Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Main Stage


With over 15 million records sold worldwide, the career of this multi-Grammy award-winning musician, producer, activist and now, record label founder, spans decades, during which he has been established as a singularly powerful songwriter and performer with range across multiple genres with a rare ability to blend the personal and political.

In 1993 Virgin Records offered Harper a worldwide recording contract and he released his debut, Welcome to the Cruel World in 1994. The album was created with musicians who would eventually become known as the Innocent Criminals. Many albums with various iterations of the Innocent Criminals followed including: Fight for Your Mind (1995); The Will to Live (1997); Burn to Shine (1999); Live from Mars (2001); Diamonds on the Inside (2003); Both Sides of the Gun (2006); Lifeline (2007), for which he was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Grammy; and Call It What It Is (2016).

Harper's need to continually explore every aspect of creating music has led him to some brilliant and highly acclaimed collaborations, both as a performer and as a producer. In 2004 Ben and the Innocent Criminals backed The Blind Boys of Alabama resulting in the collaborative album There Will Be a Light. They were awarded the Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album and Ben won the Best Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy. 2010 saw Harper team up with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur and they released a self-titled album as Fistful of Mercy. In 2013 Ben teamed up with Charlie Musselwhite and the duo created two records, the first, Get Up! (2013), won the Best Blues Album Grammy award, followed by Grammy-nominated No Mercy in This Land (2018) which won the Blues Foundation Best Blues Song of the Year. 

Harper's social activism has continued throughout his career and has seen him support a broad array of organizations and events including LIFT, Living Lands and Waters,, Newlight, Pat Tillman Foundation, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider Foundation and Tony Hawk Foundation.

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