"Strong principal player. The Beethoven was exquisite." -Victor Yampolsky, Maestro, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra
"She plays with a fierce, head-snapping intensity"--Mike Fornatale, Left Banke Lead Singer
"She tells a story with her music" --James Riccardo, Teacher/Violinist, Soloist with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra
"We work well together. Great energy!" --Cee Lo Green, on tour with Gnarls Barkely
St. Olaf Orchestra alum, CARRIE BARTSCH, lives, loves and laughs music. She studied classical violin with Hanley Dawes, Rudolf Lekhter, and James Riccardo.
She then followed her violin around the States and Europe, and by accident, went to Hollywood, stayed, and performed, toured and/or recorded with Gnarls Barkely, Brian Wilson, Love with Arthur Lee, Kanye West, 30 Seconds to Mars, Three Dog Night, The Left Banke, Apple Hill Chamber Music Ensembles (New Hampshire), members of The Kinks and Dramarama, Jane's Addiction, the Krakow Philharmonic and whomoever asked, "Can you show up?"
She appeared with Kanye West; the Crystal Cathedral orchestra; the TV show "House,"; David Benoit's Orchestra at the Kodak Theatre; the movie "Walk Hard"; and a Conan O'Brien Tonight Show episode. She recorded on several albums, TV show and movie tracks, including but not limited to the Ellen DeGeneres Show; Drawn Together and other fun cartoons; A & E biography specials; Nickelodeon shows; serious documentaries; and did movie stuff with Jack Black and Mandy Patinkin.
She has also shared the stage with: Hal Wilner's SNL Randy Newman and Firesign Theatre productions, John C. Reilly, Jackson Browne, John Goodman, George Wendt, Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Tom Lenk (Buffy), Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Gavin Friday, Victoria Williams, Tom Fowler (Ray Charles Trio) Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors), Frank Conniff (MST 3000), Paul F. Tomkins, Samm Levine (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jimmy Fallon, Todd Rundgren, and Grant Lee Phillips.
She then succumbed to live comedy improv sketches as Dave "Gruber" Allen's Scandinavian sidekick at Largo, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and the Steve Allen Theatre. Other credits include work with Jerry Seinfeld co-stars, Jay Leno writers, and suspicious Sarah Silverman Show stage-folk.
Currently, she has the rare honor to work exclusively with renowned South Dakota Blues master, finger-picking king of the Midwest, and acclaimed artist/gallery owner, Mr. JAMES VAN NUYS.
JAMES VAN NUYS has lived in Rapid City, South Dakota on and off since he was one year old. During high school at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio he taught himself to play guitar, banjo and piano. He attended Wilmington College, in Ohio, where he earned a degree in music composition. While there, he performed Medieval and Renaissance music on bass viola da gamba with the Collegium Musicum ensemble. During the 1980s he played in numerous punk and new wave bands in Columbus, Ohio, and a Celtic band in Portland, Oregon. He also put in a stretch as a recording engineer at Silvery Moon Studio in Los Angeles.
Returning to Rapid City in 1990, James put together The CounterPlayers, a 5-piece band that explored Celtic, folk, and classical music. He was featured in Rapid City's first Guitar Masters concert in 1996 and has performed at that event 5 times during it's 20 year history. James does accoustic solo or duo gigs almost every weekend and occasionally puts together larger groups when a more rockin' electric blues sound is called for.
James and Carrie began putting together their duo act in 2011. Their unique combination of influences and superb musicianship never fail to impress audiences; they can provide subtle background music when appropriate, but can also put on an entertaining and/or educational program. Carrie's soulful violin brings the exotic flavor of gypsy jazz and tango into the mix, and her sense of fun shines through her vocal renditions of popular jazz songs from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. James has delved deeply into the history of blues, ragtime and folk music, in addition to having decades of experience as lead guitarist in rock and country bands. He has a vast repertoire of covers in various genres and also combines these influences in original songs and instrumentals.
"You made the string quartet with your passion." --Audience member at Gene Autry Museum Chamber Recital, Hollywood
"You play well. Thank you for adding to my band." --Jared Leto, 30 Seconds to Mars
"You keep it up, girl!" --David Bowie, Nokia Theatre at Times Square Show
"Beautiful String Sound" --Brian Wilson during "Smile" rehearsals
"I like your voice . . .cool . . .now, that was funny!" --comedian Dave "Gruber" Allen
"This was the best musical experience I have ever had on my show" -Conan O'Brien, Tonight Show, 30 Seconds to Mars
Now it's everything under the sun, all for you.