Born: February 16, 1980 Primary Instrument: Guitar
A product of the diverse Washington, DC music scene, Tyree is a performer and composer of virtuosic ability, infectious groove, and eclectic tastes. Whether navigating the off-kilter angles of his abstract jazz-funk trio BT3 or rising to the formidable technical and personal challenges of the classically-influenced acoustic solo pieces on his most recent release, Thoughtform Variations, he consistently proves himself to be an artist with a distinct and memorable voice.
Determined to play the guitar since the age of four, Tyree studied both jazz and classical music in high school while writing his own rock songs and going to jam sessions at blues clubs at night. He continued his studies at D.C’s prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts and at Howard University before moving to his current home, Brooklyn, in 2002.
The template for his genre-hopping agility was set by the pioneering Miscellaneous Flux, the band that Tyree co-founded in 1998 while still in D.C. Refreshingly impossible to categorize, the group fused jazz, hip-hop and punk rock into a crowd-invigorating mix, releasing two EPs and a full-length album before disbanding in 2005 following its members’ move to New York. Its acclaimed 2002 full-length CD, Dead in Dreams, won a Wammie (Washington Area Music Association award) and garnered four other nominations for the band, including Best Urban Contemporary Instrumentalist for Tyree.
Tyree’s longstanding trio BT3 continues in that vein, grafting together jazz, funk and rock in often surprising but always vigorous fashion. The trio recorded their debut CD, re:Vision, in 2010 with special guests John Medeski and DJ Logic, no strangers to boundary-blurring groove.
His solo debut, Thoughtform Variations, displays Tyree’s more introspective side even while retaining his recognizable stamp. The album consists of eight original pieces combining classical, jazz, pop and folk influences into a rich, harmonious sound. Evidencing influences as varied as John McLaughlin, Michael Hedges, and J.S. Bach, the pieces also reflect the indelible contributions made by family, friends and events in his life.
Tyree’s staggering versatility and creativity is spotlighted by the wide-ranging list of collaborators with whom he’s worked, including artists as varied as Vernon Reid, Kyp Malone (TV On The Radio), Nicholas Payton, Dr. Cornel West, Res, Nomi, The Family Stand, Clark Terry, and Elliot Sharp’s SyndaKit, among others, sharing high-profile stages such as the Apollo, New York City’s Blue Note, Lincoln Center, Tonic, D.C.’s Blues Alley and the Kennedy Center. He performs regularly with Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine, Soul Understated (featuring Mavis “Swan” Poole), Michael Veal’s Aqua Ife, and Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber to name a few.
His compositions have also taken the leap from stage to screen. He has scored several independent films as well as pieces for television that have appeared on ESPN and in advertising campaigns for companies like Green Team USA.
Awards:• 2012: 11th Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Poll (IMA)
Best Instrumental Album - Ben Tyree/BT3 - re:Vision
• 2002: Washington Area Music Awards: "Wammie"
Best Rap/Hip Hop Duo/Group - Miscellaneous Flux
- Dr. Matt Warnock (Guitar International Magazine)
Big picture: Ben Tyree is hot, he’s fresh and he’s got a lot to offer us in the way of new music. Needless to say this isn’t your parent’s ‘60’s fusion record.
- Eric Sandler (The Revivalist, 2010)
…high caliber player…”
Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times (March, 2009)
Tyree had this way of evoking the most precise utterances, delicate yet so deliberate, it was sure-footed dexterity and then some.
”You’re kickin’ much ass, my man! I love what you're doin’!”
DeWayne Blackbyrd McKnight (Guitarist for Parliament/Funkadelic, George Clinton, Brides of Dr. Funkenstein, Macy Gray, and more…), 2006
...might be best known for his progressive art-rock ensemble (Miscellaneous Flux) but if you look deeper than the dazzle of the group's stream-of-consciousness hip-hop lyrics and angular arrangements, you'll find chops befitting an accomplished jazz guitarist.
The Washington Post, 2005
(Sonic Architectures, 2012)
• Aris: Twilight Revival (Riot Science Records, 2012)
• Ramona: Love Under The Sun - SINGLE (2011)
• Burnt Sugar: All Ya Needs That Negrocity (TruGROID, 2011)
• The Cornel West Theory: The Shape Of Hip Hop To Come (2011)
• MuthaWit: Men & Women (La Revenge de Uncle Baldy)
(URB ALT Media, 2011)
• Michael Veal & Aqua Ife: Volume 1 (Nektonic, 2011)
• Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine:
The Only Way Out is In (RookLove Productions, 2010)
• Ben Tyree/BT3 - re:Vision (Sonic Architectures, 2010)
• Stephanie Rooker & the Search Engine:
"Sellin Ya Soul" (clean) - feat. Kalae AllDay, DJ Logic,
John Medeski - SINGLE (RookLove Productions, 2010)
• Ben Tyree/BT3: "Because We Can" (feat DJ Logic) - SINGLE
(Sonic Architectures, 2010)
• The Family Stand: In A 1,000 Years (2010)
• V. Jeffrey Smith & No Plan B: Time Is My Best Friend (2010)
• URB ALT Sampler - Tres (URB ALT Media, 2010)
• MuthaWit: "Wasted (Fill My House With Salt)" SINGLE
(URB ALT Media, 2010)
• URB ALT Sampler - Dos (URB ALT Media, 2010)
• URB ALT Sampler - Uno (URB ALT Media, 2010)
• Mizik Pou Dwa Moun:
A Burnt Sugar Collective Compilation
for the People of Ayiti (2010)
• everlutionary: CALL vol. 1
(The Everlutionary Trust/ HawaH, 2009)
• The Soulfolk Experience: Volume One (2009)
• Mavis "SWAN" Poole: Soul Tree (Swanbean Records, 2009)
• Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber:
Making Love To The Dark Ages (LiveWired Music, 2009)
• Karmen Michael: It's Possible
(Kreative Music Group, 2008)
• John Johnson: Funkular Crouton (202 Digital, 2008)
• Stephanie Rooker: Tellin You Right Now (2008)
• Ben Tyree: Sonic Architectures, Vol. 1 (2007)
• Miscellaneous Flux: Type 1 Information (2006)
• Dexter Myers: RocketLove34 (2006)
• The Dead Air Project: Die & M. Fusion (CD Reissue) (2004)
• Miscellaneous Flux: Live Flux (2004)
• Miscellaneous Flux: Dead In Dreams (2002)
• The Dead Air Project: Die & M. Fusion (Vinyl Version) (2002)
• Motion: Movie Soundtrack (2001)
• Miscellaneous Flux: EP (2000)
• Vector: Contagious Images (2000)
• Spirit Airport: In The Corner (Sonic Dust, 2000)
• 12th. House: The Twelfth House (Sonic Dust, 2000)
• Bell X-1: Time Bomb (Sonic Dust, 1999)
• Bell X-1: Hemp Hop (Sonic Dust, 1999)
• Howard University Jazz Ensemble, HUJE (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
• Purple Legion (1996)
• Purple Legion: EP (1995)
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students