Yamaha Expands Artist Roster With Diverse New Talent

1/19/2012 [Artists]

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis expands its roster with the signing of several diverse, gifted and highly accomplished musical artists: trombonists Reggie Young and David Finlayson, violinist David Ragsdale and crossover classical music sensation 2CELLOS.

"These remarkable musicians enrich our celebrated artist roster," said John Wittmann, Director, Artist Relations, Yamaha Corporation of America. "They each bring a unique talent and fresh perspective to the music scene and attract a widely diverse audience. We look forward to helping each of them build on their unique contributions through their association with Yamaha."

2CELLOS is a duo consisting of cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, accomplished musicians who both have played the cello since childhood. Luka recently completed studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, while Stjepan completed his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Both members have performed all over the world at renowned venues including London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus, and each boasts a slew of first-place prizes in international cello competitions.

Their passionate dueling cellos rendition of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" became a near-instant Internet sensation, receiving over five million hits on YouTube in less than three months. The duo recently launched their debut album featuring unique versions of well-known rock and pop songs, including "Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon), "The Resistance" (Muse), "With or Without You" (U2), "Viva La Vida" (Coldplay) and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana).

Reggie Young (Trombone, Earth Wind & Fire) a Southern California native, began playing trombone at the ripe age of 12. By the time he was 14, Reggie had already played his first professional gig with the Henry Grant Big Band featuring Les McCann and had begun studying privately with world-renowned trombonist George Bohanon. He graduated early from Locke High School to attend the Los Angeles City College where he was subsequently offered an opportunity to tour with Ray Charles and his orchestra at just 18-years old. After touring briefly with Ray Charles, Reggie became music director of several off-Broadway plays in the Los Angeles area.

Since then, Reggie's trombone artistry has taken him around the world to play for dignitaries, queens and kings, as well as two presidents of the United States. Reggie has been the trombonist for the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire for the past 24 years and has also been an orchestra member of the hit television show, Dancing with the Stars, since its inception in 2005.

Having been born into a military family in Washington, D.C., David Finlayson (Trombone, New York Philharmonic) spent much of his early life in many different parts of the world. He began his music career in Germany at the age of six, where he was first introduced to the piano. However, he found himself more interested in the trombone by the age of 13 and became an avid player. In 1972, he joined the University of Michigan School of Music, which helped propel him into his symphonic career at the Flint Symphony and Toledo Symphony Orchestras.

Shortly after he graduated, David was appointed assistant principal trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for six seasons before joining the New York Philharmonic as a featured soloist and recitalist. David has performed on stages worldwide and has made appearances on National Public Radio, The Today Show and the National Arts Series. David is also an active teacher of the arts in New York City and holds positions on the trombone faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music and Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music.

David Ragsdale (Violin, Kansas) received his first violin at the tender age of three and has been playing ever since. David studied under the tutelage of renowned classical teachers throughout his life, and in 1980, received a scholarship at the University of Tulsa where he studied with acclaimed instructor Nell Gotkovsky. There, he also played with the Tulsa Philharmonic and moonlighted as a string arranger, violinist and guitarist at what is now Universal Music and Post Studios.

After graduating, David toured with Nashville's Louise Mandrell for four years, followed by a seven-year stint with legendary rock group, Kansas. During his tenure with the band, he also recorded with iconic popular artists, Smashing Pumpkins, Jason Bonham and Queensryche. He recently re-released his solo CD, "David and Goliath," on which he showcases his talent on both the violin and guitar and has also returned to tour with Kansas once again.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/press.

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