The release of Sage and Stone, the debut independent release from singer/songwriter Avi Kaplan, may not seem like a natural musical progression for the Grammy Award-winning performer and arranger of a cappella phenoms Pentatonix.  For Kaplan, however, this EP is simply – and profoundly – an homage to where his passion for music was born and an introduction to the next chapter of his musical journey.  It is honest and humble.  It is thoughtful and emotional.  It is Kaplan at his core – passionate, emotional, inspired and unapologetically vulnerable.

Born and raised in Visalia, CA, Avriel Benjamin Kaplan developed his love for the wilderness within nearby Sequoia National Park.  It’s where he found inspiration and escape and where he first discovered music in its most organic and truest form.  The majestic Sequoia trees became the backdrop for Kaplan’s earliest musical inspirations – Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Bill Withers – and throughout his life remained an essential component in experiencing current influences, including Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Ben Harper and José González.

Sage and Stone, Kaplan’s introduction to Avriel & the Sequoias, is inspired by and purposefully presents the full spectrum of his folk palate without ever abandoning its lush, layered vocals, intricate arrangements and tasteful acoustic performances.   “Folk music is everything to me; it’s where I come from; It’s home,” Kaplan explains.  “It lifts me up.  It inspires me.  It intrigues me.  And it heals me.  I can only hope that the people who find it feel the same.”