Kentucky native Ben Sollee is a genre-bending cellist and songwriter who is known for electrifying performances. Tonight, he is joined by Jordan Ellis, longtime collaborator and drummer.
Like his contemporaries Chris Thile and Abigail Washburn, Sollee’s brilliant music is difficult to categorize. Following a performance at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, the New York Times remarked how Sollee’s “…meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” It’s Ben’s quality of narrative and presence on stage that unifies his musical influences.
In the past few years, Sollee’s musical career has expanded beyond the stage into film and TV. Shows like ABC’s Parenthood and HBO’s Weeds have placed featured Ben’s songs. In 2013, he was invited by director Mark Steven Johnson to write a song for the film Killing Season starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. Ben has also has written music for ballet, most recently performing with the North Carolina Dance Theater in the world premiere of Dangerous Liaisons, and is currently at work on scores for several pieces of theatre.
Back in Kentucky, Ben has devoted a tremendous amount of energy to raising awareness about the practice of mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia. His 2010 collaborative album Dear Companion (Sub Pop) brought together fellow Kentucky artist Daniel Martin Moore with producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) to shed light on the issue. In teaming up with international organizations such as Patagonia Clothing and Oxfam America, Ben has come to be known as a thoughtful activist who mobilizes his audiences to take environmental actions through the power of live music.
7:30pm | $18, $15 members (+$3 at the door)