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A Foodie Who Plays Cello Standing Up: Meet Avett Brothers Cellist Joe Kwon

Meet Cellist Joe Kwon

As a kid, Joe Kwon spent all of his time doing two things: practicing the cello and eating delicious food.

His family had recently immigrated to North Carolina from South Korea so his house was always filled with family and lavish Korean cooking.

He started cello lessons at age 9 and fell in love with the instrument right from the start. Kwon attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California to pursue his dream of becoming a classical cellist. He failed to get into a college music program, so he ended up at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied computer science.

After a few years as a consultant for IBM, he decided it was time to return to the cello. He scraped by for a few years with a gig as a waiter at Spanky’s in Chapel Hill and spent most of his time playing music.

He eventually caught the attention ofAvett Brothers’ bassist Bob Crawford, and has now been with the band for almost a decade. Kwon has also established a reputation as a foodie and photographer with his blogTaste, On Tour.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Joe Kwon about his journey from an aspiring classical musician to performing with one of the hottest bands in the country.

Watch Joe performing liive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL-qsqQmUC8

Kwon is known for playing the cello while standing up.
Keith Isaacs /
Kwon is known for playing the cello while standing up.
Joe Kwon, second from left, with his family
Joe Kwon /
Joe Kwon, second from left, with his family

Copyright 2015 North Carolina Public Radio

Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.