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Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

An uphill ride with Ben Sollee

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Last week I found myself in Austin, Texas, holding on for dear life to the back of a bike, being pedaled up a hill by–in his words–“a guy who makes his living playing a wooden box.”

Ben’s cello case, which he will be carrying to raise awareness of Oxfam America’s work as he tours the US. Photos: Ben Sollee / Oxfam America

But let me explain.

As Oxfam America’s music and media outreach coordinator, part of my job entails working with musical artists who are passionate about ending poverty, hunger, and injustice. So when artists who support our work come through New York City (where I’m based) on tour–or when I see them at events like the South by Southwest music conference in Austin–it’s a great chance to discuss our grassroots campaigns, and to bring them up to speed on what we’re doing in the US and around the world.

That’s why I was happy to have a chance to catch up with cellist and Oxfam supporter Ben Sollee at South by Southwest last week–and even happier when Ben offered me a lift to see Thao, another musician who supports Oxfam and even played a concert for us last year. Unfortunately, that lift meant hitching a ride on the back of Ben’s bike, right next to his specially designed Oxfam America cello case.

As you can see in this short video interview, things were a little shaky in the beginning, but we finished strong:

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    I just heard Ben on the radio for the first time and googled him. And I found him here working for Oxfam, my favorite charity!!! Now I’m a fan of both!!! Thank you.


    For all those wondering, Ben is riding an Xtracycle Radish. A longtail, cargo utility bicycle that allows him to carry not only his cello, but an assortment of other items. Ben is aiming to do his bicycle tour in June from Lexington, KY to Manchester, TN.

    Thanks again for promoting Oxfam and Xtracycle, Ben. Keep up the sweet tunes!

  3. Pingback: Bonnaroo Preview: Ben Sollee « The Wounded Messenger

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