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Billy Mickelson

 Posted: 9:00 AM February 14, 2013

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

Over the years, he's played 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 most recent album, "Cascadia," released in October. He'll play at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland. The cover is a $5 suggested donation.

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 soundscape, which he frequently performs for yoga events.

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