Nicole Pinnell and Morgan Case


Nicole Pinnell is a versatile cellist who performs classical, pop, rock and jazz. She is a veteran of the film and album industry, having played on hundreds of scores for film as well as several hundred CDs including three nominated for the Grammy Award. Nicole has has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Leonard Slatkin, The Piano Guys, Josh Groban, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Quincy Jones, Paige and Plant (formerly Led Zeppelin) and Metallica, among others. Nicole is a skilled teacher and in 2012 she was awarded Teacher of the Year by Utah’s American String Teacher Association. Nicole performs regularly with the Utah Symphony, Jenny Oaks Baker, Nathan Pacheco and Kurt Bestor . Nicole began the cello at age 9 and by age 14 had performed in Carnegie Hall. By age 19 Nicole had won prizes in several national and international competitions. In 2014 she was selected by Yo-Yo Ma to be a part of his Silk Road Ensemble professional development program. Since that time Nicole has learned how to improvise, compose and combine technology into her skill set. She also learned the esraj, an Indian instrument. Nicole’s experience with Yo-Yo led to her debut as an improvising in a month long tour with pop artist David Archuletta in 2016. In February Nicole was a soloist on the album “Higher,” which was top of the Billboard charts in several categories including classical crossover. At the Dixie Cello Festival Nicole will perform original music with musician Morgan Case and share her ideas about creativity, improv and technology.

Morgan Case is a versatile musician who has spent several decades refining his skill sets and exploring new ground. Morgan is performing with cellist Nicole Pinnell at the Dixie Cello Festival in a presentation about their work together. Morgan began as a percussionist, winning a full-time music scholarship at University of Las Vegas Nevada. He builds all of the backing tracks that you hear in this performance. The rhythmic complexity and texture of the tracks speak to his percussive talent. After college Morgan became a singer-songwriter on guitar. Some of his songs are performed all over the country. Later Morgan decided to become a recording engineer and became so skilled that he purchased Mercury Man recordings and recorded, mixed, mastered and produced tracks for the company. Morgan is also the mastermind behind all of the technology you will see at the Dixie Cello Festival. The technology demonstrated will include electronic backing tracks, close and contact micing, amps, mixing and effects for all five instruments used in the performance (cello, esraj, sitar, guitar and voice). The gear used includes iPads and apps as well as the more traditional pedal boards that you will see Morgan and Nicole setting with their feet. It took several months to work through the challenges of performing while simultaneously being the sound engineer for the ensemble. Morgan performs on sitar, guitar and voice in the group. Morgan also plays chirango, ukulele, bass and keyboards.