The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 07.04.11

The Pace Report: "A Musical State of Art" The Ben Williams Interview

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Bassist and Bandleader Ben Williams is on the most sought after musicians on the scene. The 2009 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition winner was a recipient of a recording deal with Concord Records and after two years has flown the coupe with his group Sound Effect. His highly anticipated debut “State of Art” features some of the biggest and brightest names in jazz music including percussionist Etienne Charles, drummer Jamire Williams, saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Marcus Strickland, pianist Gerald Clayton, and guitarist Matt Stevens. The Washington, DC native took to music at an early age. Ben used to listen to his moms soul and jazz collection and decided that he wanted to pursue the bass while in middle school. Upon graduation, he attended Michigan State University where he studied under both Rodney Whitaker and Jack Budrow. After completing his undergrad degree he attended Juilliard where he earned his masters. While attending school he’s backed and recorded with the likes of Cyrus Chestnut, Jacky Terrasson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mulgrew Miller, Roy Hargrove, and Herbie Hancock. Ben held his CD Release Concert at the Gatehouse at Harlem Stage in Harlem, New York to a sold-out performance. Special guests included trumpeter Keyon Harrold and emcee John Robinson. Also, part of the performance included a string quartet with Meg Okura, Maria Im, Dan Arocha, and Justina Sullivan. Currently Ben is about to go on tour in support of his latest disc “State of Art.” For upcoming show dates please visit him on the web at benwilliamsmusic.net.moreless

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