Lexington native Ben Sollee has a couple of dates coming up for two Commonwealth festivals we normally don't associate with each other.
In August, the cellist will be the artist-in-residence with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, a festival that is directed by fellow hometown-kid-made-good Nathan Cole, now first associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Next month, Sollee will be cavorting with Louisville Orchestra conductor Teddy Abrams as part of the maestro's offerings at Louisville's Forecastle Festival. Abrams has enjoyed an expanding role on the Festival's WFPK Port Stage the past couple years, and this year he is identified as the stage's curator.
Sollee is listed as part of two Sunday, July 15, performances: a covers showcase that also includes Matt Myers of Houndmouth and "The Maiden Radio Hour" with other artists including Joan Shelley, Cheyenne Mize and Daniel Martin Moore.
Sollee has played Forecastle before, notably being joined onstage by artists such as My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Carl Broemel and banjo icon Abigail Washburn in 2012. For information and tickets to this year's Forecastle Fest, visit Forecastlefest.com.
This will be the second consecutive year the Chamber Music Festival has featured a homegrown talent as its artist-in-residence, as jazz violinist Zack Brock and his trio Triptych were featured in last year's festival. One thing Brock, Sollee and Cole all have in common in addition to Lexington roots is the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, which will also participate in the festival this year.
The programs from the Chamber Music Festival have not been released yet, but it will be Aug. 16 to 26, with main stage concerts featuring Sollee Aug. 22, 24 and 26 at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center. Once again, WindSync will be the ensemble-in-residence playing a festival-opening show at the Henry Clay Estate Aug. 16 as well as its own Downtown Arts Center show on Aug. 20. Visit Chambermusiclex.org for more information and tickets.
If you can't wait until next month to see Sollee, he and frequent collaborator Jordon Ellis will headline Jeffest on June 23 at Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, 3355 Lawrenceburg Road in Frankfort. The event is to raise money for musician Jeff Ellis of Stirfry Musette, Ellis' father, who has not been able to perform or work since suffering a stroke in late 2017. The event is 5 to 11 p.m., and you can find more information at Josephinesculpturepark.org.