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With its scintillating contemporary qualities, the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble has been hailed for revitalizing and reshaping a type of ensemble music that enjoyed nationwide popularity at the turn of the 20th century. Through its array of mandolins, mandola, mandocello, violin, guitar and bass, NME commands expressive string colors of kaleidoscopic range and variety.

Founded in 1991 by Butch Baldassari of the Blair School of Music, NME performs period arrangements for mandolin orchestra along with animated transcriptions of classical, jazz and pop music, along with new music from contemporary composers.

NME has performed at numerous venues and festivals throughout the country including the Over The Rhine in Cincinnati, Atlanta's Taste of the South and Sewanee Music Festival in Tennessee. Television performances include TNN's Country News, CBS Sunday Morning and the PBS production Tennessee Crossroads.

The group's most recent recording is the critically acclaimed Bach, Beatles, Bluegrass (SoundArt) released in October 2003.

All The Rage (New World) was presented the 1999 Indie Award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Recording (AFIM) and Best Classical Recording at the Nashville Music Awards. NME's other recordings include Gifts (Columbia) and Plectrasonics (CMH).

"NME is a fabulous listening experience."
- Mark O' Connor

"In this unplugged era, NME fits right in."
- Diane Samms Rush, Knight-Ridder Newspapers

"NME offers a unique ensemble sound in string music today."
- Norman Levine, Classical Mandolin Society of America

The players are now:

Matt Flinner ...First Mando
Matt Combs...Second Mando and Violin
Walter Carter...Mandola
John Hedgecoth...Mandocello
Mark Howard...Guitar
David Spicher...Bass
(Blake Baldassari...part-time guitar)

Download high-resolution photos of NME.

Current tour dates can be found at this location.

This feature article about the NME recently appeared in the Nashville Tennessean.

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