Ben Sidran - piano, vocal, arranger, producer, author, educator
Ben Sidran, a master of many trades in music and media, makes your average Renaissance man look like a slacker. Jazz pianist of international renown, lyricist of a rock classic, award-winning national broadcaster, record and video producer, scholar, author, journalist, and father to a second generation musical prodigy, Sidran has been a major player in modern jazz, rock and pop for over forty years. Ben Sidran is more widely recognized as the host of National Public Radio’s landmark jazz series “Jazz Alive”, which received a Peabody Award, and as the host of VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series, which received the Ace Award for best music series.
Born in Chicago in 1943his father was a friend of Saul Bellow'sSidran was raised in the industrial lakeshore city of Racine, Wisconsin, going up to Madison to play keyboards at frat houses parties while still a teenager in 1960. The next year he was enrolled at the university, playing dates on campus and around town. He soon joined the Ardells, a Southern comfort party band led by frat boy singer Steve Miller and his friend Boz Scaggs. But when Miller and Scaggs went west to become stars, Sidran stayed to complete his degree in English lit.
After graduating from the UW in 1966 (with honors), Sidran moved to England to pursue a Master's Degree in American Studies at the University of Sussex. But when the Steve Miller Band came to England the following year to record with the legendary British engineer Glyn Johns, Sidran found himself back on the two-track life of academia and music.