The Jazz Gallery will celebrate its twenty-first birthday with two nights of sonic exploration from Ben Williams and his all-star collective Sound Effect. The back-to-back evenings on August 19th and 20th will feature Williams on bass, as well as Marcus Strickland (saxophone), Alex Wintz (guitar), Christian Sands (keys), John Davis (drums), and Brevan Hampden (congas). It’s an ensemble dedicated to growth and discovery through exploration and self reflection, communicating through heavy grooves, swinging solos, and intricate compositions.
Williams began playing bass over twenty years ago while growing up in Washington DC, eventually obtaining degrees in music and jazz studies from Michigan State and Juilliard. He was awarded first prize in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition, securing a deal with Concord Records in the process. He released his first album “State of Art” in 2011 and his second, “Coming of Age,” in 2015. Between the two releases, Williams was awarded the 2013 DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Award. On top of his busy career as an acclaimed soloist and bandleader, Williams has been a member of Pat Metheny’s infamous Unity Band for several years, winning a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album in 2013.
“Coming of Age” embodies the inquisitive introspection of a rising artistic voice. It’s the kind of effort that comes at the intersection of a voracious musical appetite and a lifelong work ethic. Where does one turn, what new heights can they reach, when they find themselves garnered with awards and accolades? This was the setting for “Coming of Age,” where Williams showcases his growth as a musician and bandleader with lyrical and searching compositions. The music is anthemic, high-energy, and rooted in the joy of instrumental interaction between friends and colleagues.
Ben Williams and Sound Effect bring a group cohesion and sense of adventurous drive that accompany the spirit of The Jazz Gallery on its twenty-first anniversary. Join us for any or all of Ben Williams and Sound Effect’s four sets as we embrace the spirit of adventure in jazz and new music.
Bassist Ben Williams and Sound Effect performs at The Jazz Gallery to celebrate its 21st birthday on Friday, August 19th, and Saturday, August 20th, 2016. Mr. Williams will be joined by Marcus Strickland on saxophones, Alex Wintz on guitar, Christian Sands on piano/keyboards, John Davis on drums, and Brevan Hampden on congas. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. each night. $25 general admission ($15 for members) for each set. SummerPass not available for this special event. Purchase tickets here.