Born: May 11, 1976 Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
Ben Adams has natural talent and a rare incisiveness that has enabled him to create a sublime sound on the vibraphone. He produces tones and rhythms on his instrument that range between such distinctive features as delicate sensitivity to passionate, explosive energy. With acute artistry and versatility, Ben demonstrates the subtleties of a variety of diverse musical genres. He has recently recorded an album as a bandleader that features his deeply illuminating jazz compositions.
Born in 1976, it was at the age of five that Ben Adams began his musical explorations by playing the piano. Ben immediately showed great potential by revealing an intuitive creativity. He was given formal, private lessons on the piano to nurture his talent where he was taught the fundamentals of both classical music and traditional jazz. By nine years old, he was learning to play the drums and other percussion instruments. His musical education continued in school as well as privately. Before graduating high school, Ben had achieved recognition for his singularity by receiving the Kansas State Outstanding Percussion Award four years consecutively (1990-1994) and also performing at the Kansas City Jazz Festival in 1993. Ben has an insatiable desire to advance his knowledge of music and consequently received a scholarship to study percussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City?Conservatory of Music. It was during the time spent in Kansas City that Ben changed his emphasis from the drum set to the vibraphone, which has become his most personal instrument for deep expression. As well as studying at the Conservatory, Ben spent his evenings performing professionally at local venues. In the fall of 1996, Ben transferred to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where the eminent vibraphonist Gary Burton is a faculty member, with a scholarship to pursue his jazz studies on the vibraphone. At Berklee, Ben studied privately with Grammy winning vibraphonist Dave Samuels (former member of Spyro Gyra), Victor Mendoza, Ed Saindon, Hal Crook and Dave Friedman.
Ben Adams has demonstrated his musical abilities on the vibraphone on stage with many respected musicians. An example of his professional performances as an instrumental sideman has been with Louis Bellson, George Garzone, John Lockwood, Bruno Raberg, Steve Houghton, Steve Smith (formerly with the rock band Journey), Danny Gottlieb (former drummer for the Pat Metheny Group), and Bob Brookmeyer. As a leader of his own quartet, he has opened for such artists as Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Ben has also performed with his quartet in some of Boston's premiere jazz venues, including Ryles and House of Blues, as well as performing at the Institute of Contemporary Art Theater. Over the summer he played Saturday nights at Kapow, a now defunct jazz club.
Music for Six is Ben Adams second recording as a leader. His first album, The Figured Wheel, is a quartet outing. Covering a wide range of moods and styles, it features his original compositions and jazz standards. As a testament to his versatility, Ben recorded a series of piano/vibraphone duets with composer Chris Opperman Selected works from that session will be featured on Chris Opperman's upcoming release. Ben has also recorded with folk singer Crystal Mattson on her debut album Crystal.