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Musician

Ben Williams

Benjamin James Williams is a native of Washington, DC. He also performs on electric bass and piano as well. His musical influence is rooted in various genres of music including jazz, hip-hop, R&B, gospel, and classical. Ben is a recent graduate of the Michigan State University School of Music where he majored in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz, studying with Rodney Whitaker and Jack Budrow. He plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. Ben has won several competitions and scholarship awards. He is a two-time winner of the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Competition at the East Coast Jazz Festival; a two-time winner of the DC Public School Piano Competition; a 2002 recipient of the Duke Ellington Society Annual Scholarship Award

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Article: Radio

Women in Jazz: In Tribute to Billie

Read "Women in Jazz: In Tribute to Billie" reviewed by Russell Perry


In 2015, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth. In 2020, the documentary Billie was released and now the flawed biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday has come out. In the last several years, there have been significant tribute records by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson and José James. In addition, songs from ...

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Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

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Article: Album Review

A Bu: Live At Beijing Poly Theater

Read "Live At Beijing Poly Theater" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Beijing's Poly Theater has held over three-thousand international artistic events since its opening in 1991. The prestigious fifteen-hundred seat cultural hub was the site of a 2018 solo piano concert by Dai Liang (aka, A Bu), possibly the best unknown pianist in music. A prodigy who began playing at four, the pianist was discovered in 2012 ...

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Article: Album Review

Pat Metheny: From This Place

Read "From This Place" reviewed by John Kelman


It's been a full six years since Pat Metheny last released a studio recording. This, despite the guitarist who has become, in a career now in the midst of its fifth decade, one of the most famous and influential jazz guitarists of his (or, some would argue, any) generation, reportedly having enough material in the can ...

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Article: What is Jazz?

2020 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide

Read "2020 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Believe it or not, it is that time of the year again! The holidaze are barely over and a new edition of Winter JazzFest is upon us. Knowing a jazz marathon is the perfect antidote to the holiday shopping and social marathons, producer Brice Rosenbloom and his cohorts have put together a program of gargantuan proportions. ...

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Article: Year in Review

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

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Article: Album Review

Jazzmeia Horn: Love & Liberation

Read "Love & Liberation" reviewed by Ian Patterson


It's a big step for any singer, the move from interpreter of jazz standards to songwriter. And when you've been Grammy-nominated for a debut album of covers, as Jazzmeia Horn was with A Social Call (Prestige, 2017), the temptation must be to carry on in the same vein. Horn, however, clearly has greater ambition, as the ...

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Article: Radio

Alicia Olatuja talks about her "Intuition"

Read "Alicia Olatuja talks about her "Intuition"" reviewed by Lorens Chuno


As an artist, Alicia Olatuja is distinguished by her graceful presence and her fine-tuned and soulful vocals. Her latest album, Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women, is a collection of classic songs written by female composers. The album features David Rosenthal on guitar, Billy Childs on piano, Ulysses Owens Jr. on drums, Dayna Stephens on ...

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Article: Album Review

Stefon Harris: Sonic Creed

Read "Sonic Creed" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


A distanza di un decennio dalla pubblicazione di Urbanus -l'ultimo disco di Stefon Harris con l'ensemble Blackout -sono cambiate molte cose nel mondo del vibrafono jazz: nel 2016 è scomparso Bobby Hutcherson, l'anno successivo Gary Burton s'è ritirato dalla scena attiva e Mike Mainieri, che ha superato gli ottant'anni, ha ridotto l'attività. Lo scettro del miglior ...


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