It’s our 21st Birthday this August!
Join us for the celebrations with BEN WILLIAMS & SOUND EFFECT on August 19 & 20, 2016. Tickets are $25 ($15 members) with sets at 7.30pm + 9.30pm both nights.
Ben Williams – bass
Marcus Strickland – saxophone
Alex Wintz – guitar
Christian Sands – keyboards
John Davis – drums
Brevan Hampden – congas
Ben Williams of New York City and a native of Washington, DC is a national and international acclaimed bassist, bandleader, music educator, composer and performer.
Williams has recorded, toured and/or performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Chaka Kahn, Dee Bridgewater, Terrence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, and Stefon Harris just to name a few. He performed the infectious tune, Happy with Pharrell Williams and Herbie Hancock at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. And in April 2016, he debuted his appearance in the Miles Davis Movie, Miles Ahead with Don Cheadle and has since performed at one of the Premieres.
In April 2015, Williams released his sophomore album, Coming of Age through The Concord Music Group. Coming of Age along with his debut album, State of Art released in 2011 also through Concord is a collection of new works reflecting his wide-ranging musical interests as well as his growth as a musician, improviser and composer. Says Williams, “This new music reflects more of where I am on my journey. I think I have matured as a composer and I’m better able to deliver my ideas to my fans and hopefully to a new and expanding audience”.
Williams was awarded his first Grammy with the Pat Metheny Unity Band for Best Jazz Instrumental Album of 2012. In 2013 he recorded on Metheny’s album, Kin; and in 2014 he performed 157 concerts in over 30 cities throughout the world with Metheny, earning his stripes as a true road warrior. He considers his experience with Metheny as transformative, saying, “Pat has been a great influence on my writing and arranging. He is one of the greatest composers alive. Seeing him work behind the scenes is unbelievably amazing. He is an incredible genius. I aspire to become the type of leader that he is because he has pushed me beyond what I thought I could do.”
Also, in 2013 Williams received the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star Award for Bass. He became a “Rising Star” when he won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition Award that included a record-deal with The Concord Music Group. He soon formed his own Band, Sound Effect then recorded and released State of Art in 2011. The Album received an impressive 4.5 Star Review in DownBeat Magazine and quickly reached #1 on the charts of iTunes and the National BillBoard. He was named the 2011 iTtunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year in the category of jazz.
Among the many honors that he has been awarded, he received the Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Award for maintaining the highest of standards in his profession and in his personal life as an MSU Alumnus. He graduated from MSU in 2007 where he received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies. And, in 2009 he received his Master’s degree in Music from The Juilliard Conservatory School in Manhattan, New York.