Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Acclaimed Cellist Ben Sollee Raises Money for Red River Gorge

Kentucky native and internationally acclaimed cellist/artist, Ben Sollee, recently visited the Red River Gorge and hosted a benefit concert to help secure land for climbers.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Sollee during his impromtu crag concert. Photo by Gerry James.Usually, when you meet a person of fame, they arrive with an entourage, driver, fine linens & automobiles from the likes of Milan and Porsche. However, when Kentucky native and internationally acclaimed cellist/artist, Ben Sollee, arrived at the Red River Gorge’s Sky Bridge Station—a place that serves as a hostel, bar, restaurant, and the headquarters of KRAG rock climbing guides—for a benefit concert, that wasn’t the case.

Sollee could have fooled the most discerning paparazzi as he stepped out of his blue Honda Element. Clad in an everyday pair of faded jeans and worn hiking boots, Sollee tugged on a Patagonia hat against the chill. Most would have thought he was just a typical outdoor enthusiast out to experience the beauty of Red River Gorge. But that was only half the story. In fact, Sollee was there to team with up another Kentucky musician, Jason Tyler Burton, to lend their star power in support of the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition and their latest endeavor: to secure land for recreational access and climbers. Solle’s involvement shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, considering his past exploits include biking to Bonnaroo, raising Monarch Butterflies with his small family and hosting a canopy concert to raise money for Louisville, Kentucky’s tree canopy.

Sollee takes his Cello for a little scrambling. Photo by Gerry James. Sollee only had an hour-longwindow before the benefit concert was slated to start, but he was eager to explore the Daniel Boone National Forest and experience the Red for himself.After easing his Honda Element into a pull-out on the side of the road, he plunged into the forest following a moderate trail, worn from the pilgrimagesof climbers to the Eastern Skybridge crag. True to form, Sollee trekked along with a cello strapped to his back by a single rope. After arriving at thecrag, he sat down and noticed that the curvature of the rock face created a natural amphitheater … so he began to play. He filled the forest withmelodies that even the most non-musical outdoorsmen would find infectious. But this impromptu performance was just a prelude to headlining that night’sconcert, which raised over twenty-five hundred dollars for the Climbers’ Coalition.