Brian Hallermann–Namba Gear Featured Artist

IMG_1708Brian Hallermann (producer & trumpet), a.k.a. DJ Howie J

Minneapolis/St Paul, MN


Beginning on piano at age 8 and trumpet at 10, Brian played both into high school where he also added classical organ until graduation.

After a year of being a chemist, the passion for music won out and pulled him towards a degree in music.  Brian studied music education and applied trumpet studies at the University of MN-Duluth, obtained his Associate of Applied Science in audio production at McNally Smith College of Music and finished his B.M. Ed at Augsburg College. Brian has studied trumpet with Dr. George Hitt, Dr. Ramon Vasquez, Dr. Lynn Erickson, and Dave Jensen as well as organ with Dr. Justin Rubin and currently, W. Zachary Taylor.

Brian is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institutes of MN where he teaches advanced studio techniques, digital audio, and live sound and production.

Current performing endeavors include playing trumpet and producing for Ménage Quad, an 8 piece funk/swing hop band, DJ’ing for private events, and working with new and developing artists of many genres. 

What do you like best about your Lil Namba Remix Backpack?

“I bought a Namba bag when I was looking for something more music specific than my Targus backpack.  I liked many of the functions like the cable management and a "closed" design that is lockable.  Also, the Namba backpacks sit completely different on your back than a regular bag.  You wear a Namba, and carry everything else.  I can load my Namba Remix bag down and still be comfortable carrying it everywhere.

I buy equipment to use.  I have brought my Namba to Live Sound, DJ, and performing gigs and always have room for everything.  I’ve been called the technology Mary Poppins…always have what I need with me.”

120824 Brian H021

Kelly Brightwell – Namba Gear Featured Artist

Kelly Brightwell (songwriter & performer)

Portland, Oregon


Shimmering Northwest Americana. Imagine Sarah McLachlan and Patty Griffin hanging out after an Over the Rhine concert, drinking Stumptown coffee and enjoying the rain…

Kellynamba picIt’s been ten years since her debut CD “Wait for Your Spring”, was released, and three years since she put a solo music career on hold to raise her daughter Carissa. “Hearts and Home”, her new album, is the product of these years of soul-searching, growing as a person and as a musician, and reflects what only time can provide… maturity.

She explains, “I made a conscious decision to take a break, to lay things down, knowing that I’d pick them back up again. I would actually call my time away a transformation. ‘Hearts and Home’ is a kind of map of those changes — life changes as well as artistic changes.”

This change is also reflected in the rootsy, Americana sound of “Hearts and Home”. Produced by Rob Stroup (8 Ball Studio), with his entourage of high-caliber players (the Blame, Moody Little Sister), the album is a fully realized… “His vision for the album really amplified the emotional content of my songs”, she says. “It’s not a surprise, after such a rich studio experience, that I’m playing with my own band now!”

Kelly, what do you like best about your Namba Gear bag?

The Li’l Namba Remix bag is the most hard-working urban daypack I have ever had the pleasure of abusing! As someone who has dealt with Repetitive Stress Injuries, I can attest to the necessity of having an ergonomically correct way to carry my gear. When I’m wearing my solo singer/songwriter hat, my Li’l Namba can carry everything I need in a protected and organized way: from pedals and DI box, to CDs and a laptop.

For my full-band gigs, it keeps my jumble of instrument and equipment cables straight, and collects other necessary odds and ends in its many pockets, flaps and a secret compartment…

What’s your favorite music software?

Um, pen and paper? Seriously… there’s something about the movement of my hand across a notebook that accesses a more creative, image-based, right brain type of songwriting. That said, I am very excited to get some recording software on my MacBook (a college graduation present to myself this past summer:) The way my life looks now, as the mother of a preschooler, being able to record music myself — wherever I am when the Muse speaks — is practical and essential.

Do you have a favorite remote recording location?

“Remote” isn’t an option for me these days. “Hidden” is more do-able: a locked bathroom, my (wo)man cave in the basement, the covered porch in winter, even a parked car can be solitude enough to create!

Catch Kelly Brightwell in 2014! She’ll be logging in some West Coast tour dates with her band, as well as visiting conferences and festivals across the country…. Album available at CD Baby and iTunes:

Kelly allowed us to use two of her songs from her debut CD “Wait for Your Spring” as the soundtrack for our video Namba Gear From Planet Earth, where we show many of our user submitted photos. Thanks again, Kelly.

Matthew Luker–Namba Gear Featured Artist

MattLuker.v2Matthew Luker – (keyboardist, songwriter) Zookeeper’s Palace

Los Angeles, CA 


NAMBA GEARGoBoard 61 Keyboard Gig Bag

Matthew Luker is a keyboard player, songwriter and backing vocalist for Zookeeper’s Palace. Though ZkP’s music is very complex and there are many sounds and parts to cover, Luker’s current approach is very unique and minimalist by using only a single 61 key controller with virtual keyboards, samples and complex keyboard splits that he switches on the fly. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even notice the powerful tablet convertible computer that quietly controls the entire operation. This inventive configuration provides maximum flexibility and potential with minimal gear in an easily transportable setup.

With an eclectic mix of musicians hailing from across the United States, the sonic realm of Zookeeper’s Palace can best be described as tribal space-rock with a progressive edge. Melding a unique yet accessible blend of unearthly guitars, polyrhythmic beats, tasty keyboards, groove-ridden bass lines and infectious vocal harmonies, the ZkP sound is a testament to how they insist on shifting the face of rock. This Los Angeles-based band, known for its visceral live show, bridges a diverse audience with its distinguishing sonic vision. “Red Sky Ruminations,” their debut concept album, is a jungle opus that skirts the lines of life and death, love and loss, and everything in between.


“I love that my Namba gear bag transports and protects the entire guts of my keyboard rig in a smartly designed compact package. The GoBoard 61 is an integral part of my transport that gets regular use and shows little wear; I don’t know what I’d do without it! Thank you Namba Gear.”

Carmen Rizzo World Tour with Namba Gear’s GoBoard 49 Keyboard Gig Bag

CarmenRizzoGB49v2When Carmen Rizzo asked us what we thought about him using the GB49 Keyboard Gig Bag for his 2012 Niyaz World Tour, we were all for it until he mentioned that he was going to check the bag with his Novation UltraNova synth as luggage. As much as we wanted him to use our product and as confident as we are about it standing up to the road use, at the end of the day it is still a gig bag; A bag reinforced with rigid plastic inserts, a bag using 1680D poly/nylon material, the best keyboard gig bag on the planet, but still a bag. So we reluctantly advised Carmen to get a road case.

We spoke with Carmen at the end of January 2013 at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA and he told us that he ignored our advice. He literally traveled all over the world, checking his GoBoard 49 with UltraNova synth inside on flight after flight. Here is what Carmen has to say, “Please set your mind at ease, If you were having doubts if your Namba Gear soft keyboard case was really road worthy or really have tested it on long flights etc. I am here to tell you IT WORKS! I have taken that bag all over the world, from LA, Montreal, Paris, London even Israel and it is bullet proof! I was a bit nervous I must say but after a long test drive, I love it, and I’m taking it on my next tour with full confidence!! Protection at its finest. THANK YOU!”

Matthew London – Namba Gear Featured Artist

Matthew London (musician, producer, educator)

New York City, New York

MatLon Productions


MatthewLondonMatthew London, originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-talented musician and producer who currently resides in the NY/NJ area. Matthew London received his Bachelors degree in Music Education from Nyack College where he majored in Piano and Percussion. He is currently a Music Director at his church and has worked with several independent artist, musicians and churches in the region producing, arranging, and performing in genres ranging from Gospel/Pop/R&B. Matthew London has performed in some of the most popular and prestigious venues in NYC such as Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln center, The Bitter End, The Metropolitan Room, Rockwood Music Hall, Live at Best Buy Concert Series, The Triad, Sullivan Hall, Bower Poetry Club, and various Colleges and Churches as well.

MatthewLondon2Matthew’s recent projects include:

Sattanya Robinson – Currently in the studio working on some of her songs for her Debut Album. Her EP songs were featured on more than 10 radio stations in NYC including WLIB 1190am and VOP Radio107.9 FM as well as  Love 101fm in Jamaica W.I. and London, England. Her album is set to release sometime early this year.

Angeli Kakade – Pop singer. Currently performing with Angeli for about three years, travelling from the east coast to California hitting the stages with her incredible talent and music.

Summer Williams – R&B Singer. Currently working with R&B diva Summer as a keyboardist/band director and performing on venues and shows.

Gordon Andres – Hip Hop and R&B singer. Performing with Gordon as a Keyboardist in his FLIP CITY band.

Ari London – She is my wife and talented singer that I have been privileged to work with for several years. We are starting her new project in 2013. We will be working on EPs and concerts then an album release for the end of 2013 or early 2014.

What do you like best about your Namba Gear?

What I like best about my Big Namba Studio back pack is that I can carry around my Laptop, Novation Nocturn 25 key controller and Saffire 6 audio card, headphones and other accessories with me to any live venue or studio with ease whether I am driving or taking the train in NYC. The bag is extremely sturdy and weather proof in my opinion. It does not matter if it is snowing, raining or sunny outside, my gear is always intact and free from damage. I also love the Velcro ties that come in handy for my patch cables and USB cables. Every where I go I get stares and comments like, "cool bag man" and "where can I get one of those".

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Phoebe Blume – Namba Gear Featured Artist

Songwriter Phoebe Blume with her Namba Gear Shaka Laptop Messenger Bag

Phoebe Blume (songwriter)




NAMBA GEAR: Shaka Laptop Messenger Bag

Phoebe Blume’s listeners are cradled through intimate journeys. The rich melodies and deep musical delivery of her songs are crafted and arranged with the utmost care, designed to carry off the listener. Honest and cutting, but sometimes tender and romantic, Blume’s lyrics peppered with irony tell timeless, emotional stories through sophisticated means. Phoebe’s time spent in the deep south shows through in blues-flavored melodies, while her years of classical training are encapsulated in rich, string-enhanced music-beds and melodies.

“Without a doubt, the most unique record I’ve heard in 2009. It’s a record that get’s better every time I listen to it,” (Roy Elkins, CEO, Broadjam, Inc.). Phoebe Blume’s debut album, The Homing Beasts, (September, 2009) received high acclaim as a transformational piece spanning multiple genres. Said Rex Benson, (Rex Benson Music Group) “the package has amazing variety and humor…not to mention a fair share of angst…It’s rare these days to hear such story-telling.” Now, September 2011 marked the release of Blume’s second album, “Into Your Fold” and she has taken her writing to a new level with an excellent new group of performers, a rich vibe, and her strongest lyrics and delivery…yet. “With the release of her CD Into Your Fold [Phoebe Blume] proves that love and heartbreak are intertwined.” Says Liam Sullivan, author of Making the Scene Nashville (2011) “She is a true artist and one who is in total control of her songwriting craft.”

Recently, Phoebe’s award-winning music is catching the attention of critics and A&R alike. She has music signed with Rescue Records, SYNCHUP, MTV and Rumblefish, and is featured on two compilation CDs: one with Urban Angel Music out of Belfast, Ireland, and the other with Deep South Entertainment in Raleigh, NC.


I recently showcased my latest album, Into Your Fold, with a carefully-produced concert at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon. I am currently working with engineers at Velvet Thunder Sound Systems to develop a live album, available as a free download, within the next few months. Also, three videos from the Hult show will appear on my YouTube page.

I have almost completed the writing on a third studio album. I am excited to bring the band into the studio. There will be a surprise guest or two, as well. This new album will be a more stylized approach to my arrangements, and more classically-influenced.


Are you kidding? All of it.

But honestly, I like the Shaka bag’s durability and strength. I need a sturdy bag to protect my laptop and mics and all the pockets hold everything else I need…from jumpdrives to pens. I also LOVE the heavyweight clasp.


I have recorded in a variety of spaces. In little apartments I’ve had, I would choose the biggest closet and stuff it with clothes and bring in my mic. Once, when I was housesitting, I had just written “Does He Hate Me” and found the littlest bathroom in the house and recorded in there. The family dog kept scratching at the door which became a little annoying because I had to keep starting over. My favorite place now is in my home studio.


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