"Corbin Keep's contributions at the Kispiox Valley Music Festival was like having a virtuoso's virtuoso play the cello at the same time as having the court jester keep us on our toes with wit and humor that would make most professional clowns come across as dimwitted dunces.
The breadth of Corbin's contributions to a festival like ours is what makes him such an outstanding and entertaining performer at any event; within one performance you can expect to be in awe of his technical mastery and innovative techniques with his cello, you can listen to intimate and deeply moving pieces of music with profound personal and spiritual bent one moment only to burst out in barely containable fits of laughter the next as he goes off on some spontaneous humorous riff; and when it comes to riffs, you will see very few performers who can improvise the way Corbin does.
Without doubt some of the finest moments for many at our festival occurred during the completely improvised jam session that Corbin was involved in with two violinists; between trying to catch our breath from laughing so hard to grooving to the stunning music generated from the stage, we were simply awash in awe and wonder, fuelled in large part by Corbin's exceptional spontaneity in his music and his wit.
An event without Corbin Keep is like an event without a Wild Cellist; and as I can attest, no event should be without a wild cellist."
- Todd Stockner, Artistic Director, Kispiox Music Festival, Kispiox, BC
“…wonderful, innovative, delightful, and virtuosic.”
- Sera Smolen, Educational Director, New Directions Cello Association
"(If ) you thought you knew the limitations of the cello...throw them away...Corbin gently removes traditional barriers erected over the centuries..."
- Longevity John, Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan, BC
“Corbin was a joy to have at Musicfest. As a performer, he was loved by the audience and challenged his fellow performers with some of the best workshop stuff we have ever had. He is also a nice guy... something that I feel is very important to the vibe of our event. He is fun. I received numerous positive comments from our festival audience about Corbin and highly recommend you hire him!”
- Doug Cox, Artistic Director, Vancouver Island Musicfest, Comox, BC
“Whether it’s alien spaceships, wild beasts in the night, blue grass ditties, or rock and roll, Corbin Keep can do it all – on a cello. Corbin’s mastery of his instrument is so complete that he regularly astounds people with the sounds that he can extract from it. His stage presence and outrageous humour often raises the excitement level of the audience to a fevered pitch, which he then sustains throughout the show, throwing himself completely into his performance.”
- Don Bowes, Artistic Director, Sunshine Music Festival, Powell River, BC
"Corbin’s a keeper! When he came on stage, we wondered about the competing drum workshop across the field. Perhaps we’d made a scheduling error as the driving percussion would detract from the cello music. Once Corbin began to play, the drums were forgotten. Who could ever guess that the cello was such a percussion instrument? How did he pull all that sound from one cello? He also pulled the crowds from the far corners of the park and held their attention with the creative vigor of his playing and his witty repartee. As well as being a versatile, accomplished musician whose remarkably creativity is evident in the soundscape he creates with this one instrument, his repertoire is varied and original. By his second performance in the local area, he already had a following calling for his original tunes by name. Opening bars of Aliens were met with wild cheers.
Later in the day, Corbin wowed us all with his participation in the jam. He partnered up with a djembe player, a banjo player and an erhu player for a half hour improvised piece that had the crowd howling for more. This performance is cited as the highlight of the festival for many of us."
- Allan Hughes, Moonbelly stage manager, Starbelly Jam (folk festival) Crawford Bay, BC
“What a blast! The WildCellist, aka Corbin, was as wonderful to watch as he was to listen to. On both our mainstage and the smaller pitches Corbin always had a diverse crowd. Whether classical quotes or Jimi Hendrix riffs, Corbin had something that everyone could relate to. Corbin’s sets just flew by and I always found myself making a mental note when I could catch his next performance 'cause you just knew he wasn't done yet!”
- Chris Shearman, Music Coordinator, Streetfest, Nelson, BC
“As a solo performer, your music was the most talked about throughout the park. Our visitors were excited and entertained by your performances. Your unique interpretation of a classical instrument was refreshing and engaging as were your original compositions. Thank you again for sharing your talent, it was a pleasure to have you at the festival.”
- Linda Perron, Entertainment Coordinator, The Filberg Festival, Comox, BC
“After hearing and seeing Corbin Keep, I can never again think of the cello in the same old way. Corbin totally transforms his cello, creating cello possibilities I never knew existed. Brilliant! Refreshing! Engaging! Not to be missed!”
- Rev. Diedre Ashmore, Spokane Unity Church of Truth, Spokane, WA
“Corbin Keep delighted our audience with not only very original, humourous repertoire, but with the inspiration to take creative license in exploration of music. His act kept a very diverse audience entertained and engaged.”
- Rose-Marie Carreras, owner-operator, Newport Gallery, Squamish, BC
“I requested ‘Purple Haze’ thinking he would never do it but to my amazement Corbin did an awesome version. Have I heard somewhere that he is the Jimi Hendrix of the cello? Well it's true! And there was an accomplished cellist in the audience who came up to me and said, “Wow! This guy is really good!” It was a very entertaining evening.”
- Marlaina Blanche, The Langham Theatre, Kaslo, BC
“His work is innovative, edgy, funny, brilliant, courageous and has the bonus of catalyzing your own creativity.”
- Penny Sidor, founder, Womenfriends Music Camp, Gabriola Island, BC
“Corbin Keep represents a fresh voice in the realm of non-classical cello. He combines technical explorations of the instrument’s sonic possibilities with humor and easy to like grooves to form a new concept of what a cellist can do. Combining this with his voice and witty lyrics, Keep is able to provide a flow of energy and interest in his solo performance which is very hard to achieve with the cello.”
- Chris White, Director, New Directions Cello Association
“ … on the topic of astounding, here’s an act for you: Corbin Keep. He plays the cello and sings, but that’s like saying the first rocket to the moon simply “went up”. His cello makes the sounds of a violin, guitar, bass, synthesizer, percussion and some sounds that defy categorization without any effects added. His lyrics are funny and he has a totally engaging personality.”
- Dan Silakiewicz, The East Shore Mainstreet, Crawford Bay, BC
“One man and his cello. From 16th century classical to original compositions on environmental and social issues, all played with great fervor, deadpan humor and sung like Bruce Cockburn doing heavy metal.”
- Joe De Leo, owner-operator, Gumboot Café, Roberts Creek, BC
“coax(es)…weird & lovely sounds out of his instrument…Keep’s oeuvre ranges from solo transcriptions of Mozart & Pachelbel to completely improvised pieces that bring to mind everything from Throbbing Gristle to whale song.
- John Lucas, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC
"Corbin Keep: A wildly innovative, iconoclastic cellist. Bravo!!!!!"
- Yakima Folklife Association
"With his cello, Corbin call(s) forth the good, the bad, the beautiful and always, the unexpected."
- The Mayneliner, Mayne Island, BC
“Wild cello? Most definitely. In performance, Corbin Keep has the rare combination of stage presence, outrageous humor, and serious chops on his instrument. He knows his audience, and elicits a wave of excitement, and then rides that wave, right on the dangerous edge. Corbin is not afraid to put his whole self out there, making risky improvisations, playing in every style from rock to classical to avant-garde, lulling the listeners into calm, colorful sonority, then sending them rolling onto the floor with laughter."
- Kristen Miller, Cellobrew, Byfield, MA
“…brings a passion to his performances that wakes you right up…he pays homage to Creation by being very inventive, diving spontaneously into new waters and always returning with a grin…”
- Dancing Wolf, “Planet Folk” CFUV 101.9 FM, Victoria, BC
"I've had tons of compliments on your visit from students and faculty members here. It was truly inspirational to see where you have taken the cello on a technical and creative level. We had an extended talk about your imagination in my String Tech class this morning!"
- Dr John Marshall, Professor of Cello, ESU, Spokane, WA