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Buckle up, kids

UPDATE (September 8:) More show cancellations and postponements: New Haven, Dallas, Tampa, Charleston, Portland and Detroit. Remaining shows are still on the schedule. Only fully vaccinated patrons will be admitted and masks will be required. Even though the venues have been working hard to ensure a safe experience, with the general rate of infections in these areas they feel it’s not prudent to proceed with these shows.

UPDATE (August 13): York and Bensalem, PA shows have been postponed into 2022. The remaining shows are still on the schedule, but attendees will be asked for proof of vaccination (so bring your CDC card), and masks will be required inside the venue for any indoor shows through 2021. Ben’s crew is working with venues to ensure that these requirements can be met. The best bet is to check with the venue if you plan to attend and have any questions. See Ben’s social media (@benfolds on Twitter, @actualbenfolds on Instagram) for the full statement.

With the pandemic shifting gears, Ben has posted some advice about the upcoming tour – specifically, don’t be surprised if there are changes or cancellations to some dates and venues.

Buckle up kids, it’s going to be a wild ride. My upcoming tour is likely to take some unexpected turns as we continue to see the latest COVID virus variants sweep across the country.

While I intend to make my best effort to proceed with our announced shows, there is a possibility that we may be looking at concert postponements or cancellations.

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VIP sessions canceled on upcoming tour

Citing an increase in the spread of COVID variants, Ben has decided to cancel the pre-show VIP events held in conjunction with the upcoming tour of the US. A statement posted to social media expressed the concern in the health risks involved in hosting the intimate sessions in the current climate. Refunds will be issued to those who have purchased tickets to the premium sessions. The evening performances will continue, however. The tour kicks off August 27 in York, Pennsylvania. Visit our tour dates page for details on the scheduled shows.

Doctor Ben

Ben Folds – an alumnus of “one sad semester” at the University of Miami – will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree as he delivers the commencement address for the Schools of Architecture, Communication, Education and Human Development, Marine and Atmospheric Science, Nursing and Health Studies, and the Frost School of Music at the U on May 14.

Ben’s still in Australia, unable to travel because of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, but has recorded his address for presentation during the ceremony.

Best known for his piano work, his studies at UM were in percussion, where we earned a music scholarship but did not complete his studies. He returned to Miami in 2015 for a performance of his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

Folds livestream to help musicians’ mental health effort

Ben Folds will contribute a streaming set to Set Breaka livestream fundraiser by the Backline project to support its mental health and wellness access efforts for musicians, particularly those affected by the pandemic.

The event takes place Saturday, April 10 on The Relix Channel, which streams on TwitchTV, and features sixteen musical acts along with immersive wellness experiences and public service announcements from music industry professionals. (more…)

New Darren Jessee album now out

Darren Jessee, former drummer, songwriter and vocalist for Ben Folds Five, has another new work of his own. Available today, Remover is described as an album that “redefine[s] the significance of quiet moments with grand consequence.” Indeed, the leadoff single of the ten tracks, Never Gonna Get It, is a quiet ballad about separation and loss, laced with dreamy orchestrations and gentle melodies.

You may recall that Remover was a name for a band that Darren put together in 2003 but was changed to Hotel Lights because another band already had that name. The title stuck with Darren, though, and resurfaces as the title of this latest work.

Remover is available through the usual digital channels and on vinyl. For more info, visit darrenjessee.com.