With hooks and harmonies sure to have the audience swaying in the summer breeze, Ben Folds will headline the Yuengling Summer Concert Series at SteelStacks July 14, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at steelstacks.org and 610-332-3378.
A multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer with a wide-ranging, genre-defying canon, Folds became interested in music at age 9 after his father, a carpenter, brought a piano home through a barter trade with a customer who was unable to pay for the work.
Folds has since collaborated with musicians and artists such as William Shatner, Regina Spektor and “Weird Al” Yankovoic, and has undertaken experimental songwriting projects with authors such as Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman. He also contributed music to the soundtracks of the animated films Over the Hedge and Hookwinked!, and was a judge on the NBC a cappella singing contest The Sing-Off from 2009-’13. At SteelStacks, he’ll be enchanting the audience with a pop-classical crossover featuring the extraordinary collaborative unit yMusic. Together the two acts created Folds’ most recent album SO THERE, released in September 2015; their performance will include many of Folds’ hits, as well as chamber rock music from SO THERE, which reached No. 44 on the Billboard 200.
Hailed by NPR as “one of the groups that have really helped shape the future of classical music,” yMusic consists of six New York City instrumentalists: Rob Moose, CJ Camerieri, Gabriel Cabezas, Alex Sopp, Hideaki Aomori and Nadia Sirota. The ensemble’s breakthrough debut, Beautiful Mechanical, was named the “Best Classical Album of 2011” by Time Out NY.
“We’ve wanted to present yMusic for a few years now and what better way to do it than as the backing band for an iconic and brilliant singer-songwriter like Ben Folds,” says ArtsQuest Senior Vice President of Programming Patrick Brogan. “I think the show really speaks to the artistic vision we have for this unique summer series – mixing great musicians; interesting, engaging music, and SteelStacks as a beautiful backdrop on a summer night.”
Following a short run of live dates in 2015 including a performance at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Ben Folds and yMusic are spending much of 2016 on the road, including the stop at SteelStacks. Folds has called the live performances “some of my favorite touring ever. It’s a very fresh and happy thing we’re doing.”
“From early hits like “Brick” and “Underground” to his remarkable solo career, Ben Folds has been entertaining audiences for more than two decades with his incredibly diverse rock, pop and other sounds,” says Jennifer Yuengling, who represents the 6th Generation of the Family Owned & Operated DG Yuengling & Son, Inc. “This unique pairing of these two amazing artists is taking them to legendary venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and the Kennedy Center, and we’re thrilled to help bring them to another destination that’s quickly becoming recognized as a dynamic performance venue – SteelStacks, at the base of Bethlehem Steel’s iconic blast furnaces.”
The Ben Folds and yMusic concert is presented by Yuengling, in association with media partner Spin Radio 107.1.