Thanks to generous underwriting by the Stowe Artist-in-Residence Program, cellist-singer-songwriter Ben Sollee and his band Kentucky Native will perform a free concert in the University of the South’s Guerry Auditorium on April 12 at 8:15 p.m.

As described on the University of the South’s website:

NPR describes Sollee as “not only an unconventional cellist, but also an unconventional human being. Recently, he took his cello, walked up the long steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the mall in D.C. and began to perform. It’s not legal to do that, but Sollee—the guy who bikes his cello across the country—is not a follower.” Visit the NPR link for Sollee’s performance framed by the Lincoln Memorial.

Sollee first came to national attention with his striking cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” (released in 2008) and then a few years later with his Tiny Desk Concert for NPR. His collaborations include Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and the 2014 Paul Simon tribute at Carnegie Hall. His music and lifestyle manifest authentic commitments to mindfulness and respect for the environment come (see his popular TedX talk). His 2010 album Dear Companion marshaled the force of song in opposition to mountaintop-removal mining. (Listen here for Sollee’s “love letter” to the Kentucky mountains.) His Kentucky upbringing furnishes material and imagery for many of his songs.

Sollee and his longtime percussionist, Jordon Ellis, serve as artists-in-residence, meeting and advising Sewanee student musicians, April 11–12. The visit and concert are sponsored by the Music Department, with financial underwriting from the Stowe Family Endowed Fund for Traditional Music.—stowe-artist-in-residence.php