Teo Benson, founding member of Stop, Thief! hopes his listeners turn their toe-tapping into full-fledged dancing.
“Stop, Thief! is dedicated to the preservation of the motion of hips (quoting Mr. George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic).
“If you take away guitar, keyboards, lead singer, back up singers, one of the best horn sections in history, and then add a violinist and a cellist, Stop, Thief! still has very little in common with Parliament musically,” Benson says. “However, a quality that we do share is one I think about every time I write music for this band and one that we try to bring to every show. That is the ability to get the audience involved.”
Meet the band
Teo Benson has won scholarships and concerto competitions as a classical violinist (currently, a member of the Tacoma Symphony), and he holds a master’s degree in Violin Performance from the University of Washington. In addition to performing with Stop, Thief! Benson performs as a classical soloist in the Seattle area and with orchestras in Guadalajara, Mexico, as a rock violinist with a folk-rock indie band named The Crying Shame, also playing original compositions in the Seattle area, and with other chamber music groups in the Seattle area and in Mexico. He is lead instructor for the grant-funded Young Strings Project Outreach which offers violin instruction for young students demonstrating financial need.
Dylan Rieck, playing cello for Stop, Thief!, holds music degrees from the University of Washington where he was a concerto competition winner and principal cellist and from the University of Texas where he was awarded Outstanding Masters Recital recognition. He lives in Austin, Texas, and performs regularly in a variety of styles including classical, rock and jazz and has contributed to more than 30 recordings, both as accompanist and composer. He has performed original music in 14 countries.
Bren Plummer, on double bass, has played professionally since the age of 16 and has performed throughout the United States and in Europe. A natural jazz player, improviser and thoughtful composer, he was recently awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in String Performance from the University of Washington.
Joseph Shultz, on drums, began his musical quest in Montana. At the age of 10, his father taught him guitar and introduced him to Led Zeppelin, the band that inspired him to become a drummer. Shultz has played with punk, folk, jam and progressive rock bands across the Gallatin Valley and in Seattle. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in music composition from the University of Washington.