“He is one of those rare young musicians who establishes his individuality in three or four notes. - Artsjournal (Doug Ramsey)
Despite his age, Ben van Gelder (22) is emerging as an important new voice on the New York jazz scene. Musicians and peers alike prize him for his unique sound, originality and artistic integrity. He performs all around the world in various settings and formations. When not performing Ben keeps himself busy writing, practicing and listening in search of a highly personal expression. His highly anticipated debut album, Frame of Reference, released in june 2011, features some of the most talented musicians from the New York jazz scene. The music he plays has a strong investment in the jazz tradition, but entertains an original approach, encompassing a multitude of contemporary influences. He often chooses for chord-less formations, seeking new harmonic explorations, making for music that is harmonically intricate, yet always striving to be lyrical.
A native of the Netherlands, Ben grew up in a family with a penchant for music. He decided to pursue music at a young age studying with many acclaimed musicians in the Netherlands. He was admitted to the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he studied under the tutelage of Ferdinand Povel and Dick Oatts. At this time Ben started performing regularly throughout the country with some of the Netherlands most prominent musicians at venues including the Bim-Huis and the North Sea Jazz Festival.