Billy Mickelson at Caldera Tap House

Billy MickelsonjPhoto courtesy of Jeb Draper

Bend-based cellist Billy Mickelson has been called "cello magician" and "mad cello scientist," but mostly he's just a versatile, full-time, touring cello soloist.

He plays as a sideman in hip-hop bands, heavy-metal bands and folk bands, but it's his solo work that pays the bills.

Mickelson is on the last leg of a five-month, solo tour through the United States and Europe in support of his newest album, "Cascadia," released in October. He'll play at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland. Cover is a $5s.

Mickelson's music is next to impossible to peg, even for him. He describes it as having Mediterranean, American folk, Middle Eastern and hip-hop influences.

"I do cello looping, so I beat the cello to make rhythms and then loop bass lines and sing," he says.

Oceanic and cinematic themes appear regularly in his soothing soundscapes, which he frequently performs for yoga events.


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