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A Foodie Who Plays Cello Standing Up: Meet Avett Brothers 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.

'I never wanted to be like everyone else in the family because I was always a little punk!'

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.

'I sat down for 20 seconds and that was it...I had to stand'~ Joe Kwon on playing with the Avett Brothers

He eventually caught the attention of Avett 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 blog Taste, 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

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and 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.
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.