Avett Brothers member Joe Kwon began playing the cello as a young child and continued to play throughout his high school years at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. Deciding to focus his college career on something other than music, he graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in computer science and got a job at a tech corporation. Still playing the cello in his spare time, he caught the attention of The Avett Brothers when his band, Big Pretty and the Red Rockets, opened for them in a 2006 show. Scott Avett, Seth Avett and Bob Crawford asked Joe to record with them for their album Emotionalism. The band then realized that they wanted a full time cellist, so they asked Joe to join them as a permanent member of the band. Joe promptly joined The Avett Brothers in 2006 and has played with them ever since.
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