Violinist-Looper Joe Kye Plays Life-Altering Music at Summer NAMM

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I had somewhat of an unexpected cathartic experience during the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.

As I was walking past the Acoustic Nation performance stage, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the most powerful music I heard all week (mind you — I was surrounded by music for six straight days).

My eyes instantly turned into faucets as I experienced a non-stop stream of cleansing tears. What was happening to me?

The person whose music made me feel that way was Joe Kye, a Sacramento-based violinist-looper, singer and composer whom I’d never heard of before. I just so happened to walk by as he was playing an original piece called “11/8” (in reference to the song’s time signature) off his latest EP Joseph In The Well, released in May of this year. The lyrics were simple, but powerful: “I make mistakes, so do you.” That is literally all the song says with some minor variations in wording.

Kye’s music discharged a world of emotions within me. He delivered a comforting divine message. Every last note cradled me while my inner voice softly said, “It’s ok to make mistakes. You're supposed to make mistakes so that you can learn and grow from them. Be good to yourself.”

The universe made sure I was there at that precise moment and time, because I needed to hear that. I knew I was there for a reason and that I was on the right path — that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of music.

Later on during the show, I ran into Kye and expressed my gratitude and the experience I had. He was very touched and gave me his CD, which has been playing on repeat ever since.

In the six-track EP, Kye’s style is playful, freeing and healing. His unconventional approach to violin inspires an unyielding desire for happiness, gratitude and curiosity. With tracks like “Happy Song,” “Clear Eyes,” and “Ashes,” Joseph In The Well tugs at the heartstrings of lovers of life, the wounded, seekers of joy, good and justice.

His music had a profound impact on me, and it’s likely to resonate with you, too. Listen to his EP below, and visit his website at

Amazing what music can do, right?