Ben Folds comes to A2 | Arts & Culture

Ben Folds comes to A2

Ben Folds comes to A2

By Phillip Schermer

Indie rock favorite Ben Folds (photo left) takes the stage 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Hill Auditorium. The charity concert is presented by MUSIC Matters and sponsored by Michigan Hillel. Proceeds from the concert will benefit need-based scholarships for high school students to attend the University of Michigan.

MUSIC Matters (Michigan Undergrads Serving In the Community) is in its second year at the University of Michigan. Its goal is to bring one concert to the University of Michigan per year and donate the proceeds to charity. Last year, MUSIC Matters brought Grammy-nominee J. Cole to Hill Auditorium. The concert raised $10,000, which went to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

This year, MUSIC Matters takes on the issue of college affordability when considering which charity to support. With the proceeds from the concert, MUSIC Matters will endow one of the first-ever student-funded scholarships at U-M. “As students of the University of Michigan, we are passionate about our education and giving that opportunity to others,” said Megan Pfeiffer, vice president of MUSIC Matters. “We don’t want financial need to be a roadblock for people when deciding their future, especially for becoming one of the leaders and best.”

Energetic and frequently hilarious, Ben Folds shows have thrilled audiences around the globe. Seattle’s CultureMob writes: “Ben Folds’ piano playing has always been like a wilder, trippier Elton John.”

Folds has released music since 1988. His solo career took off in 2001 with his album, Rocking the Suburbs. In 2008, he released his album, Way to Normal, which debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200. It featured the lead-off single “You Don’t Know Me” with Regina Spektor. Folds’ 2010 album, Lonely Avenue, is a collaboration with English author, Nick Hornby.

In 2012, Ben Folds Five released their new album, The Sound of The Life of The Mind, which burst into the Billboard 200 Top Ten upon its release. Folds also served as a judge on NBC-TV’s a cappella singing competition, The Sing-Off.

“We are excited by Ben Folds’ ability to bring together a wide range of students and community members,” said  Coby Joseph, MUSIC Matters interim president. “His engaging performance style and career-long commitment to charity make him the perfect artist for our benefit concert.”

The Ben Folds concert will be the capstone event for MUSIC Matters’s entire Day of Festivities on the Diag at the University, called SpringFest 2013. Arts organizations, a cappella groups, and dance performances will all be featured along with club’s booths, games, and a “Restaurant Row.” It will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Michigan Hillel is the lead sponsor of this year’s MUSIC Matters concert. “MUSIC Matters unites Michigan in such a unique and inspiring way, leading to our eagerness and excitement to support a cause that empowers students and truly enhances the culture on Michigan’s campus,” said Dalia Adler, chair of Michigan Hillel.

Official sponsors of the 2013 MUSIC Matters concert include: Michigan Hillel, Central Student Government, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, College of Engineering, Office of University Development, University Musical Society, Alumni Association, LSA Student Government, Medical School, Spectrum Center, School of Information, Student Sustainability Initiative, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, Ford School of Public Policy, School of Nursing, University Health Service, Division of Student Affairs, Law School, School of Dentistry, School of Education, Honors Program, Center for Entrepreneurship, and School of Art and Design.

Tickets available at MUTO (the Michigan Ticket Office in the basement of the Student Union), online at www.michiganmusicmatters.com/tix, or by phone at (734) 763-8587. Tickets start at $20.