Ben first started taking piano lessons at the tender age of 5. During the first few years of classical training, Ben was gruelingly forced to practice for literally 20 minutes a day under the unrelenting eyes of his mother. By the time he turned 10, Ben had been chosen to perform in a number of honors recitals and decided that maybe playing piano wasn't so bad after all.
While performing in a number of bands in high school and college, a friend introduced Ben to a type of music called “jazz” through the simple act of loaning him an Oscar Peterson CD. The amazing musicianship and incredible rhythm of the music instantly hooked the budding pianist. Ben went out and bought a fake book, got a few friends together and started playing jazz. His first trio played together for almost three years, and worked their way up from local coffee houses to play featured shows at Jazz de Opus and the Portland Art Museum. His first album, the self-produced From Scratch, received great reviews from the Willamette Week and other local papers.
After graduating with a degree in Chemistry from George Fox University, Ben moved into Portland proper to continue his career in music. There, his music flourished, with regular appearances at Jimmy Mak's, Tony Starlight's, The Cave, and Maryhill Winery and Ampitheater, among many others all over the northwest. After years of performing in the big city, Ben moved back to his hometown of Prosser, Washington, adding another designation to his resume: father. While raising his young son, Ben started playing the Hammond organ as well as delving deeper into the accordion, all while never neglecting his love for the piano.
Along with performing jazz, Ben also loves playing other genres of music, and has played with and contributed to the recordings of such groups as Leigh Marble, Eric Herman, and Peter Rodocker. Ben also has started helping develop the local music scene by hosting monthly house concerts and providing booking services for a number of local venues including J Bell Cellars summer concert series.
Also, for the last year Ben has been working with a great singer, Mel Peterson. Ben and Mel have put together a band that ranges from soul to jazz to blues to R&B, and is perfect for almost any venue or event. Look for more music from them in the near future.