Who is Damien Escobar?
Damien Escobar (known as Dame Esco) is an American violinist. He was previously in the duo Nuttin’ But Stringz, along with his brother Tourie, although since 2012 he has been performing as a solo artist. His “crossover violin” musical style consists of a mix of R&B, hip hop, pop, jazz, classical and other styles of music.
Early life & education
Escobar was born in 1988 in the Jamaica, Queens neighborhood in New York City. He lived with his single mother and older brother Tourie. He began playing the violin at the age of eight and could play Mozart by the age of nine. At the age of ten, Escobar became the youngest student accepted into the Julliard School of Music. He graduated from Juilliard at 13. He also studied at the Bloomingdale School of Music.
As kids Damien and Tourie worked as street musicians, playing on the New York City subways, as well as the Grand Central Station. In 2003, they began playing as the band Nuttin’ But Stringz. In 2005, Nuttin’ But Stringz won a talent contest at the Apollo Theater. In 2006, Escobar appeared in the film Step Up. Nuttin’ But Stringz took third place in the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent. They performed at the First inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 and won two Emmys. In 2012, Nuttin’ But Stringz separated.
After a short career as a real estate broker, Escobar returned to music with his solo act. His first solo performance was on the French TV show Taratata. He also played at the Indy Car 2012 Championship Awards Banquet, Russell Simmon’s Hip Hop Inaugural Ball and the 2013 Food & Wine event in New York City. In 2013, Escobar went on the I Am Me tour in order to promote his comeback. He released his first solo album “Sensual Melodies” in 2014.
In 2014, he authored an autobiographical children’s book titled “The Sound of Strings.” The same year he performed at Oprah’s “The Life You Want” weekend tour. Escobar released his first pop single “Freedom” in September 2015, which premiered at #15 on the iTunes chart.
In 2007, Escobar founded the Violins Against Violence foundation. Escobar also works with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, UNICEF and Kennedy’s Cause, a charity that benefits children with lymphatic malformation. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Jamaica YMCA. In 2013, he hosted an event that raised over $50,000 for the Jamaica YMCA. In 2014, Escobar performed a rendition of We Shall Overcome in honor of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell.
The Dawn of The Crossover Violin Music Style
Following the path of his fellow artist, Lindsey Stirling, as well as others, Damien developed his unique “Crossover Violin” Music Style. It is of no wonder that in a relatively short time he has achieved popularity on his Youtube channel, since the “Crossover Violin” Music Style is at its peak, although it is because of his great talent that he distinguished himself from the rest of the artists. Will Damien be the new Lindsey Stirling? I think the odds are in his favor, but only the time will tell.
You can check his performance out on the following video.