Ben Williams of New York City is an acclaimed bassist, bandleader, performer, music educator, and composer who has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Chaka Kahn, Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, and Stefon Harris just to name a few. Williams recently performed the infectious tune, “Happy” with Pharrell Williams and Herbie Hancock at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood; and recently completed his film debut with Don Cheadle in the upcoming movie, “Miles Ahead”.
Williams along with The Concord Music Group will release his sophomore album, Coming of Age on April 21st in the US and on April 7th in Europe. His debut album, State of Art with the upcoming album,Coming of Age 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 am better able to deliver my ideas to my fans and hopefully to a new and expanding audience”.
Williams won his first Grammy Award with the Pat Metheny Unity Band for Best Jazz Instrumental Album of 2012. In 2013 he recorded with Metheny on 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 Pat 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.”
In 2013 Williams received the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star Award for Bass. Williams became a “Rising Star” when he won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition Award that landed him his first record-deal with Concord Records. Thereafter, he recorded and released State of Art in 2011 with his band, Sound Effect. The Album received an impressive 4.5 Star Review in DownBeat Magazine and 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 awards that he has received, he received the Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Awardfor maintaining the highest of standards in his profession and in his personal life as an MSU Alumnus.
Ben Williams born December 1984 is a native of Washington, DC – was educated in the DC Public School System including Duke Ellington School of the Arts – Received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Michigan State University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School.