“Singer and unconventional cellist Trevor Exter plucks and whacks at his big instrument and guides it through multiple climaxes.”
Time Out New York

“If you’re expecting a sedate orchestra recital, you’d better think again…. Exter’s crooning voice harkens back to an era of music where men weren’t afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves.”
Chris Kocher, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

“…makes you feel like you found something you didn’t even know you were missing… Trevor Exter nails it.”
Ethan Kanat, BreakThruRadio.com

 

Who?

For most of his life, Trevor Exter has been a professional singer and cellist with his own approach to all aspects of composing, songwriting, producing, performing and touring. He has a couple of bands where he gets to make a spectacle of himself, and some producers like to use him as a secret weapon.  He also plays Fender bass

First-time listeners are sometimes puzzled when Exter steps on stage, a cello plugged into an amp the way a rocker bears his axe. Exter has toured with a number of outfits as well as fronting his own projects over the years.  Some notable ones include De La Guarda, Steve Kimock Crazy Engine, James McBride's Good Lord Bird Band, DJ Tasha Blank and his duo with John Kimock, XVSK.  He frequently performs solo.

Born in Ithaca, NY and fascinated by the cello at an early age, he moved to Brazil in 1993, hypnotized by the fire and tenderness in its music. He played with young Brazilian musicians who reveled in the Beatles, Coltrane and Ellington as well as their country’s icons: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Hermeto Pascoal.

He makes music for nighthawks and dreamers. Mixing acoustic pop, American soul and restless rock energy with an itinerant vision all his own, his songs travel far and burrow deep. The lyrics, brimming with passion, are delivered by a warm, grainy voice over a subtle and surprisingly deep groove.  

 

Why cello?

Exter's musical quest has always been to dig deep and find new ways to meld the traditional with the experimental.  He found a niche by combining unorthodox cello techniques with pop songwriting.

Very rarely in the mainstream do we get to see cellists innovate at the front of the stage.  But Exter has always felt that the cello has more to offer than just "warming up the mix" so he strives to do just that, beginning with solo arrangements which evolved over time into band projects.

In his cello technique you'll hear a playing style which incorporates his professional experience as a guitarist, electric bassist, drummer and keyboardist.  Inspired by the bass, piano, drums, guitar, electronics, gospel, Brazilian music, rock and jazz, he has always striven to bridge the tactile pleasures of his instrument with the technical requirements of other traditions.  

Exter worked in many different musical capacities until 2004, when he survived the near-death experience of getting run over by a cement truck.  The accident shocked him into a heightened awareness of life's fragility which continues to deepen.  Grateful for his life but unable to walk for several months during his recovery, he befriended a beat-up cello which had fallen into his possession, practicing now with a simple goal: the sound had to help him heal both physically and spiritually or he wouldn't keep making it.  This constraint spurred him to completely abandon his classical training, drawn deeply into the raw physical vibration produced by the tone and natural rhythms of the instrument.

Starting from scratch with basic hand percussion on the strings, he slowly crafted a sound which can (and does) go the distance from dance bands to jazz clubs, nightclubs, churches, concert halls and beyond.  He released his first CD, 637 Sounds in 2005 and to date he has released seven albums: four under his own name and three as part of "XVSK" with drummer John Kimock.  

He plays regularly around the world and locally in New York City.  Through it all, he remains fueled by an abundant and deep gratitude for each day of his life.