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August 28, 2013
Soulful, indie-tinged folk
Wednesday, August 28
Known for his thrilling cello playing that incorporates new techniques to create a unique mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz and R&B, Ben Sollee possesses rough, smooth, smoky vocal stylings and a knack for intricate arrangements. Sollee shares himself completely with his audience, whether it be by personal lyrics, or his commitment to the environment. In 2012, Sollee self-released his fourth album, Half-Made Man, a revealing, deeply moving album that explores a man trying to figure himself out, just as we all are.
Sollee first gained major notice with his 2008 debut, Learning to Bend, which led NPR’s Morning Edition to call him one of the “Top Ten Great Unknown Artists” of the year. Later, All Things Considered called his debut “an inspired collection of acoustic, folk and jazz-? flavored songs, filled with hope and the earnest belief that the world is good.” Around the same time, Sollee was touring the world with Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet alongside Grammy nominee Casey Driessen and multi-?Grammy winner Bela Fleck. Sollee’s music drew the attention of My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, who produced his second full-length album, a collaboration with Daniel Martin Moore. In 2010 they released Dear Companion, a stunning collection of songs meant to inspire environmental stewardship.
Between touring and releasing an album, in the past year Sollee has performed at TEDxSan Diego, held workshops in public schools in Kentucky, and composed and recorded performances for 2 feature-length films and 2 original ballet pieces, including a live performance of Dangerous Liaisons with the North Carolina Dance Theatre. Sollee wrote his first original film score for the documentary Maidentrip, which premiered and won the Audience Award for Vision at SXSW Film 2013. He is also the featured solo cellist in the upcoming film Killing Season, starring Robert DeNiro and John Travolta.
Ben Sollee was born and raised in Kentucky. Learned to play cello in Kentucky. Will likely always live in Kentucky.