Cincinnati Pops Announces Additional Pops
Special Events for the 2022-2023 Season

Common to Makes His Cincinnati Pops Debut with Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton

Ben Folds to Join the Pops for an Evening of Genre-Bending Music

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CINCINNATI, OH (May 3, 2022)—The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra announced two additional special events for its 2022-2023 season: hip-hop artist Common will make his Cincinnati Pops debut on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 under the direction of Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton, and singer-songwriter-pianist Ben Folds will perform an orchestra show with the Pops on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

Common will join the Pops to perform music from his discography spanning three decades. A multi- talented artist, Common won a Grammy Award in 2003 for “Best R&B Song” for Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop), featured on the 2002 soundtrack Brown Sugar, and can be seen on films such as American Gangster (2006), Terminator Salvation (2009), Just Wright (2010) opposite Queen Latifah, Now You See Me (2013), and the Oscar-nominated Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Selma (2014), in which Common portrayed activist James Bevel. For Selma, Common and John Legend won the Academy Award in 2015 and a Grammy Award in 2016 for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” for the song Glory, which was also performed by Common and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on the Orchestra’s sold-out Classical Roots concert in 2016. This Pops special event is a part of the Orchestra’s 2022-2023 Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) Series.

After a sold-out performance with the Cincinnati Pops in 2017, Ben Folds returns to Cincinnati for an evening of genre-bending music with the Pops, performing hits like The Luckiest, Capable of Anything, and Landed. The multi-platinum selling artist, who was a judge for five seasons on NBC’s critically acclaimed a capella show The Sing Off, is a passionate advocate of symphony orchestras and widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of the generation. He has created an enormous body of music that includes pops albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album, So There (2015), was a blend of pop songs, and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra soared to the top of both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.


Tickets for all Cincinnati Pops’ special events, including Ben Folds and Common, have an accessible starting price between $25 and $35. Subscribers to the Cincinnati Pops and Cincinnati Symphony

Orchestra’s 2022-2023 season receive first access to all special events with the ability to purchase tickets ahead of the general public. Subscribers may add tickets to Ben Folds, Common, or any other Pops special event when subscribing online at or by calling the Box Office at 513.381.3300. Individual tickets for Ben Folds and Common go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 10 a.m.

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Academy Award, Emmy and Grammy-winning artist, actor, author, and activist, Common continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success in all aspects of his career. Having starred in numerous film and television projects, Common has also worked behind the scenes as an executive producer and on multiple soundtracks for which he has received Oscar, Grammy, NAACP, and Critic Choice Award nominations. His latest album, A Beautiful Revolution Part 2 is an inspiring follow up to his previous album, A Beautiful Revolution Part 1. In 2019, Common released hit album Let Love, inspired by his work and experiences writing his New York Times best- selling second memoir, Let Love Have The Last Word. Common has dedicated countless hours and has been deeply engaged in social justice and advocacy work around mass incarceration, mental health and voting. He launched The Stardust Kids, an incubator and accelerator collective for emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs, the nonprofit Imagine Justice, and through his Common Ground Foundation, Common is dedicated to empowering high school students from underserved communities to become future leaders.


Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.

He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.

For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and currently serves as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Folds released his first book – a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life and music - in 2019, which debuted as a New York Times Best Seller, and is currently hosting a podcast series spinoff of his book entitled “Lightning Bugs: Conversations with Ben Folds.” In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, he’s also developing a new unscripted tv series with Fred Rogers Productions, continues to appear in various film/tv guest starring roles, and is working on two new albums.

An avid photographer, Folds is also a member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, has worked as an assignment photo editor for National Geographic, and was featured in a mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center's Digital Project on his photographic work.

An outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in our nation's public schools, has served for over five years as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts (AFTA), and serves on the Board of AFTA’s Arts Action Fund. He also served as Chairman of the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote2020 national initiative that encouraged voter engagement in the 2020 US elections, and continually advocates for improving public policies for the arts and arts education.