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Posts Tagged Music

Artist Spotlight: Ben Cook-Feltz, Musician

Last week I showed off the musical prowess of my Park Square cohort, CJ Pitts, and this week I want to bring another masterful musician to the forefront: Ben Cook-Feltz! By day BCF can be found working in Park Square’s ticket office, so if you’ve ever called in to order tickets you’ve probably already heard his soulful croon and didn’t even know it. I also do want to let everybody know that Cook-Feltz will be playing Vieux Carre this Wednesday, April 6 from 6-7:30. If you’ve never been, it’s  downstairs next to Park Square’s Andy Boss stage and features great music, drinks and food in an intimate setting.

It all began in Iowa where he was born and raised, learning to play and appreciate music from both his parents. Don’t get any false impressions about him being from Iowa, though. As Cook-Feltz will tell you: “I spent the first 23 years of my life in Cedar Falls, doing all your typical Iowan things, which actually aren’t that different from what everyone else was doing in the 80’s and 90’s (for instance, I have no idea how to tip a cow, much less milk one).”

At twenty-four, Cook-Feltz made his way up north to the Twin Cities to study record production at McNally Smith College of Music. From there he discovered just how vibrant the music and arts scene is in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

Adding an indelible voice to this community through various capacities, he plays music as a “Side Guy”, is a member of two bands, Mother Banjo Band and Art Vandalay, as well as fronting his own band called what else? Ben Cook-Feltz. His eponymous group dropped an album last year called, She Doesn’t Believe Me, and it’s pretty rad. Combining observational and quirky lyrics, his melodies are often reminiscent of the 60s and 70s.

When asked why he does what he does, he states, “What it all comes down to is, I love making music. It makes me feel alive, and it gives me so much joy. I am thrilled by any chance I get to share that joy with other people.”

From one artist to another, I know the feeling.

So now that you know the man-behind-the-box office window you should check out his website and schedule, but don’t forget this Wednesday at Vieux Carre!

Artist Spotlight: CJ Pitts, Musician

As someone who works at Park Square in various capacities, one of the best things about the job is who I get to work with. That includes the plethora of theatre artisans onstage and off, of course, but it also includes the day-to-day staff of the front of house.

Whether it’s in the ticket office, behind the bar, or tearing your ticket as you head in, we dutiful workers are not just faces in the crowd. Many of us are artists ourselves who practice our own passions when not sharing our time with Park Square.

One such artist you might meet is CJ Pitts, a singer and songwriter from Bear, Delaware who decided to make music in the Twin Cities after coming to Saint Paul five years ago. It was only in college, though, when he was first drawn to music as a way of life. Prior to that, Pitts dreamed of being a professional athlete, running track at the Olympics. Those goals may have shifted, but the drive and desire to succeed are certainly common to both and Pitts is determined to rise to the occasion.

At 24,  he’s just getting warmed up, writing songs for himself and others, including the three bands he’s currently a vocalist for. Playing a myriad of sounds and styles, Pitts puts it best by saying:

DSC_1180“My original music is a combo of pop, R&B, hip-hop, and electric sounds. I enjoy all of these styles and I incorporate them into my own art. When I’m not performing my originals, I’m singing anything from funk, jazz, pop, etc.”

If you want to see or hear CJ Pitts outside of the ticket office, check out his music here (“Shark” is probably my favorite!). Also, be on the look out for his recently released, Lost Identity, and the accompanying gigs in support of it.

Whatever we do, the front of house team at Park Square is made up of individuals with talents we’d love to share. So next time you’re milling about in the lobby, go ahead and strike up a conversation with one of us. You’re not only going to be surprised but also intrigued by what we have to say and what we (also) do.

 

 

 

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