BEN RICKER
 
  Jazz pianist Ben Ricker has a keen knowledge of harmony and a refined musical taste that becomes immediately obvious when he sits down at his instrument. Whether he is playing solo piano, jazz trio or lending his keyboard skills to the slamming Afro-Mbalax band, Group Saloum, his improvisations are always lucid and imaginative. While growing up, Ben took lessons on piano and flute and was attracted to the music of rock and roll and broadway musicals. However when he heard his first jazz recording "Cannonball and Coltrane", he was hooked. Ben began his jazz studies with pianist Harvey Diamond and was heavily influenced by his harmonically rich style. While studying at the University of Massachusetts, Ben continued to play jazz and also studied classical repertoire with pianist Bonnie Anderson. After graduating with his Bachelor's of Music degree, Ben took lessons with local jazz guru Charlie Banacos. At the same time that Ben was furthering his knowledge of music, he was also hard at work paying his dues playing local clubs, bars and lounges in the greater Boston area and sitting in with local musicians whenever possible. Over the years Ben has played in a variety of different bands at many venues in the US and Canada including: The Natick Center for the Arts, Berklee Performance Center, Scullers Jazz Club, Ryles Jazz Club, The Lizard Lounge, Club Metronome (VT), Nectars (VT), The Middle East Downstairs, Harper's Ferry, The Wake up the Earth Festival (Jamaica Plain), Festival Nuits D'Afrique (Montreal), Club Zebulon (Brooklyn), The Lit Lounge (Manhattan) , The Acton Jazz Cafe, and The Indian Hill Music Center to name a few. Currently Ben is leading his own trio which has just finished its first CD "Alone Together" and is playing with Senegalese master dummer Lamine Toure's band Group Saloum. To stay updated, sign up for Ben's email list or check the News page.