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. Despite a short break to try getting a “real job”, Ben's career continues to flourish, with performances at Jimmy Mak's, Tony Starlight's, The Cave, and Maryhill Winery and Ampitheater, among many others all over the northwest. Some of the people that Ben has played with include James M. Gregg, Lee Elderton, Murray Gusseck, Tony Starlight, Sam Foulger, Arick Gouwerok, Wayne Miller, Michael York, Tim Gilson, The Bureau of Standards Big Band, Deanna and the Downbeats, and the We 3 Trio. Ben also loves playing other genres of music, and has played with or contributed to the recordings of such groups as Leigh Marble, Eric Herman, Peter Rodocker, the QLO, and Brandon Chandler.
Ben is almost finished with a brand new recording that will showcase a marked evolution to his music. Bringing a more contemporary, almost classical sound to his distinctive compositions, Ben's playing continues to mature as he strives to give people a reason to remain entranced and inspired by jazz.
Ben plays with a wide variety of musicians depending on the venue and their availability, since so many of these great players are in such high demand. A few Ben's regular performers are: