Ben Folds brings “What Matters Most” tour to Birmingham on Sept. 17

Folds, whose genre-bending piano pop helped define an entire era of alternative rock, is presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

Ben Folds TKBen Folds, widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of his generation, will perform Sunday, Sept. 17, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Folds first rose to fame in the mid-’90s with Ben Folds Five, whose genre-bending take on piano pop helped define an entire era of alternative rock.

UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center will present the 6 p.m. performance. Tickets are $49, $59 and $69. Visit or call 205-975-2787 for tickets. A limited number of discounted tickets are available for UAB employees and students. VIP packages are available at an additional cost.

Folds’ masterful new album, “What Matters Most,” marks his first new studio release in eight years. It is a bold, timely, cinematic work that examines the tragic and the absurd in equal measure as it reckons with hope and despair, gratitude and loss, identity and perspective, according to his artist’s statement.

Folds has created an enormous body of music that also includes multiple solo albums and collaborative records. He tours as a pop artist, while also performing with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras. He is currently the first artistic adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

A New York Times bestselling author and podcast host, Folds frequently guest stars in film and television, and recently earned an Emmy nomination for his composition of a new theme song for a popular “Peanuts” TV special.

An advocate for the arts, Folds is on the boards of the Arts Action Fund, Planet Word and the Nashville Symphony, and has launched a music education initiative for kids in his home state of North Carolina.