While laying up in at the Grand View Resort in Las Vegas Nevada, last October while distributing the latest issue of Filipino Soul Magazine, in the United States, I got an invite to see a group that was burning up Vegas Strip on Face Book, called: Bella’s Electric Strings, AKA “Femmes of Rock”, I called their Manager Michael Licata, unable to get backstage passes for the show or a ticket due to it being sold out, but still in oz’s over the group, “I just had to have them” on the Cover of my next issue. After sending over my Credentials and weeks later I was blessed to have an interview with Nina DiGregorio, the Founder and lead violinist.

Nina, a Yamaha string artist, is a classically trained violinist, bass player, writer/arranger, vocalist, and pianist, she has performed as a soloist and string arranger with the some of the biggest names in the business. She arranged and performed strings with The Killers for President Obama and on one of their recent albums. Television credits include the Latin Grammys with Shakira, being featured on the Beyonce “I am…Yours” DVD Other performance credits include Stevie Wonder, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Wayne Newton, Cee-lo Green, John Legend, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Donna Summer, Mary J Blige and Jay Z, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marco Antonio Solis, and America’s Got Talent Season One with Bella Electric Strings, and many more. I don’t know about you but this girl “Got Soul”! (There is so much about this Extraordinary Artist and Group that it would be too easy to just “copy and paste” from the internet their website and this column would write itself. So, google the Group and Nina, like I did! Full disclosure).

The Group consisting of many beautiful girls each one bringing their own special talent and spin on the Rock Classics through Electric Strings. Christina Riegert, Violinist, Chandra Meibalane, Violinist, Carissa Werner Violini, Adrianna Thurber, Violinist, Zuzana Engererova, Celist, Ginny Luke Vocals & Violin, Marlo Zemartis. Violinist, and Lacy Rostyak, Violinist, Krista Solars, Violinist, Leah Metzler, Cellist, Brittany Cotto, Violinist. Plaing the hell out of songs from music of AC/DC, ELO, Queen, LED Zeppelin, The Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Metallica, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and more. The Boys in the Band consist of Season Musicians like Michael Licata, Drummer/Manager Director of Sales & Marketing (Who made this interview possible) Michael Kelly Bass, John Wedemeyer Guitar, David King Lead technician/Stage manager, Brody Dolyniuk Technical Director, Douglas Tayor Technician/Consiguere, Jason Tanzer Studio Production/Engineering/Creative.

As Ed McMahon, of the Johnny Carson, Show Would Say: Heeerrreeee Nina!

FS: First let me say that you guys rock! I wish nothing but sweet success to all of you and your time has come

Nina: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me! FS: Where are you from?

Nina: I grew up in a small historic village in western New York called Lewiston. It is not far from Niagara Falls/ Buffalo. FS: Before we go to where you are today lets go back. I once was on the Board of New York Islip Arts Council, we were the only Organization to host the New York Philharmonic. I got a chance to interview 4 of the Artists and when I ask them what made them pick up an instrument. They all answered “My Mother Made Me Do It” what was your reason?

Nina: My first time playing an instrument, I was just a baby. My mom used to practice piano at home as a hobby, and I would push her out of the way to play. She said I was picking out tunes by 2-3 years old. FS: The violin is concerned a nerdy instrument, why the violin?

Nina: I wanted to play the saxophone, but the band director told me I was too small and wouldn’t be able to carry it to the bus. He suggested the violin because it was lighter. FS: Can you tell us about your first public recital what was that like for you and the genre of music you played

Nina: I performed Viotti concerto at 14 years old with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. It was my first solo public performance of substance. FS: I assume you were in a school band can you they us when you joined your first group and that first paid gig special to every starting out artist?

Nina: Started violin and orchestra in the 4th grade. By middle school, I had a string quartet and we would play occasional weddings. $50 each seemed like we were rich back then. FS: Everyone was a struggling artist at one time, what jobs you had to do to make ends meet while pursing your dream?

Nine: When I was in high school, I taught violin lessons and also worked at CVS pharmacy and waitresses at my uncle’s restaurant. I’ve always been a workaholic. FS: How did a young artist like you enter the fast lane to play with some of our greatest Rock bands ever and can you name a few?

Nina: I moved to Las Vegas and quickly started making friends and networking. One gig led to another and it just spiraled from there. The networking is the most important part of getting your foot in the door. I’ve performed with David Foster, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Earth, Wind and Fire, Beyonce, and more. FS: As being musician for other groups what was your pinnacle and in what group, country, or Arena?

Nina: Performing onstage with Stevie Wonder was definitely one of those moments where you sit back and say “wow, I’m making music with a legend right now.” FS: Do you have a funny moment or story you like to tell with any particular group or artist?

Nina: My first time playing in the Cheap Trick plays Sgt. Pepper show, the dress code was “rocker black.” I wore rocker black, but I also wore my checkerboard Vans shoes to match Rick Nielsen’s famous guitar. I was getting chewed out by the contractor about the shoes when Rick walks buy and says “hey great shoes!” FS: It’s not uncommon for artists to come from behind and take center stage (can you give me a little background on the other members, names and where they are from) at what point did the 4 of you said to one another “Shit We Are Hot Lt’s Take This On Th Road”?

Nina: We have about 10 cast members who perform with us from all over the world. Some are from LA, Indiana, even Slovakia. We all came together in the gigging world between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. We decided to turn it into a touring show a few years ago when a theater owner asked us if we could headline. FS: How did you come up with the name “Femmes of Rock”?

Nina: The show was originally called Violin Femmes. We thought it was a clever play on words but decided to change the name when we got serious because we didn’t want it to be confusing. FS: You guys are not walking through the door your kicking it in the reception is phenomenal… there may even be a cartoon a video game for sure in Vegas…lol How does it feel watching people mouths drop

while 4 gorgeous women play string instruments with such veracity?

Nina: It is definitely different being a headliner. You are solely responsible for selling those tickets. We love winning over a crowd. They are not sure what to expect at first, and then when the see Crazy Train being played on an electric violin, they always lose it. FS: What advice would you give someone in following their dreams and their goal?

Nina: Be smart and always have a few avenues of income. I had at least 3 throughout the building process. FS: What is your vision for the group?

Nina: We hope to have multiple casts in multiple parts of the world soon. Obviously we admire groups such as Blue Man Group and Trans Siberian Orchestra. FS: where can we fined you on the internet?

Nina: www.femmesofrock.com Facebook: Femmes of Rock and Twitter: @femmesofrock YouTube: femmes of rock FS: I want to thank you for you time mad love to you for giving me your time

Nina: Thank you for having me!

If you have not gotten a chance “CLICK” or get the chance the next time you’re in Vegas, (or anywhere they are touring check their tour schedule) go see Nina’s, Bella’s Electric Strings AKA “FEMMES OF ROCK” braking all the rules as we come to know Rock Music, not just because they are beautiful women doing it but the way they are doing it!