Bio

Born


Born in Chicago, raised in Southern California, Cej took up the classical violin at age 6. At 11, he abandoned it for the guitar, teaching himself to play by playing along to Woody Guthrie’s songs; as recorded by Rambling Jack Elliot, Cisco Houston and Woody himself (along with Cisco, Sonny Terry, and Leadbelly). Cej wrote his first song, Let ‘em Be The Last, on the evening of Bobbie Kennedy’s assassination. It was included on his debut solo CD, Sleepwalker In Paradise.

Music Major, Dropout, and The Electric Guitar

Seduced by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Cej picked up the electric guitar in his teens and, after a short run as a music major, he dropped out and joined a rock and roll band. Twelve years, three bands and three eponymous albums later (Sweet Pain on United Artists, 1970; Rock Rose on CBS Sony, 1979; and Small Talk on MCA, 1981), he became disillusioned with the music business and dropped out again, this time to return to school.

Joel Rafael Band

Newly armed with a master’s degree in social work, he launched a new career in the mental health field. Soon thereafter, he and hometown friend, Joel Rafael, started playing coffee houses together. This bloomed into the Joel Rafael Band, a ten-year run (1994-2004) and five CDs, including two collections of Woody Guthrie songs. and a chance to share the stage with many of his heroes--Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Odetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, John Prine, Bruce Coburn and many others.

Working, Traveling, and Writing Songs

After the Joel Rafael Band, Cej began to work as a traveling mental health consultant. Based out of California, he traveled throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa … collecting experiences and writing songs along the way.

Sleepwalker in Paradise

His first solo CD, Sleepwalker In Paradise, was released in 2013. It's a collection of songs inspired by his temporary home in Hawai'i. Listed among the Folk-DJ Top Albums for 2014, it was also embraced by 75 AAA and Americana stations in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Israel.

Clovis Man

Cej’s second CD, Clovis Man, was released in August 2018. This collection of 16 tracks was built around a core of songs written while he was living and working in Clovis New Mexico, but a few older Cej songs also found a home here. This CD built on the radio support initiated by the first CD.

Adobe Road

Cej's third CD, Adobe Road, was released in August, 2019, and includes a core of songs written while he worked extensively with military families in the California desert. Like Clovis Man, Adobe Road built even further on the radio support of it's predecessors, charting on Folk. AAA, Roots, Americana and College stations, with support at home and abroad.

 

Cej Live

Cej performs solo, capturing the energy and spirit of his recordings in his live performances. With a unique guitar style, listeners often remark that “it sounds like there’s a band up there”.  Cej is currently accepting bookings for 2020-2021 at Festivals, House Concerts, Folk Clubs and Sundry Listening Rooms of all shapes and sizes. See you there!

“Will play for work!”

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