Jazz pianist and composer Ben Dowling takes the long view when it comes to music and his artistic-life journey. Born in Arkansas, raised in New York, Vermont and Boston but settled in Los Angeles, Dowling smiles at his conflicting geographical history, so I'm this Southern white boy who knows how to shovel snow, design synthesizers and play jazz. Go figure...
The one thing this player does figure is how to push music to the next level. Whether from the synthesizers he's designed (Korg M1, Wavestation, Oasys, etc.), the multimedia and film projects he's scored (United Nations documentaries and interactive games), or in his producing and keyboard playing, Ben knows how to push the envelope forward while being true to the musical essentials.
It truly is not about me. It's about the music and where it needs to go, he says.
With World Rising, his new CD to be released on August 11, 2009, Ben takes his music exactly where it needs to go - creating a refreshing Weather Report and Herbie Hancock-inspired fusion of jazz, world and funk with top jazz talents including Mindi Abair, the late Carl Anderson, Niki Haris, Will Kennedy, Satnam Ramgotra, Bob Sheppard and a host of other friends from the World Music and Funk universes. World Rising is getting a substantial lift this summer with radio play and targeted performances in the US, in addition to Ben's appearances at the Montreax Jazz Festival and at concert venues across Europe and Asia.