Versatile Guitarist Ben Harris Adds New Gig As SoNA GM

Music lovers may know Ben Harris best from the stage performance side, but the versatile guitarist has a new gig, announced just last week. He is now the general manager of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.

Harris grew up playing blues, folk and rock at Pine Bluff, earned a Bachelor of Music degree from UALR – where he studied jazz and classical guitar – worked in the jazz studies department of the University of New Orleans, then moved to Fayetteville where he earned a Master of Music in Composition in 2008.

Along the way he played with the likes of Bob Dorough, John Oates and Claire Holley and opened for BB King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marcia Ball, Patrice Pike and Eddie Money.

Harris joined the SoNA family in 2012 as Production Manager before moving on to Director of Operations and Annual Giving and now General Manager. The new job involves the planning and production of all orchestra performances and events, as well as educational outreach and community engagement.

“For a decade, Ben has been a stabilizing force for SoNA,” said Riley Nicholson, Executive Director of SoNA. “He is the essential talent behind the scenes that keeps our shows running smoothly and efficiently. This comes not only from a down-to-earth and hardworking sensibility, but also from an understanding and profound for our art form. I am honored to call him my colleague.”

“As SoNA continues its growth trajectory,” says Harris, “this new role will help us take on even greater efforts, positioning us for success as we look to an exciting future.”


• Arlen Hlusko, 8 p.m. Feb. 4 ($18-$25), The Momentary, 507 SE “E” St. 367-7500,


• Open Mic Night, 7-10:30 a.m. Feb. 3, Moonbroch, 117 W. Walnut St. 278-2500.

• Karaoke Thursday, 7-11 p.m. February 3, Hapa’s Hawaiian Bar & Grill, 105 S. Third St. 633-8213.


• Sprungbilly performs at 8:30 p.m. on January 31; there is an open mic night starting at 8 p.m. on February 1; drinking and drawing starts at 8 p.m. on February 2; and there’s a bluegrass open jam at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 at Chelsea’s Cafe, 10 Mountain St. Free. 253-8231;

• Jenna and Tony perform at 7 p.m. on February 4; and Patti’s Drag Brunch takes place at 1 p.m. Feb. 5 at Wanderoo Lodge & Bar, 216 W. Van Buren. 363-6755;

• Sierra Ferrell performs at 6 p.m. on February 18 ($35); Lyle Lovett performs at 7:30 p.m. March 23 ($85); and the Marshall Tucker Band plays at 7:30 p.m. March 25 ($79-$89) at the Eureka Springs City Auditorium, 36 S. Main St. 253-7788;


• Jer’s Itty Bitty Big Jazz Band performs at 6:30 pm on January 30; John Eldon plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 1; Ben Harris performs at 5 p.m. Feb. 2; JerGriffin plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 3; Six Twelve Sip-N-Paint takes place at 7 p.m. on February 4; and Gavin Sumrall performs at 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at Six-Twelve Coffeehouse, 3980 W. Wedington Drive. 856-6382;

• Lost Breed & DJ Raquel perform at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 2 ($10); Dawson Hollow plays at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 ($10); Honeyjack plays happy hour at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 ($8); Jukeboxx performs at 9:15 p.m. Feb. 4 ($10); and 90 LB Wrench plays at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 5 ($10) at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St. 527-6618;

• Comedian Trey Kennedy presents his “Are You For Real? in town at 7:00 p.m. on February 5; and the Sullivan Fortner Trio performs at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St. 443-5600;


• Tyler Braden plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 ($8-$10); Huser Brother Band plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 ($8 and $10); and Arkansauce plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 ($15-$18) at Majestic, 817 Garrison Ave. 551-2424;

• The fourth annual Brewery Chili Cookoff takes place at noon on February 5 at the Fort Smith Brewing Co., 7500 Fort Chaffee Blvd. Tickets are $12 on 242-3722;

• Cadillac Three performance with Ben Chapman scheduled for Feb. 4 ($20-$30) has been postponed; This Arena Rock show starts at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 ($15-$25); Frank Foster performs Feb. 18 ($20-$27.50); Cheat Codes Work Feb 20 ($22 – $27); Tab Benoit plays at 8 p.m. on March 10 ($30-$39); and Candlebox performs at 8 p.m. March 17 ($25-$39) at Temple Live, 200 N. 11th St. 222-6186;

• Lyle Lovett presents his acoustic show in Fort Smith at 8:30 pm March 22 at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center, 55 S. Seventh St. 788-8932;


• Simeon Basil performs at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at Black Apple Hard Cider, 321 E. Emma Ave. Free. 751-0337;


• Tickets ranging from $29 to $42.50 went on sale Jan. 21 for Steel Panther with Any Given Sin on March 22 at Temple Live, 200 N. 11th St. in Fort Smith. 222-6186;

• Tickets ranging from $36 to $60.50 went on sale Jan. 21 for Fitz and the Tantrums and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, June 23 at Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion at Rogers.

• Tickets go on sale at AMP for The Bandwagon Tour featuring headliners Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town and featuring The Cadillac Three on May 8 at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion at Rogers. Tickets cost between $40 and $138.50. Also on sale are tickets for Tim McGraw, April 29; for KING + COUNTRY, May 21; Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band, June 9; Steely Dan with Steve Winwood, June 10; REO Speedwagon and Styx, with Loverboy, June 13; Backstreet Boys, June 17; Chicago and Brian Wilson, June 21; Matchbox 20 with The Wallflowers, June 24; 5 Seconds of Summer, June 28; Keith Urban, August 18; Morgan Wallen, August 26; and Goo Goo Dolls, September 18.

• Tickets for Casting Crowns in concert at 7 pm on March 24 at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock are on sale. Opening acts will be We Are Messengers and Jonathan Traylor. Tickets range from $19.75 to $89.75, on sale at the arena box office and on

• Tickets are on sale for Shinedown in concert April 29 at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock. The first parts will be The Pretty Reckless and Diamante. Tickets range from $39.50 to $79.50, on sale at the Arena box office and on

• Tickets are on sale for a concert by Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams at 8 p.m. on May 23 at the Robinson Center Performance Hall in Little Rock. Prices range from $71.99 to $101.99 on

• Tickets are also available for Weird Al Yankovic’s Unfortunate Return of Misguided Vanity tour on May 31 at the Robinson Center Performance Hall in Little Rock. Tickets cost between $39 and $79 on

Send information about your upcoming concerts and events to Becca Martin-Brown, Managing Editor, at [email protected]

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