BEN KATZEN

Ben playing cello

About

I never anticipated becoming a blues man when I picked up the cello in 4th grade. Then, I began picking out Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan licks by ear in my high school orchestra class. Ever since then, I've sought to bring a soulful approach to blues through the unique conduit of the cello.

Performances

When not playing country, folk, blues, jazz, classic rock and original tunes with my band The Blind Rabbits, I can currently be heard performing across Dallas-Fort Worth area with flamenco fusion band Tres Hombres, The Prairie String Quartet and with the Plano, Irving, San Angelo and East Texas Symphonies.

A former principal cellist and soloist with the McKinney Philharmonic Orchestra, I've performed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Israel, and in such esteemed venues in the United States as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Other appearances

In recent years, I've appeared on stage with artists including Wyclef Jean, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Robert Glasper, Chaka Khan, Daniel Emmet, The Texas Tenors, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Asleep at the Wheel. I appear briefly as a musician in the Neo-Western TV series “1883” starring Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, which will begin streaming December 19, 2021 on Paramount Plus.

Education

I holds a bachelor’s degree in cello performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, and am currently a candidate for a master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas.