Sarah 'Cellobat' Chaffee first picked up the cello at age five, and she hasn't put it down since! She has studied with many excellent teachers (including Hans Jørgen-Jensen, Peter Howard, and Amir Eldan) and earned her bachelor's degree in cello performance under Dr. Melissa Kraut at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she graduated with top academic honors and was the first student to ever receive the Kaplow Award for Uncommon Creativity. Sarah was also honored as the inaugural recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Cello, an instrument loaned by the Daniel Pearl Foundation to one promising cellist each year to spread their mission of "Harmony For Humanity."
Since moving to Las Vegas, Sarah has become an in-demand performer and recording artist. She is currently the principal cellist for rock and roll legends Aerosmith in their "Deuces Are Wild" residency show at the Park Theater (Sarah'sstring quartet arrangementof the band's classic "Dream On" was featured on Steven Tyler's personal Instagram!). The residency began in April of 2019 and has dates scheduled through 2020. Sarah's most recent TV appearances were at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, where she backed pop superstar Halsey in her performance of chart-topping hit "Without Me," and at the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards, accompanying Latina rising star Ximena.Sarah also appeared in April 2020 in an IGTV collaborative video with country stars Lady Antebellum. She has also performed in the orchestras for celebrity soprano Sarah Brightman on her sold-out "Hymn" tour, and for multi-national classical-crossover group Il Divo on their "Timeless" tour. Sarah has appeared in three shows with multi-platinum metal band Disturbed -- two shows on the band's first-ever USO tour, where they performed at the Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases for crowds of enthusiastic military men and women, and one show on their Evolution Tour at Las Vegas's new T-Mobile Arena. Other career highlights include appearing with Celine Dion and Ryan Reynolds in the music video for Dion's hit single "Ashes," written for blockbuster movie Deadpool 2, and backing up world-famous DJ Kygo at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival. In the fall of 2017, Sarah was part of the quartet-in-residence for Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Richard Marx's three-week residency "Satisfied: Only The Hits" at the Flamingo Hotel. Sarah has also appeared a number of times on Univision for the Latin Grammy Awards with artists including Ricky Martin, Kany Garcia, Laura Pausini, and Reik, and in 2014, she was a featured backup musician for famed rock band Mötley Crüe at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Sarah also performs on Friday and Saturday nights withDavid Perrico's Pop Strings Orchestra, a 14-piece band playing everything from Bruno Mars to AC/DC in an exciting nonstop show. The band is in the fourth year of their residency at Cleopatra's Barge in Caesar's Palace, where they pack the lounge to standing-room-only capacity. As a main feature of the show, Sarah performs standing-cello improvised rock and metal solos unlike anything the audience has seen before. Pop Strings is also a fixture at the Smith Center Cabaret Jazz room, where they regularly perform specialty shows in a wide range of genres.
Sarah's other passion is arranging music, and you can find her on Sheet Music Plus under her own publishing label, Cellobat Charts; as of now she has published nearly 200 arrangements. As a conservatory student, she discovered that no one else at school wanted to play anything but classical music. For fun, she began writing all-cello arrangements of rock, pop, and metal songs and recording all the parts herself - and was surprised when these recordings started to become YouTube sensations (her channel has over 300,000 views). Later, as a performer in Vegas, Sarah got tired of playing other peoples' bizarre or error-filled charts, and made it her mission to provide other string players with excellent arrangements that are both fun to play and fun to listen to -- crowd pleasing guaranteed. She has heard from various people that her charts are "easily some of the best, if not the best, out there," "better than the ones we have," and that "you can definitely tell the difference," so she promises you won't regret checking them out! You can find her recordings by clicking "Videos" on this website, or click "Sheet Music" to find the list of all her charts that are currently available on Sheet Music Plus.
As a recording artist, Sarah has contributed to a number of projects. One favorite was the soundtrack for the indie film Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West, produced and directed by Light Forge Studios filmmakers Mike and Jerry Thompson, which was a film festival critics' favorite and audience choice award winner. The brothers are currently producing a sequel to the movie, which will also feature Sarah as the soundtrack's cellist. Sarah can be found on several studio albums, including symphonic black metal band Abigail Williams' album "Becoming"; Phat Strad's album "Bittersweet"; EPs for steampunk/goth rock bands Queue Up and Vanity Crash; and metal band Deadiron's debut album "Out of the Rust and Ruin." She has also recorded for a number of local artists including Chadwick Johnson and Reuel Meditz, and recorded video promotion for Vegas-based group Zen String Girls and New York-based group Impulse Strings.
Sarah's conservatory training, combined with her multi-genre versatility, make her an artist leading the way to the future of music!
Other groups with which Sarah performs regularly are Bella Electric Strings, an internationally beloved band of badass, beautiful rock 'n' roll electric string girls, and Reuel Live, an EDM/classical crossover collaboration with pianist Reuel Meditz and producer Jordan Kolar. Since Las Vegas is a popular wedding destination, Sarah also plays for ceremonies, cocktails, and proposals with Premiere Wedding and Event Music, one of the city's highest-rated providers of acoustic strings. If you want a beer and some great acoustic music, you can head to McMullan's Irish Pub to see Sarah rock out with her violin/cello/guitar trio The Whisky Fiddlers. You can also find her performing with the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra under Shea Arender. For over a year, Sarah played in Vegas headliner Frankie Moreno's residency at the Stratosphere Hotel; she also performed with him at the 2013 Hero Dog Awards, broadcast nationwide on the Hallmark Channel. Sarah also guests late at night with local metal cover band Tinnitus, a side project of world-renowned band members from Blue Man Group.
For over six years, Sarah was the principal cellist of Phat Strad, Las Vegas's original female rock electric string quartet. With Phat Strad, she played hundreds of shows across America - as well as in Italy, Mexico, and Canada - and opened for celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bon Jovi, Train, Gavin DeGraw, Robin Thicke, and Vanilla Ice. The group was featured at high-profile events including the Creative Arts Emmys Governors Ball, the Hyundai PGA Tournament of Champions, and the grand re-opening of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City; they also worked for prestigious clients including Porsche, Forbes, Lexus, Rolex, Neiman Marcus, and Hublot. The group was also a local favorite for conventions and corporate events, performing at all of the Strip's major hotels and clubs.