RALEIGH, N.C. -- He grew up in High Point and is now playing on stages around the world. The Avett Brothers' Joe Kwon, the band's infectiously energetic cellist, is as humble and warm off stage as he is talented and wild on stage.
"My cello teacher, Ruby Windell, gave me lessons. It was the reason I fell in love with the cello. Ruby was such an amazing teacher," Kwon told us over coffee at one of his favorite downtown Raleigh hangouts, Joule, on Wilmington Street.
Kwon went to High School at Southwest Guilford High School. "I was one of only like five Asian kids in that school and there was no prejudice there. It was just like, 'Oh hey, that's Joe, my Asian friend.’ North Carolina is home. It's easy here, the people are really nice and it has grown so much to include the comforts I enjoy on the road."
Kwon dreamed of being a classical musician since he was nine years old. After working for IBM for a few years, a friend suggested he get out of his comfort zone of classical music and try playing the cello in a rock band. The rest is history. Kwon joined the hugely popular brothers Avett, Scott and Seth, and bassist Bob Crawford, in 2006.
The Avett Brothers will play at the PNC Arena New Year's Eve at 8:30 p.m. Kwon told us fans can expect to hear many song favorites, some new songs they've never played and there will also be a few secret special guests.