Ben Williams, bass
Young bassist Ben Williams won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition Award in 2009, making him a rising star among the world’s greatest bassists. This prestigious award landed Williams a major label deal with Concord Records, with whom he recorded his first album, State of Art. The album has brought him critical acclaim as he was named 2012 Up and Coming Artist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Williams recently earned the title “First-time Grammy Award Winner” at the 2013 Grammy Awards’ Celebration with Pat Metheny Unity Band for Best Jazz Instrumental Album of 2012. He was also a Grammy Nominee with Stefon Harris and Blackout in 2010. Recently, he was selected by the Michigan State University Alumni Association to receive the Young Alumni Award from MSU. Williams graduated in 2002 from the Duke Ellington High School of the Arts, a public school in the District of Columbia. In 2007 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Michigan State University with studies under renowned bassists Rodney Whitaker and Jack Budrow; and later in 2009 he received his Master’s degree at The Juilliard School in New York where he studied under Carl Allen and Ben Wolf. Ben Williams was born and grew up in Washington, DC. He now lives in Harlem, New York.