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It’s electric

Founded in 2006, Bella Electric Strings has plugged in the violin and made it big business. There is currently a revolving cast of 30 musicians, all women and all classically trained, playing the music of Queen, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and the Beatles. The players wear sparkly, tight clothes. There is more than a touch of vaudeville.

To top off the appeal of their upcoming concert, founder Nina DiGregorio is originally from Lewiston and is a UB grad. The seeds of Bella Electric Strings were sown when she heard her father, a Niagara County sheriff’s deputy, playing his guitar. “I thought it was fun to be able to take a famous guitar solo by Jimi Hendrix and transfer it to the violin because nobody ever heard anything like that before,” she told The News a couple of years ago. “That was the origins of me dabbling in the electric rock violin.”

DiGregorio was a solo violinist for two years in Toni Braxton’s band. She also spent a couple of years in Wayne Newton’s orchestra. Bella Electric Strings has joined an impressive number of pop acts on stage, including Beyoncé, Shakira and Andrea Bocelli. There are currently about 30 rotating violinists, all under DiGregorio’s leadership. Four of them will be at the Riviera Theatre at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday. Among them will be DiGregorio, celebrating her first performance on a Buffalo stage after a decade living in Las Vegas.

Tickets are $25, and the concert also features, as special guests, the Doyle Brothers. Call 692-2413.

– Mary Kunz Goldman

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