Ben Williams  \\  Bassist

As a Musician

Ben Williams, an acoustic and electric bassist, composer, educator, is a native of Washington, DC now living in New York City.  

 

He is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he received his Master's degree in Jazz Studies under the instruction of Ben Wolfe and Carl Allen in 2009. He is a 2007 graduate of Michigan State University where   he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in jazz studies under the instruction of Rodney Whitaker and Jack Budrow.

"Ben Williams has a dark, righteous sound on an upright bass, and an almost liquid mobility through the fullness of his range.." - NY Times

On October 11, 2009, Ben won the most prestigious award in the world for aspiring jazz musicians by placing first in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition

held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He was awarded a $20,000 Scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Records.

 

Subsequently, his debut record, “State of Art,” (Concord Records) was released in June 2011 and was well received by both fans and critics alike. Williams was named by iTunes as the "2011 Breakthrough Artist of the Year'' in the Jazz category. He was also awarded “Best New Artist” by the Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) in 2012. Williams released his sophomore album, Coming of Age in April 2015, a collection of new works reflecting his wide-ranging musical interests as well as his growth as a musician, improviser and composer. He recently completed his film debut with Don Cheadle in Miles Davis biopic, “Miles Ahead.”

Williams won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Unity Band. He has also had the opportunity to perform/record with such greats as Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Pharrell, Benny Golson, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Paquito D’Rivera, Christian McBride Big Band, Roy Hargrove, Mulgrew Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, Robert Glasper, Gretchen Parlato, Jose

James, to name a few.

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