Ben Sollee

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.

Jessie Payo

You may have already heard of Jessie Payo. You might have seen her band performing live in Boston, San Francisco, Memphis, Chicago, Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo, or in one of the many clubs in her hometown, Los Angeles including BB Kings, The House of Blues, Molly Malone's, Cozy's, Harvelle's or the Key Club.

Beginning her musical career fronting the blues band JESSIE AND THE RAINDOGS at the age of 14, her band played blues festivals (Bluestock Memphis, Bluesmore in Iowa) and shared the stage with the likes of Dr. John, Delbert McClinton, Robben Ford, Ike Turner and Jonny Lang. The band's song "I Don't Deserve This" won the Billboard Magazine World Songwriting Competition in 2004 in the Blues and R&B category where they were invited to perform the song live at the historic Cain Ballroom in Kansas City.

Now writing and performing in the pop duo JUPITER RISING, Jessie is reaching out to a larger audience. Jessie and Spencer Nezey have cracked into the outer mainstream with tunes featured on MTV "The Hills," and "Whitney in the City" and on CBS "Criminal Minds." Momentum has been building around JUPITER RISING even since the group's inception. Their hit song "Electropop" has received over a million plays on MySpace. They have opened for The Black Eyed Peas and Lupe Fiasco, and their music has also popped up everywhere from sporting events to MTV's Making the Band. Armed with major radio play and concert dates nationwide, JUPITER RISING is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Jessie Payo herself is emerging as a solid performer in her own right. Inspired by her late father, Jose Payo, she is following in his footsteps not only as a talented singer/songwriter… but she also has proven to be a gifted actor, dancer and performance artist.
Whether performing original music or the classic blues and jazz standards; whether playing an intimate club or an outdoor venue; whether cooing a heartfelt love song or blasting out the hardest of hard-hitting rock tunes, Jessie Payo is a voice that, if you have not heard her, if you have not seen her, you soon will.



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