Rock The Bike

Cello Joe

There aren’t very many singing, rapping, beatboxing, cello players in the world. You could probably count them on your fingers, if you knew any of them. But there’s a particularly funny and funky curious one you should remember and he goes by the name of cellojoe.

Like most cello players, Joseph Abraham Tal Tien-Ru Chang Jr. Senior III esquire (or just Joey for short) started out as a classical cellist. A mild-mannered suburbanite kid from Los Altos, California, Joey began studying the cello at age ten. His first instrument was actually piano which he started at age nine. For the first eight years, there were weekly private lessons and many music summer camps. There were also weekly youth orchestra rehearsals. And from this fertile classical ground sprang forth a very unusual weed from a crack in the suburbial sidewalk.

Joey discovered playing on the street after eight years of classical training. First, he played his classical repertoire over and over. This practice got old pretty quick. He realized that playing on the street was a great opportunity to begin improvising. After a fair amount of purely instrumental improvisation, he thought that being able to sing and play the cello would be infinitely cool and different and would thus attract more attention and hopefully fill the case with money. Slowly and surely this talent developed. Hip hop had always been part of Joey’s listening diet and because of this habit, beatboxing naturally began to work its way into his improvisations on the street.

In addition to being a veritable cello monster, Joey is also very interested in organic farming and has traveled to and worked at organic farms in Canada, the west coast of the U.S. and the island of Maui in Hawaii through the organization WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms or Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms.)

He is currently living in Santa Cruz, and working on a puppet show and a west coast U.S. tour on an xtracycle equipped bicycle for the cello. If you know any great places to play, be sure to contact him!


For booking, please contact cellojoe at