Jazz Encounters and the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation present the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Youth Orchestra performing the music of "Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers" with special guest Grammy Award Winning bassist Ben Williams, Tuesday December 12th.
"This event is sponsored in part by a grant provided by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County government."
While in middle school Ben was a student playing bass in Fred's first youth orchestra, Fred Foss Youth Orchestra. This will be a great reunion. Ben Williams began playing bass at age 10, was raised in the District of Columbia, and graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Michigan State University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School.
In 2009 he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition as judged by Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Robert Hurst, Christian McBride, and John Patitucci. The honor included a recording contract with Concord Records through which he released his debut album, State of Art, in 2011, featuring saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Gerald Clayton, drummer Jamire Williams, and percussionist Etienne Charles. His album Coming of Age, was released in April 2015 featuring sidemen Marcus Strickland on tenor and soprano saxophones, Matthew Stevens on electric guitar, Christian Sands on piano, and John Davis on drums.