Big Hassle Media
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.
He’s spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras – from Sydney, Australia to the Kennedy Center, performing his pop hits and his critically acclaimed concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
For five seasons he was a judge on the popular NBC series “The Sing Off,” which catapulted the art of a cappella into the national spotlight, and helped launch the careers of numerous a cappella groups.
Throughout his career, Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. His most recent album is a blend of pop and classical original works, in part recorded with the revered classical sextet yMusic that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
Beginning this Fall, Folds will be back to pound pianos again with cross country solo touring reminiscent of his earliest solo tours, where he defied skeptics by delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a piano.
In addition to his self-described love of performing and making music “for humans,” Folds is also an avid photographer, and is a member of the distinguished Sony Artisans of Imagery.
Folds is also an advocate for music education and music therapy as a member of Artist Committee of the Americans For The Arts, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony.
BEN FOLDS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, SO THERE, SEPTEMBER 11
NPR PREMIERED FIRST SONG TODAY
PRE-ORDERS BEGIN JULY 17
Ben Folds has announced the release of his landmark new album, So There. Hitting stores on September 11, the album is the multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer’s first for his new label New West Records, and showcases eight new pop songs recorded and arranged in collaboration with yMusic — a critically acclaimed NYC-based sextet — along with the debut recording of Folds’ 21-minute “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra,” with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and his own historic Grand Victor Sound (aka RCA Studio A) in Nashville, the album is marked by its forward-thinking studio craft and creative spontaneity. NPR premiered the first song, “Capable of Anything,” from the album earlier today.
Bob Boilen at NPR said: “Ben Folds’ music has taken another turn, firmly embracing strings and chamber music yet still maintaining a passion for his love of pop… I find this to be the most lovable piece of music I’ve ever heard from Ben Folds.”
“I don’t recall ever being quite so excited about an album I’m making,” Folds said. “I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not. It’s just that we don’t often get to make a record that we’ve never heard before. The arrangements you will hear on this record are straight up rock – not ornamentation. The odd instrumentation – piano, cello, viola, violin, flute/piccolo/alto flute, trumpet/French horn, and clarinet/bass clarinet, with no bass and more often than not, no drums – is yielding something that I can’t wait to release. It’s a pop record, if that’s what you call what I write.”
The three-movement Concerto, which premiered in March of 2014, was initially conceived as the result of a commission from the Nashville Ballet along with the Nashville Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, to create original music for a brand new ballet. While Folds has spent many years performing in regional symphony halls, challenging the perceptions and traditional constraints in the classical world, the creation of the concerto still presented a new challenge for him. What he ended up creating is a playfully modern, nuanced and beautifully dynamic work of art.
After having spent much of 2014 performing the Concerto with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras around the globe, Folds was eager to continue exploring new sonic landscapes, but with the feeling and flexibility of playing with a “band.” Meeting and recording with yMusic became the bridge between the classically themed Concerto and the modern chamber rock songs on So There.
Folds and yMusic have been touring to adoring crowds all spring, and just appeared at Bonnaroo on June 12, and will perform at The Greek in Los Angeles, CA on June 27. More touring is currently being planned for the fall and 2016. For Ben Folds touring info go to: www.benfolds.com
Ben Folds first found international success as the leader of the Ben Folds Five. His subsequent solo career has seen the release of multiple studio albums, a pair documenting his renowned live performances, a remix collection, music for film and TV, an all a capella record, as well as numerous collaborations with artists spanning Sara Bareilles to William Shatner.
A Nashville resident, Folds owns and operates Grand Victor Sound. The studio, formerly known as RCA Studio A, is the multi-platinum artist’s creative hub, where he composes, collaborates, produces and records his genre-defying work, as well as that of other artists. Folds has earned universal respect and praise for his insight as judge on five highly rated seasons of NBC’s a capella competition series, The Sing Off. In addition, he has made cameo appearances in a variety of film and TV projects, including a role on NBC’s Community.