escobar; after they split up he put down his beloved violin and ended up homeless for a period of time, having to completely rebuild his life.
After rediscovering his passion and returning to his violin, he released his debut album, Sensual Melodies, in 2013. He also embarked on a solo headline tour for the first time, and in the spirit of a true bootstrapping indie artist, funded the tour from his own pocket.
Escobar and his brother were invited to perform at White House twice, during President George W. Bush's time in office and during President Barack Obama's inauguration. Their music was featured in several commercials and movies, including the film Step Up during their time as Nuttin but Stringz. Now, as a solo artist, Escobar has partnered with Mitsubishi in a recent campaign of theirs. His passion for his art continues to burn bright, and he surely has more up his sleeves.
Since his return and rebirth as an artist, he has not only inspired others with his story but also put out his sophomore album, performed at events hosted by the likes of Oprah, published a children's book, The Sound Of Strings, and even designed his own line of custom violins for the outside-of-the-box musicians like himself.
Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY
Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business
The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.
In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs
Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage
What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.
Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.