Rufus Reid's major professional career began in Chicago and continues since 1976 in New York City. His extensive jazz background and discography reads literally like the Who's Who in jazz. He has traveled, performed and recorded with many of the great Jazz Masters. He was privileged to share many musical moments with some that have passed on: Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas, Philly Joe Jones, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Farmer.
Rufus happily continues performing and recording in collaboration with other wonderful musicians, such as Lee Konitz, Roni Ben-Hur, Bob Mintzer, George Cables, Billy Hart, Bill Mays and Marvin Stamm, as well as his own group, The Rufus Reid Quintet.
Rufus Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator as well, teaching clinics since 1971, with associations with Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, the Stanford University Jazz Workshop, and the Lake Placid Institute, to name a few. Rufus was on the faculty of William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, as Full Professor and Director of the Jazz Studies and Performance program for twenty years completing his tenure in 1999. The WPU Jazz Program continues to be considered one of the best in the country for the aspiring jazz student.
"The Barbera Transducer Bridge is by far the best and most consistent sounding pick-up I have ever experienced in over twenty years. The sound is even throughout my bass. What really is impressive is it's ability to sound good when using only a flat response with no frequency enhancement, no pre-amp boosting, on just about any generic amplifier. All the fundamentals and natural harmonics just sing out.
"The Barbera System sounds equally great when using bowing or pizzicato techniques. The reproduction of my sound is remarkable, it is rich and warm and truly a pleasure to hear and play with. I am constantly being complimented on the presence and the clarity that is projected to the audience. Soundmen are very impressed with the clarity of the signal when I go direct into their sound system.
"The bottom line for me is that I can play at any volume and still play my bass as if I were playing totally acoustic. That is a real accomplishment. Bravo Rich Barbera!" -Rufus Reid
Recorded left channel direct in, right channel Mic.
Known as the "the hip-hop violinist," the classically trained Ben-Ari has been (literally) throwing bows with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Jay-Z to Kanye West over several years. Previously appearing on Twista's hit "Overnight Celebrity" and on Kanye West's The College Dropout disc, Ben-Ari has moved on to add numerous accolades and honors to her repertoire. Actually, the petite, string virtuoso, who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern, is also well respected in jazz circles, with two critically acclaimed albums under her belt. Growing up in Israel, after serving a two-year stint in the Israeli Army, Ben-Ari decided to come to New York to study jazz. However after 2 semesters and later under the late Betty Carter, she decided she wanted to broaden her musical horizons. Appearances on NBCs Showtime At The Apollo and BETs 106 & Park prompted an unprecedented amount of correspondence from viewers who praised her captivating performances, demanding to know more about the Hip Hop Violinist. Miri became an Apollo Legend, "I don't believe in limiting myself musically," she explains, "I wanted to play music my way.
"Sound is everything. My Barbera violin pick up gives my instrument a warm, soulful and powerful sound. I always get great compliments for my violin sound!" -Miri Ben-Ari
Click here for Miri's new "Symphony of Brotherhood"video , and here for her EPK video - Live At The Apollo.
In an industry where originality is a precious commodity, recording artist, performer, producer, inventor and Emmy-winning composer Mark Wood is truly an original. Leaving behind a full classical scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music, Mark set out to realize his personal vision of a "new music." This vision of Mark's was built on his insatiable need to carve out a niche for the electric violin in rock and roll. Mark began designing and building violins that better fit this new direction. The epitome of his inventiveness is best captured by Mark's wholly unique six and nine-string fretted double-neck electric violin, "The Violator." Though he has custom designed and built numerous violins, it was the use of the double-necked electric on his CD "Voodoo Violince" that enabled Mark to shatter all previously held notions of violin sound by pushing far into the realm of sustain, volume, and tonality normally reserved for the electric guitar. The result of these efforts is Wood Violins, a company whose mission is to make Mark's incredible instruments available to the general public. Wood Violins has become highly successful in custom manufacturing and selling
the revolutionary patented Viper electricviolin.
Wood Violins offer Barbera Transducers on every instrument they make.
Recording artist Tracy Silverman has performed and recorded with a virtual who's who of the rock, pop, new music, and jazz fields, and is a leading figure in the admittedly small field of electric violinists. Known both in the concert hall and in clubs, his trademark sound is instantly recognizable. His 1999 self-produced release, Trip to the Sun has become a cult favorite which Billboard Magazine pronounced "the most adventurous Windham Hill album ever." The LA Times reported, "He was in constant melodic flow." Silverman's Electric Violin Concerto has been heralded by the Wichita Eagle as "the ideal piece for today's symphony."
Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Adams wrote his major new electric violin concerto, The Dharma at Big Sur expressly for Tracy, ("the closest thing to a genuine collaboration I've ever done with a performer"--John Adams,) and he has performed it for the gala opening of the LA Philharmonic’s new home, the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, with the LA Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen and has performed and recorded it with the BBC Symphony in Royal Albert Hall, with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and performed it with the LA Phil at WDCH and at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in NYC in 2005. A new recording of the work was released in September 2006 featuring Tracy with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Adams conductor.
Tracy was first violinist with the Turtle Island String Quartet and has been featured as a violinist and record producer on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. He produced and appears on Jim Brickman 's hit "Simple Things" and "Lovesongs and Lullabies" CD's and on 2 of Jim's popular PBS-TV Specials. An international touring artist, in 1999 Tracy was named Artist in Residence by the city of Hamburg, Germany and is a frequent concert attraction in Brazil. The Rhein Zeitung wrote "...technically brilliant to the fingertips, but overthrowing all the usual preconceived ideas".
The two MP3's to the right are excerpts from "The Dharma at Big Sur". played on a 6 string Ferrington electric violin (with Barbera Twin Hybrid Bridge). Composed by John Adams for Tracy and premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the opening of Disney Concert Hall, the newly released recording featues Tracy Silverman, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Adams, conductor.
"I've been playing, building, designing and commissioning electric 6-string instruments since 1981. I've tried just about every pickup sold, but every one of my instruments has a Barbera on it. I look for a warm yet lively tone, electric in nature, (as any pickup is,) but with a sense of resonance. It's the best sound for me." - Tracy Silverman
Play MP3 #1
6 String Electric Violin and orchestra (BBC Philharmonic)
Miroslav Vitous played music with his brother Alan and Jan Hammer while attending the Prague Conservatory, and played in a Dixieland band with trumpeter/singer Jírí Jerinek. Winning first prize in an international music competition in Vienna gave Miroslav the opportunity to study in the U.S., at Berklee College of Music. It was during this time that he was asked to play in Cannonball Adderley's group, but turned it down in order to complete his studies at Berklee. In the summer of 1967, Miroslav moved to New York to get involved in the vibrant music scene of the mid-sixties.
When Miroslav came to New York in 1967 he had the opportunity to play with a host of great musicians such as Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Brookmeyer, Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, Miles Davis and Chick Corea, to name a few. 1967 was also the year when America lost one of its jazz legends: John Coltrane. Coltrane had been a significant force in moving jazz to its free form, away from the hard bop, modal method of the fifties. Many performers during this time started integrating rock and free-form improvisations into their music. There were some rock influences, as well as experimentations with electronic instruments which were evident in many albums during this period. This is how fusion had its start, which may be broadly defined as the juxtaposition of numerous genres such as rock, funk, electronics and technology.
Miles Davis is considered to a very influential catalyst to the fusion style. From many of Miles' collaborators came the first wave of fusion musicians, such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea and Stanley Clark. One of the most celebrated fusion bands formed in 1971, was Weather Report. The musicians included saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Joe Zawinul and Miroslav on bass. Other members included Airto Moirera and Alphonse Mouzon, who contributed to their first two albums, 'Weather Report' and 'I Sing the Body Electric'. Within these albums are evidence of experimentations with electronic effects on the bass as well as electric piano and organ. Miroslav played his bass upright, which he does to this day. The sounds eminating from the bass produced a horn-like vocal quality. These albums were characterized by very fluid arrangements and a highly improvised style.
"My Barbera pickup sounds fantastic live. The tone is so clear, like my Neumann microphone but with much more power. This is the best pickup I've ever used." - Miroslav Vitous
Dave held the slot as Johnny Cash's touring and recording bassist from 1992 until Johnny's passing .
Now Dave's career has blossomed into the kind that most musicians only dream about, touring and recording with an "A" list of Roots Artists and musicians. He currently tours with Dwight Yoakam and lives and works in Nashville as one of the leading proponents of Hillbilly Slap Bass, as well as other styles of Pop, Rock and Country music. He backs this up with a solid foundation on Electric bass, adding his strong singing background whenever called upon to do so.
When not on the road or in the studio, he can be found performing at the legendary Robert's Western World in downtown Nashville, with The Don Kelly Band, the city's oldest and finest hardcore Honky-Tonk/ Hillbilly band.
Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, who she co-led for seventeen years. She has played with and written for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, the late poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman, Hasidic superstars Avraham Fried and Lipa Shmelzer, and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, Good Morning America, PBS' Great Performances, on NPR's Prairie Home Companion, Weekend Edition and New Sounds, and on the soundtrack for the L-Word.
"I've been using Barbera pickups exclusively for about twenty years...they are still the only ones I've ever encountered that reproduces the sound of the violin naturally, so that it still sounds like a violin! For traditional music such as the genre I play, klezmer, that's crucial. If I want a more processed sound for a particular purpose, I can add that later, but I can't have it has my basic sound. Wherever I've toured around the world, I've met or heard other fiddlers using different equipment, and always have an ear out for something new and better, but with each new version of the pickup, Barbera has kept ahead of the pack!" - Alicia Svigals
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Known for fusing his classical music roots with a myriad of soundscapes, Haitian-
American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) has carved a reputation for himself as a
passionately innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader.
His unique hybrid style continues to capture new music lovers worldwide. From
Australia.s Sydney Opera House to Boston.s ICA Museum, DBR is scheduled to
premiere solo works and pulsing duets off of his debut international solo album etudes4violin&electronix (Thirsty Ear Recordings). As a composer, his dramatic soulinspiring
pieces range from orchestral scores and energetic chamber works to rock
songs and electronica. All come together in his highly anticipated performance of One Loss Plus, his debut season as part of BAM.s 2007 Next Wave Festival. Other
upcoming projects include 24 Bits: Hip-Hop Studies and Etudes and Event Pieces
performed by DBR on piano and laptop; the score for Carl Hancock Rux.s contemporary
opera Makandal; ground-breaking fusion of contrasting cultures and instruments with
Elan Vytal aka DJ Scientific in DBR.s Sonata for Violin and Turntables; and ongoing
collaborations with the Orchestra of St. Luke.s, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance
Company, Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Spooky, and many others. His lively
ensemble, DBR & THE MISSION, makes its international debut at Australia.s 2008
Adelaide Festival. For everything else, visit http://www.dbrmusic.com.
"I've been playing electric-acoustic hybrid violins for nearly 15 years, and by very far, this instrument by Richard Barbera---it's six-strings, integrated volume control, dark, lush tone, and the world-famous bridge/pick-up design---is the most beautiful and inspiring instrument I have ever had the privilege of playing. It's as close to a perfect instrumentthat you might find, anywhere!"
-Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
My name is George Klabin, I am a recording engineer, and producer, and former owner of Sound Ideas Recording Studios in New York City (1969-1981). I have been involved with live recording of jazz for many decades, starting in the 1960's .
I have recorded many great jazz bassists, and I can say without a doubt that, after recording Rufus Reid recently with your pickup, that I feel that your custom made Barbera pickup is the best sounding and closest to a real microphone of all bass pickups that I have ever worked with.
George Klabin is the founder of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation which is dedicated to furthering the careers of outstanding U.S. and international jazz artists through performance, recording and distribution of their work.
Barbera Transducers are the bomb!!
What a beautiful rich sound---
For years now, whenever I play a jazz gig, I reach for my Barbera
5-string Violin it gets such a fabulous sound, and is so comfortable to play!
Chair, string dept
Berklee College of Music
Hi Rich, I just wanted to tell you hats off! You did a great job on the bridge and your pickup system sounds great on my old Kay bass. I have already done two gigs since getting it last weekend and could not be more happy. I noticed some improvements over the system I had on my bass that was stolen that had an earlier version of your pickup. The planet waves cord with the kill switch was a nice bonus too. Congrats again on your great product.
I've had my Barbera 5-string for 3 weeks now, and, in a word, I'm thrilled with it! It has readily become a trusted friend, in various gigs, rehearsals, home practice, arranging, & recording. The rich sound, balanced tone from note to note & in all registers, and ready response are inspiring me to new heights in my playing. Among other things, it brings out my inner viola, much to the surprise & delight of listeners. It right away has become my #1 instrument for amplified performance, and it's muted non-amplified sound is easy on the ears for home practicing too.
I've acquired a Baggs para DI to play the fiddle through - thanks for the recommendation. When playing through several different PAs with different soundpeople, the un-EQ'd tone has tended to be actually too thick for my taste, so I've taken to cutting the bass & low mids some to get a more acoustic-like sound, plus I tweak the tailpiece pot slightly on the bright side. I even boost the Baggs 5K presence a little - but the sound stays most satisfyingly smooth. To EQ this way is quite a refreshing situation to deal with, almost the opposite of what I've often done with amplified violin (namely, tame high-end edginess).
Overall, I'm a very happy camper -- many thanks for making this violin available to me & the world. I'm also very happy with the look of it (I'm fond of bold-flamed one-piece backs); & the case & planet waves cable are great too. Bravo !
The transducer is GREAT! I can hardly believe it. It is better than I ever expected. I thought I was just cursed or something and that I would just have to live with whatever. This is so beyond my expectations. I can dial in the exact sound I want with the tone pot. I now have exactly the sound I want no matter what amp I play through. I have used it in many different settings from a full slammin' Gospel group that is downright funky, to my Jazz group and softer music. The sound from that pickup is exactly what I wanted, everyone has commented on my tone. There I was, trying different strings, I was going to get a new amp, because of that other pickup. Yours has solved all those problems and I am freaking out how much I love it!!!I am so freaking happy right now. I waited to write this but could wait no longer, I'm here practicing and freaking out with joy. It's so great.
Thanks man, you rock.
Dear Mr. Barbera, I've been playing the electric violin I purchased from you for about 2 weeks now. The quality, sound, and set-up of this unit is everything I was hoping to find. It is difficult to compare the sound to other set-ups I've used and heard, because it far exceeds them. The sound I''ve been trying to get with various pick-ups and effects boxes has been found; without them. It is a pleasure to play with such a clear, pure, and natural sound at any volume without feedback. I can highly recommend your instruments to anyone who is looking for the ultimate amplified sound, and is tired of settling with "almost as good as" substitutes. Wood and worksmanship were also first-rate.
The violin arrived safe and sound...it's a beautiful instrument both in
appearance and sound. It has such a warm and full sound, I can't play a bad
note even if I try! I haven't been able to put it down long enough to email you
I got the violin on Wednesday. It is beautiful and sounds amazing! You've got a customer for life; thanks again!
I received my violin last Tuesday afternoon and I have to tell you that it is awesome. The first night I played it onstage the audience and the band were just knocked out at the sound. Thanks for your help with this whole dilemma. Remember when I wrote to you I was absolutely beside myself with frustration over the horrible sounding fiddles that are out there and the horrible pick-up systems. I can't believe this thing. I plug it straight into my amp and it sounds incredible! I brought in a big sack and packed up all the boxes and EQ's and all that crap that I have been using just to get a sound that was borderline tolerable and took them home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! - Louis Mock
I recently had the opportunity to buy a twin hybrid pickup kit from the electric violin shop that came in on a trade. I installed it on an 80 year old acoustic body that used to have a ---- bridge on it. I would just like to say how pleased I am with your product. I play out 10-15 times a month, just plug in direct with my wireless, and always have a gorgeous tone, no matter who runs sound. We cover everything from country to hard rock and reggae, as well as originals that span the same genres, and the tone is fat enough to compete with any instrumentation, but still very natural sounding. So once again thanks for your advice about the different pickups, and thanks for making a great bridge! - -Dan Emmett
This pickup is the single best purchase I ever made ! Natural sounding clean, and able to handle all the effects you can throw at it without feeding back. Absolutely worth every penny…..Thanx - Bobby Pickett
"I have spent my entire career as an electric violinist searching for the
perfect tone. I wanted a sound that was
balanced, smooth, and pleasing. My search was over when I discovered Rich
Barbera's custom bridge systems. Ever
since then, I have tried every other type of pickup for electric violin,
going to the NAMM show in LA and taking other
people's rigs for a test drive. Nothing comes close. Barbera is the best.
I love the look on the faces of the sound guys when I set up for a concert
- especially if they're used to dealing with
a lot of violinists. I plug in, the EQ is FLAT, and it sounds PERFECT,
every time. 30 second sound check. They're
Geoffrey Castle www.GeoffreyCastle.com.
I just came across your site when I bought my second Jensen violin from someone from Germany.
He had the latest pickup, the dual hybrid, and I thought my good old 6-string Jensen violin (9 years old) sounded so good no-one could match it.
This of course has a Barbera pickup, and made other commercial electric violins I'd played sound like toys.
The quality of the Twin Hybrid really struck me, so much better even though I was already so happy with the sound I had...
I will be in NY soon and I would like to pay you a visit to replace the 6 old string bridge for the new dual hybrid. - Xander Nichting
I installed the bridge on my bass and the sound is amazing.
Clear, superb volume, and the gut sound is now there. Feedback issues went away and I can now raise the volume up without jumping through hoops to stop the feedback. I sound an order of magnitude better and can focus on the acoustic details that weren't there before using standard pickups. First people that heard it said that it was the difference in tone was amazing and that I finally had captured the sound of the bass without a mike. - Roy McBrayer
"F_cking brilliant" - Nigel Kennedy
Rich, The pickup sounds great, far and away from anything I've used before and I've used a lot.-John Unger