LIVE: Ben Williams & Sound Effect @ Spa Little Theatre, 5/22/10

May 26th, 2010, 4:04 pm by Greg

Ben Williams @ SPAC

Ben Williams and Marcus Strickland

“Yeah, last night I got my master’s degree from Juilliard,” bassist Ben Williams admitted somewhat sheepishly toward the tail end of his concert at SPAC’s Spa Little Theater on Saturday night. “So now I’m the master of… something.”

Williams is only 25 years old, but he’s learned his Juilliard lessons well. And not only is he a smart and thoughtful musician, but he also has the intuitive inventiveness of a veteran jazzman.

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Win Two Tickets for Ben Williams & Sound Effect @ Spa Little Theatre, 5/22/10

May 20th, 2010, 5:15 pm by Sara

Ben WilliamsSorry, we completely forgot we had these tickets to give away. (Nippertown Headquarters has been Calamity Town this past week, with hot water problems, car transmission problems, big tree falling down problems and, most importantly, coffee pot problems. We’ve been a little preoccupied.)

You can win two tickets to see Ben Williams and Sound Effect @ SPAC this Saturday night (May 22). Bassist Williams is young – just 25 – and red hot, having recently won the oh-so-prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Just leave a comment suggesting some chillout music for your stressed-out editors. Be sure to leave a real email address (it won’t show up on the site) so we can contact you if you win. We’ll pick a name at random tomorrow. Please, please, we could use some mellowing-out tuneage. Thank you. Congratulations to Rose! (And thanks for all the listening suggestions; we’re calmly, peacefully, with Zen-like tranquility, wading through them.)

Be Here Now: Ben Williams & Sound Effect @ Spa Little Theatre, 5/22/10

May 20th, 2010, 11:45 am by Greg

Ben WilliamsWildly talented, young jazz bassist Ben Williams has attracted plenty of acclaim and international attention since October, when he won the Thelonious Monk Award, the world’s most prestigious jazz competition.

At 8pm on Saturday, he’ll step into the spotlight at the Spa Little Theatre in Saratoga Springs, celebrating the opening weekend of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s 2010 summer season.

A recent graduate of the Julliard School with a Master’s in Jazz Studies, Williams is perhaps best known as a member of Blackout, the crack quintet led by jazz vibraphone virtuoso (and Albany native) Stefon Harris. Williams is featured on the group’s latest album, “Urbanus,” which was nominated for a Grammy.

Williams can also be heard on “Idiosyncrasies,” the new album by tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his trio. In addition, Williams can be heard anchoring the trio of pianist Jacky Terrasson on the keyboardist’s brand new album, “Push.”

When you’re hot, you’re hot – as they say. Despite being one of the most in-demand bassists on the contemporary jazz scene, when Williams lands in Saratoga on Saturday night, he’ll be leading his own band, Sound Effect. In addition to Williams, the quartet features saxman Marcus Strickland, pianist Aaron Goldberg (whose latest album as a bandleader in his own right, “Home,” earned a Critics’ Choice pick recently from The New York Times) and drummer Otis Brown III.

Tix for Ben Williams & Sound Effect at the Spa Little Theatre in Saratoga Springs are $25 and are available online and at the door. Doors open at 7pm, and showtime is 8pm on Saturday.

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