The Magical Armchair Rotating Header Image

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.

Folds to host, perform at ArtsVote events

As he did in 2016, Ben Folds will once again be advocating for the arts at both national political conventions. On Thursday, August 20, 2020, he’ll host a one-hour free virtual event prior to the closing night of the Democratic National Convention. Also speaking will be actors Annette Benning and Brian Stokes Mitchell; Megan Bayer, the co-chair of the Biden Arts Policy Committee; and Shepard Fairey, noted graphic designer, skateboarder and founder of the OBEY clothing line. Another live event is slated for August 27, the closing night of the Republican convention.

ArtsVote, a service of Americans for the Arts, is a cooperative effort among musicians, artists and others involved in the arts. The organization advocates for all Americans to register and vote. Those who pledge to vote and encourage others to do the same can have access to artwork, performances and merchandise offerings. There’s also information on how to register and vote in each of the fifty States.

Registration for the event is free but is limited. A recording of the event will be available two days following.  For more information, visit the ArtsVote site.