Actor-singer Ari Herstand at Mansfield

MANSFIELD – Singer-songwriter Ari Herstand will perform solo at 9 p.m. on Sept. 18 at The Hut at Mansfield University. Admission is free for students. There also will be an artist meet-and-greet following his performance.

Previously, Herstand has opened for such talents as Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Sister Hazel, Soul Asylum, The Bodeans, Phil Vassar, Eric Hutchinson, The Ron Pope and Joshua Radin.

Herstand’s music has previously been featured on television shows “The Real World,” “One Tree Hill,” “The Real L Word” and “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.”

He is known on television for his co-starring roles in “2 Broke Girls,” “Touch,” “Sam and Cat” and “The Fosters.”

Critics have praised him as bringing “much-needed warmth and verve into the acoustic rock formula” with “impressive talent,” as well as having his talent and style compared to Cat Stevens, but still while sounding “right at home on the radio.”

Hailing from Wisconsin, Herstand taught himself to play the piano and began playing guitar at age 14, also picking up the trumpet in the fifth grade.

His foray into music started when he briefly began studying music education at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. He transferred to McNally Smith College of Music in 2004 in St. Paul, Minn.

After he graduated from McNally, Herstand started Proud Honeybee Productions, a music production company that oversees business aspects of various Minneapolis-based artists, including Roster McCabe. PHP was responsible McCabe’s Billboard Magazine placement.

At this point, Herstand’s music career started to take off, as he started playing exclusively at coffee shops and club shows at and around the University of Minnesota. He gained popularity from grass roots promotion and general buzz created from live performances.

Herstand gained much wider popularity in 2006 when his music was featured on “The Real World.” In 2006 and 2007, he performed South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and the Summerfest festivals from 2006 to 2010 in Milwaukee, Wis.

In 2008, Herstand showcased at the National Association for Campus Activities Northern Plains Region, where he booked more than 50 shows for the 2008-2009 school year. He continues to play college campuses around the country in addition to his vast club touring schedule. Herstand plays the majority of his shows solo; since he left Minneapolis in 2010 to relocate to Los Angeles, Calif., he has not performed with a band, but plans to perform with one again when his new album is released in 2013.

Herstand spent the beginning of 2012 in Minnesota recording his new album with producer Paul Marino, drummer Dave King, bassist Jim Anton, guitarist Jake Hanson, keyboardist Joey Kantor and vocalists Alicia Wiley and Tonia Hughes. The album was mastered by Bernie Grundman Mastering later that year.

To fund the new album, Herstand decided to use donations by opening up a Kickstarter campaign. He raised $13,544 from 222 donors, more than his initial starting goal of $12,000. To go along with the campaign, he streamed rehearsals on UStream and offered demos of new songs to donors. Herstand concluded the campaign with a live concert in Los Angeles that was also streamed on UStream.

Herstand’s concerts feature his signature live-looping technique. His shows consist of him melding the sounds of the acoustic guitar, keyboards, trumpet, vocal percussion or beat boxing, and tambourine together.

In spring of 2012, he started the music blog, Ari’s Take, to help independent musicians build up their musical careers without the help of signing to a record label. The blog is based on Herstand’s own experience as a touring musician without the help of a record label, as well as his work founding Proud Honeybee Productions and his education at McNally Smith College of Music. Herstand also offers a “Get Specific” program that allows readers to video chat with him to work out individualized plans or their own blooming music careers. Popular posts have included those referencing his own Kickstarter campaign. A few Ari’s Take posts have been featured on Tunecore’s blog and Hypebot.

Herstand also contributes writing to ASCAP, CD Baby and Reverbnation advice blogs.

Releasing everything independently, Herstand released his debut album “Baby Eyes” in 2005. In 2008, he released his album Whispering Endearments, and his next album is scheduled to be released sometime this year.

Herstand has also released two EP’s, “One Take” in 2007 and “Clean Up” in 2011, as well as a live album, “Live at The Pause,” released in 2010.

For more info about Herstand, his music and his career, visit