Joe Kwon

Joe Kwon is the cellist in The Avett Brothers. He also lends background vocals on songs and in concert and plays the musical saw on rare occasions.

Joe joined the band in 2006 and his music first appeared on the 2007 album Emotionalism. He has been a full time recording and touring member since.

Joe named one of his cellos Chloe.[1] His newest cello is not yet named.


Joe Kwon was born in South Korea around 1980 and moved to the United States with his family when he was one year old. Joe began playing the cello as a young child and planned on becoming a classical cellist. He attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California for high school but failed to get into University of Southern California’s prestigious Thornton School of Music. Instead he went to University of North Carolina and got his degree in computer science. He worked at IBM for two years before quitting to resume his passion for music.[2]

Big Pretty & The Red Rockets with Joe Kwon - 8-5-11 - Cognac Dipped

Big Pretty & The Red Rockets with Joe Kwon - 8-5-11 - Cognac Dipped

Joe played and recorded with the the band Bus. for their album Moving People[3] which was released in 2007. He was performing with the band Big Pretty and the Red Rockets in 2006 when he met Bob Crawford who asked Joe, Leon Godwin, and Ingrid Stenzel of Big Pretty to help record and tour with New Jersey Transient. NJT opened for The Avett Brothers in 2006 while the band was recording Emotionalism. Seth, Scott and Bob decided they wanted a cellist for some songs on Emotionalism so they asked Joe to record with them.[4]

Joe's first performance with The Avett Brothers was on December 30, 2006. He sat down like a classic cellist for the first few moments of the show before abandoning the chair to stand, dance, and rock like the rest of the band.[5] He was then asked to tour with them, and since then has become a permanent fixture in the band.[6] He did not participate in the recording of 2008's The Second Gleam but recorded for I and Love and You, The Carpenter, Magpie and the Dandelion, and True Sadness. He is considered to be "an Avett Brother" in the band.[6]

Joe is is also an avid foodie and photographer.[7] In March 2015 Joe married Emily Meineke. The two live together with their dog Buckley in Raleigh, North Carolina.[8]



External linksEdit


  1. — new art piece — May 15, 2014
  2. — Joe Kwon: Living the Dream — March 17, 2014
  3. — I’m Joe Kwon, cello player for the Avett Brothers. AMA! — December 2013
  4. — Catching Up with Joe Kwon of The Avett Brothers — March 14, 2008
  5. — The Avett Brothers’ Joe Kwon talks love of music, food — July 6, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 — Joe Kwon – Avett Brother from Another Mother — November 9, 2009
  7. — Avett Brothers cellist Joe Kwon explains the band’s famous energy — November 27, 2013
  8. — Lessons learned from Joe Kwon’s dream kitchen — June 12, 2015