Jazz Pianist/Composer Ben Markley
"Ben Markley convincingly demonstrates his potential to impact the jazz scene in years to come" is how Markley was described in a review from Jazz Improv NY magazine. Markley is a jazz pianist rooted in the bebop tradition of Bud Powell, Barry Harris, Phineas Newborn Jr., and Oscar Peterson. He has performed with Brian Lynch, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Lenny Picket, Ron McClure and George Garzone at various New York Venues including the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, and the Kitano Hotel. Markley's debut album entitled Spealio features tenor saxophone great George Garzone. Spealio features 10 original compositions and has been received well with release parties in New York and Kansas City.
Despite his musical upbringing, Markley did not decide to seriously pursue music at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS until his third year of college. Around this time he began listening to the Oscar Peterson record Night Train. C-Jam Blues inspired Markley to become a jazz pianist. Eventually, Markley earned bachelors degree from FHSU in piano performance. While attending FHSU, he had the opportunity to study with renowned pianist/composer/arranger Frank Mantooth.
In the fall of 2005 Markley moved to the jazz capital of the world to pursue a masters degree in jazz studies at New York University. While in New York, he studied with Brian Lynch, David Hazeltine, George Garzone, John Scofield, and Joe Lovano. In the summer of 2005 Markley was part of a trio that won the Promising Artists of the Twenty-First Century competition at NYU. This group toured and gave master classes in Costa Rica. Additionally, Markley has worked as an educator in several roles. He was as an adjunct piano instructor at New York University and is currently an instructor for the Virtual College at Fort Hays State University. Markley has as taught at various music camps and been a guest soloist and clinician for schools and universities in the Midwest.