Since quitting his day job at Starbucks in January 2008, Ari Herstand has played over 550 clubs, colleges and festivals in 40 states, opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Eric Hutchinson, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin and Ron Pope and had his music featured on popular TV shows like One Tree Hill and various Showtime and MTV shows.
Herstand has been best known for his solo, live looping abilities: melding the acoustic guitar, keyboard, trumpet, tambourine, vocals and beat boxing seamlessly – to create a visually entertaining and full sonic live experience. His Live at The Pause release, released Feb 2010, features Herstand's popular looping show, while his latest studio release the Clean Up EP, released March 2011 and debuted at #11 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts, combines all of the elements of his solo, looping show along with a full band production.
Ari Herstand relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in the Fall of 2010 to begin the next phase of his artistic journey. This year he landed co-starring roles on 2 Broke Girls on CBS, The Fosters on ABC Family, Touch on FOX and Sam & Cat on Nickelodean as well as a lead role in a feature film.
Herstand spent the first few months of 2012 in Minnesota recording his new album set to be released later this year.
He recently launched an independent music business advice blog, Ari's Take, which has been featured by CD Baby, Tunecore, ASCAP, Reverbnation, Hypebot, among others
"There's no right or wrong path in life," Herstand said. "You make your own path — what makes sense to you and what is going to make you happy. A lot of parents like to tell their kids that there is only one path, and I've learned that there are many paths. It's all about the journey."
-Show review/interview from UW-Green Bay's newspaper Forth Estate
September 16, 2013
The Future of Music is In Good Hands
-Show review/interview from The Mac Weekly (Twin Cities)
April 19, 2013
"Herstand began the night and introduced himself with a big smile that never seemed to leave his face. His good humor and jokes had set the vibe for a fun and playful performance."
-Show review from Creighton University's The Creightonian
February 19, 2013
"Looping is the aspect of his music people tend to remember most, but Herstand doesn't let it dominate his songwriting."
- Show preview with The Daily Cardinal
April 12, 2012
"Throughout the show and during the interview that followed, he displayed his witty, funny, and charismatic personality..."
-Show review from University of Minnesota Duluth's Statesmen
September 21, 2011
"Ari Herstand puts a new twist on the singer songwriter aesthetic by playing keyboard, guitar, singing, and beatboxing all at once. He makes all sorts of interesting videos chronicling his songwriting, teaching fans how to play his music, and performing covers of his favorite artists."
Q&A Show Preview with Phoenix New Times
August 5, 2011
Farewell Minneapolis - Full profile; 6-part interview with Borangutan
August 11, 2010
"Ari Herstand has been dazzling audiences around the Cities for years with his attention-grabbing solo performance style."
August 5, 2010
"California Dreaming" Profile/interview by Sacre Bleu"
June 3, 2010
"Creating Music, managing a career, his way"
-WI State Journal
May 13th, 2010 (feature photo story)
"Herstand tells students music can be a career."
- La Crosse Tribune
March 5th, 2010 (Cover story)
"Musician Ari Herstand is delivering a message to area high school students this week that contradicts what he was told as a teenager"
- Winona Daily News
March 4th, 2010 (featured photo story)
"What becomes obvious through watching all this is how much control Ari Herstand has over his performance...Ari Herstand has come to the level where his music is both exact art and science."
- Second Supper
March 3rd, 2010 (photo preview)
Interview with Ari
February 26, 2010 (feature interview)
"Ari Herstand is moving toward breakout status, 'One Tree Hill' at a time..."
February 26, 2010 (photo preview)
"Hard-working singer/songwriter Ari Herstand... is worth seeing live. His technologically assisted gigs allow him to perform solo with a surprisingly full sound that includes acoustic guitar, keyboards, trumpet and tambourine."
- Pioneer Press
February 25, 2010 (photo preview)
Interview with TC Jewfolk
February 16, 2010 (featured photo interview)
"Minneapolis singer-songwriter Ari Herstand has become a Summerfest regular in recent years, drawing crowds for a distinctive brand of upbeat acoustic pop that's often created by looping instruments and vocals live onstage."
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 14th, 2010
Q & A with Ari Herstand
- Second Supper
November 19, 2009 (featured photo interview)
Local favorite to return to La Crosse
– The Racquet
November 19, 2009 (featured photo preview)
"Fans of a multiple-talented musician were excited to see Ari Herstand, Oct. 22, at the Common Grounds Coffee House in UW-Green Bay's University Union.
Herstand plays the guitar, piano, trumpet and even beat-boxes a bit. He is able to sing and multi-task with the different instruments during his concerts by using a loop station recorder."
- Fourth Estate
November 5, 2009 (featured photo review/interview
"23-year-old Herstand is perhaps best known for his incredible live performances, in which he incorporates a medley of instruments...'We love having Ari play on campus because he is a very dynamic performer and appeals to a lot of different music fans. Ari puts on an amazing show, using loops and different instruments to create a full band sound. He is a true showman, and if you come out to his show, you will not be disappointed"
– The Gustavus Weekly
October 2, 2009 (featured preview)
"...Suddenly this lone musician is a full-on band plus horns, and a sound fills the space from corner to corner. You can close your eyes and not even realize that it’s just one guy behind it all, but when you open them back up, you see him dancing and performing with enough energy to make up for the fact that he’s missing at least five players...Everyone in the place was riveted by his engaging performance."
September 24, 2009 (featured review)
"Anything but ordinary, the album features perfect instrumentation and lyrical choice that were meticulously constructed over a six-month time frame."
February 11, 2009 (featured photo preview)
"Using a looping station, Herstand creates each layer of his songs live on stage. Herstand creates a masterpiece of sound on the spot...The bond he creates with the crowd gets the audience involved and absorbed in his music. Herstand is an accessible artist with a lot of heart and love for what he does."
February 9, 2009 (featured photo preview)
"His distinctive sound and personality entertained students and staff alike"
– The Undercurrent
November 14, 2008 (featured photo review)
"Herstand won over the...enthusiastic crowd that joined him Saturday with his Midwestern charm and charisma...Herstand has a unique performance style –he plays alone and uses multiple loops, all played and recorded on the spot."
– The Daily Campus (Connecticut)
October 20, 2008 (featured photo review)
"Herstand's own personal and unique vision, can be found beautifully displayed in his latest release, Whispering Endearments...the album is polished to perfection, leaving little to be desired by listeners."
– The Dakota Student
September 26, 2008 (featured photo preview)
"There’s no disputing the quality of the arrangements, musicianship and recording quality that went into this record [Whispering Endearments]."
– The Minnesota Daily (Jay Boller)
September 25, 2008 (featured photo review)
"Ari Herstand shared his extraordinary voice and talent on keyboard, trumpet and guitar...His lyrics are nothing short of genius, and far from cliché"
– The Spur
September 24, 2008 (featured photo review)
"The venue itself was full at the start of the show with every seat taken, even in spots where visibility was low...The audience seemed very enthusiastic about Ari's performance, whether they came to see him purposely or happened to be there at the time and were drawn in by his charm and talent."
– The Racquet
September 24, 2008 (featured photo review)
"The live music of a unique and talented Minnesotan artist named Ari Herstand...[with] live performances [that] showcase tremendous talent and creativity....The future of his musical career looks bright, especially with the notable talent in songwriting and musicianship displayed in his latest album [Whispering Endearments]."
– The Times– Delphic
September 15, 2008 (featured photo preview)
"Whispering Endearments is rather telling. A lot of the songs have a hushed, romantic, bright– eyed and...sweet quality to them. Some of his more mellower fare is more stirring, like the Ron Sexsmith– style ballad 'One Bell.' Herstand...is a gifted singer and melodymaker who could very well grow into a reputable pop balladeer"
– Star Tribune (Chris Riemenshneider)
September 12, 2008 (Featured photo preview)
"Herstand's vocal resemblance to Coldplay's Chris Martin is undeniable, although Herstand's music is much more modest and approachable. It's also commercial, with a sound that's got one foot in John Mayer– esque radio rock and the other in Jack Johnson– style jamming."
– Pioneer Press
September 11th, 2008
"Herstand’s determination shows; “Whispering Endearments” is a clean– cut and intimate release that blends acoustic pop, jazz and folk together. “Center of a Kiss,” the sixth track on the album, swaggers along on trumpet–and saxophone– infused melodies, while quieter pieces like “Beneath the Moon” feature soft, lilting piano solos and a meditative, introspective lyrical style."
– Northfield News
September 2, 2008 (Featured photo preview)
"...the musicianship and lyrics on Whispering Endearments cannot be criticized. There is not one sloppy song on it. Everything, from the soft backing vocals on “Itch Inside Your Ear” to the way Herstand’s voice dips down on “Your Eyes,” is so well done that there can’t be one bad word uttered about his musicianship."
August 26, 2008 (Cover story)
"Whispering Endearments is surely his most mature work to date and represents a sound that may very well become his signature sound"
– Galen Struwe (Sacre Bleu Wine)
August, 2008 (Podcast)
"Too American to be confused with Coldplay, too gentle to make inroads with the Dave Matthews crowd, Minneapolis singer– songwriter Ari Herstand plays ringing folk– rock that's custom made for the soundtrack of a certain ultra– popular doctor show.
– The Isthmus
July 21, 2008 ("Critics' Choice")
"His thick shock of curly hair and dark glasses along with the television camera pointed at him gave him the look of the rock star surrounded by an entourage. But Herstand isn’t about glam– rock...Herstand’s unique sets on the Chipotle stage have become the buzz here at Summerfest."
– Milwaukee's WTMJ4
July 2nd, 2008 (television interview and feature story)
"While some guys would give anything for a smidgeon of musical talent...Herstand can tease out jazz, folk and even ska melodies from more than eight different instruments"
– Daily Cardinal
February 15th, 2008 (featured photo preview)
"Although the wind chill reached a low of minus 27 that night, an audience began lining up for Herstand’s show before the doors opened at 7 p.m."
– Student Voice
February 7th 2008 (featured photo review)
"Herstand's vocal arrangements were continuously spot on. Listeners interested in craft and song structure would praise Herstand and his ability to build and construct a song using such diverse stratums of sound. Herstand flawlessly worked his loop station layering guitar track on guitar track over vocals and even incorporating trumpet. He charmed, he trumpeted, he ranted...the man knows how to entertain."
– The Concordian
Friday, January 18th 2008 (featured photo review)
"Ari Herstand, music's next big thing."
–University of Wisconsin Green Bay's Fourth Estate
Thursday, November 29 2007 (featured photo preview)
"...it'll be his percussive acoustic guitar work and live looping that will be center stage. His quick slap guitar style takes his music from pop and rock to hip– hop and jazz."
– Green Bay Press Gazette
Thursday, November 29 2007 (featured photo preview)
"While many musicians mold themselves to fit into one genre, an increasing number of them instead try to create their own. One such artist is Minneapolis– based Ari Herstand, who combines rock, hop– hop, jazz and folk music together in order to create a sound of his own"
– Mankato's Reporter
Tuesday, November 6 2007 (featured photo Interview)
"Of the many acts that come and go through Lawrence, there are always a few that stand out. Ari Herstand's set Friday night in the Coffeehouse was clearly one of those acts. Mixing acoustic melodies with hip– hop beatboxing, Herstand started with an energy that was sustained throughout the entire night. A one– man show, Herstand displayed his looping skills in several songs, stacking layers of guitars, vocals, trumpets and keyboards on top of each other."
– The Lawrentian
Friday, November 2 2007 (featured photo concert review)
"His music blends acoustic pop, folk, hip– hop and jazz into a style you might call 'folk hop.' He's got a cool percussive guitar style that reminds us a little of Australian acoustic guitar phenom Jeff Lang...but the Minneapolis songwriter is a one– man band"
– Post Crescent
Thursday, October 25 2007 (featured photo preview)
"Minneapolis favorite to perform at The Cabin...variety of styles, emphasis on lyrics found with Ari Herstand"
– The Spectator
October, 11 2007 (featured concert preview)
"Whether Herstand's writings concern political issues, personal relationships, current events, or a variety of other subject matter, his unique sound allows a musical reprieve that addresses issues with honesty while still managing to comfort the listener...The amount of dedication and drive that Herstand shows through the songs on One Take, all written by him, is a quality that is not seen often enough in today's music industry."
– The Spectrum
Friday, September 28 2007 (featured photo preview)
"...looping himself on acoustic guitar, trumpet and voice beat box...he also demonstraved on his opener 'Float on By,' that he knows how to craft a pretty tune."
– Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Friday, June 29 2007 (feautred photo review)
"Ari Strikes Gold on 'One Take'
...Herstand recently released his sophomore solo album, One Take, which showcases his unique "folk hop" genre that sounds unlike anything you've ever heard....no wonder he has become a success; at such a young age, his sound is both a combination of the music you love listening to and his own unique creation all at once."
– The Daily Cardinal
"Herstand's music dwells seldom on the superficial. He's not your average guy with an acoustic guitar. In a unique style that blends elements of pop, folk rock and jazz — think jam man Keller Williams, with an air of Dave Matthews and (more energetic) hints of Jack Johnson and Norah Jones — Herstand's new album leaves little to be desired."
– The Badger Herald
"Twenty– one year– old Ari Herstand supported Zox and Tally Hall at the High Noon Saloon as a one– man band of vox, acoustic guitar, trumpet, beat box, and loops. At first glance, this "Poster Boy Celebrity" looked like just another folk act, but quickly pleased with a voice similar in texture to Ron Sexsmith, and songs filled with catchy hooks and intricate layers..."
– The Isthmus
"...An acoustic pop/rock genre bending treat from one man, one guitar, one trumpet, one piano, and one loop station. His fusion of folk, hip– hop and jazz breathes much– needed warmth and verve into the acoustic rock formula...."
– The Wake
"Minneapolis' Ari Herstand layers his acoustic pop with plenty of introspection and strummy sweetness... His new album One Take features Ari in a solo setting, but he's got plenty of back– up courtesy of guitar, keyboard, trumpet, and a loop station. A particular favorite of the young female set, Herstand uses his dreamy vocal style to explore deep English– major philosophies and high– school memories..."
– The Onion
"...The best thing about One Take...is that all of the songs on the live album feature the sweet looping stuff that Herstand does in concert, but are absent from Baby Eyes. Suffice it to say, the fans really wanted to hear Herstand's looping talents on an album, and he delivered with this new release..."
"...The album intimately blends emotional lyrics ranging from the familial to the political... an eclectic new genre known as 'folk/hop.'..."
– Wisconsin State Journal
"The positive, intimate nature of Ari's writing and singing bring to mind artists such as Cat Stevens, but his style is current enough to sound right at home on the radio"
–Grammy Winning Producer/Songwriter Kevin Bowe
"...upbeat melodies similar to those heard in songs by The Dave Matthews Band, and a unique style that combines the subtle charm of Ben Folds and the articulate frankness of Sage Francis..."
– The Capital Times
"...Adding to the complexity and uniqueness of their sound was Herstand's loop station, with which he created impressive vocal percussion and instrumental back beats. These additions made the band sound huge, which the audience appreciated..."
– Manitou Messanger
"...His lyrics further separate Ari from the pack, defined by a sense of realness and a propensity for discussing actual people, relationships and issues...In the music of today, it is hard to find an artist who has the daring to uncompromisingly tell real stories without resorting to empty cliches, gimmicks and conventions..."
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Amy Draheim with Shatter Public Relations
amy [at] shattepr