About Empire Wild

Mixed Ensemble

Empire Wild is a genre-bending, crossover trio featuring Ken Kubota, Holly Bean, and Mitch Lyon. Ken and Mitch bring all the cello has to offer - bowed, plucked, chopped and more. Holly can be found singing and pushing the piano into any style the group sets their mind on.

The three musicians channel their love for musical exploration into the trio—fusing the sounds of pop, folk, jazz and more into their songwriting and composition. Their debut EP ‘Paper Seasons’ features all original songs, highlighting the trio’s unique sound and instrumentation. Based in NYC, Empire Wild was selected as an Ambassador Prize winner in the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition.

Last season the trio delighted audiences with their signature mix of original songwriting and unique arrangements at venues across the country including a stop at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a concert on the Harriman-Jewell concert series in Kansas City and a day at the Kaufman Music Center’s Musical Storefronts in Lincoln Center. This fall will feature a Midwest tour through ten states along with educational workshops in Iowa and Ohio.

Individually, all three musicians are committed to community engagement and teaching. Together as an ensemble, Empire Wild feels that it is important to prioritize community-oriented work and bring creative musical outlets and opportunities to students of all backgrounds and skill levels. They have shared their unusual versatility with students through workshops at University of Iowa, the Peabody Institute, and the Preucil School, among others. Equally at home in classrooms, intimate salons and large concert halls, Empire Wild brings a sense of community to every performance.

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Candlelight Concerts programs are made possible with generous support from our individual donors and from: