Album:At Home with Friends
Violinist Joshua Bell is not the first classical musician to record a pop album. Sometimes things get slow in the classical music business. The 2009 album At Home With Friends came out of jam sessions Bell would have with usually bluegrass musicians. Bell and his producer Steven Epstein decided to record a pop album and it topped the classical music charts. Bell was born Dec. 9, 1967 in Bloomington, IN. Bell was a violin prodigy and at age 14 he appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra. After graduating from Indiana University, Bell moved to New York City and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985. He made his recording debut in 1988. He mostly recorded for London but he also recorded for Decca. Bell has also worked on several films, most notably the 1993 film The Red Violin. In 1999, Bell moved to Sony Classical and they had him record non-classical music including the 1999 album Gershwin Fantasy. Then he recorded the 2000 album Short Trip Home with bassist Edgar Meyer and bluegrass musicians Sam Bush and Mike Marshall followed by the 2001 album West Side Story. These were both top ten classical albums. And ever since, Bell has been a top selling classical artist. The idea to record the 2009 album At Home With Friends came out of musicians coming to Bell's apartment for jam sessions. Several of these musicians appear on the album including Meyer, Bush, Marshall and Chris Thile. the celebrity guests include Sting, Chris Botti, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth along with film composers Dave Grusin and Marvin Hamlisch. Eleanor Rigby was recorded with piano and vocals by Las Vegas lounge singer Frankie Moreno. Bell continues to record and perform mostly classical music. But he did record a Christmas version of At Home With Friends in 2013 called Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends. His latest album is the soundtrack for the 2015 film Einstein's Light. Here's the video of Eleanor Rigby by Joshua Bell featuring Frankie Moreno.