Boston-based multi-instrumentalist Ian Ethan Case, best known for his innovative approach to the 18-string acoustic double-neck guitar, has been performing in listening rooms around the country for the past eight years and is increasingly gaining recognition both for his unique instrumental compositions and for the highly original playing methods which are required to perform them.
One of only about five musicians worldwide to tackle the double-neck guitar in earnest, he fluidly combines a variety of self-invented playing techniques necessitated by his multi-layered compositions, which, taken together, have begun to establish the instrument's musical validity perhaps more so than the work of any other artist. While audiences consistently remark on the fascinating visual aspects of watching Ian play "as he rambunctiously weaves between fretboards, slapping and tapping the sounds of the guitar to life seemingly effortlessly in a style that you've likely never seen before" (Port Orchard Independent), his unusual methods are simply byproducts of the rich, heartfelt, and powerfully uplifting music that he writes and plays.
Emmy-winning composer and producer Peter Bruce Wilder was one of the first to discover the young artist's talent and unique voice in the remote hills of northern VT, proclaiming in 2008: "Ian Ethan represents something so new in musical approach, that the result is near impossible to pigeon hole into a 'sounds like' statement. It has been my personal privilege to observe his unwavering and deep exploration of this new technique and on a relatively rare instrument…the original music of Ian Ethan is not to be missed."
While still completing his degree at Berklee College of Music in the mid-1990's, Bertram Lehmann started to become an integral part of the New England music scene, catching the attention of such established local artists like vocalist Rebecca Paris, pianist Bert Seager, or vibist Victor Mendoza. Starting in 1992 he also received first international exposure during tours to Israel (with pianist Sasi Shalom) and in Germany (with the trio of pianist Hiroshi Minami). In later years, Bertram performed with groups led by such internationally renown artists like Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, Dave Samuels, Paquito D'Rivera, vocalist Mili Bermejo, and many others, while also appearing alongside other Jazz and Latin music greats like Kenny Werner, Danilo Perez, George Garzone, Claudio Roditi, Romero Lubambo, and Charles Neville.
He has performed throughout the U.S. and in Russia, India, Ecuador, Mexico and Canada. Bertram has performed at distinguished venues and events that, among others, include including the Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, The Knitting Factory, The Jazz Gallery, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Columbia University in New York City as well as venues around the world. He was a winner in the 1994 "Downbeat Student Music Awards," as well as in 1996 competition "Percussionists on Fire," held by the magazine JAZZIZ. Bertram currently teaches percussion at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.