All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Benjamin Lee

Benjamin Lee Benjamin Lee

It all started with a music teacher who needed to add some low end to her third grade orchestra. She picked the tallest kid in the room, who had his big hands wrapped around a cello at the time, and said “Hey! Take a look here, come play this upright bass!” That kid was Benjamin Lee, and once he heard the resonant tones of the largest instrument he had ever seen, he was hooked.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Ben grew up in an incredibly diverse soundscape. His first library of music was his father’s record collection, which melded Laurel Canyon sounds with classic rock, folk, jazz, soul, and spirituals. The music of James Taylor, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, the Mamas and the Papas, Louis Armstrong, the Band, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Oscar Peterson, George Gershwin, Jelly Roll Morton, the Chieftains, the Eagles, the Who, Dave Brubeck, Art Tatum, Willie Nelson, Carol King, Oscar Peterson, Johnny Cash and Paul Simon influenced his ear at a very early age.

But as with many young upright players, his musical journey began with classical music. From the Fugue in G minor to the Firebird Suite, from John Williams to Sergei Prokofiev and Aaron Copland, Ben’s school orchestral experience took him to classical competitions in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (including a performance with Mr. Williams at Disney Hall). Alongside his classical repertoire, Ben dove headfirst into an intense jazz education on both upright and electric bass.

Read more


Primary Instrument

Bass, acoustic



Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced



Album Live at the Airship by The TOaG Quartet

Live at the Airship

Self Produced



Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.