Ben Allison & Think Free
Shane Endsley – trumpet
Steve Cardenas – guitar
Ben Allison – acoustic & electric bass
Allan Mednard – drums
Ben and Think Free focus on melody, groove and texture in equal measures, engaging in the kind of group interplay that has become a hallmark of Ben’s style. Their first three albums, Cowboy Justice, Little Things Run the World, & Think Free each topped the jazz radio charts in the US (often remaining in the top ten for several months), and their latest, Layers of the City, has been met with overwhelming critical acclaim. These albums showcase Ben’s creative use of orchestration to create a sound that’s cinematic in scope, while leaving plenty of room for spontaneous improvisation. Think Free has performed at countless festivals, clubs, theaters and concert halls throughout North America, South America and Europe.
Bassist/Composer/Producer/Educator Ben Allison has developed an international reputation as a performer, composer and producer and is a leading voice in contemporary jazz. Ben has organized and performed on over 150 tours, winning fans and building new audiences throughout the world with an adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected.
Ben has released 13 albums of original music, 7 of which topped the national jazz radio charts, garnering him 9 SESAC Performance Awards. His most recent album, Quiet Revolution is the 3rd to be released on his own Sonic Camera Records label, following 2017’s Layers of the City.
At the age of 25, Ben formed the Jazz Composers Collective, a non-profit organization that fostered and presented new music. He acted as the Collective’s Artistic Director from 1992 until 2005.
He currently serves as President of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy and sits on the organization’s Presidents Council. In 2012, he represented the Recording Academy when he testified before Congress on issues relating to performing rights for artists. He has also served as Vice President, Chair of the Advocacy Committee and organized the first ever Grammy Town Hall in 2015.
Ben has written articles for Downbeat, JazzTimes, the IAJE Journal, Premier Guitar, Bass Player as well as his own blog at www.benallison.com/blog. He wrote the theme for the popular NPR radio program On The Media, which is heard by over 1,500,000 listeners weekly, and was a featured composer and performer with the Jazz Sinfonica, 80-piece symphony orchestra, Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2005, 2008 and 2013. He has conducted residencies and workshops in over 100 universities and conservatories throughout the world.
Ben is on the faculty of the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music and Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he teaches Entrepreneurship in Music, The Entrepreneurial Musician, Senior Seminar, Music Tech Seminar, improvisation ensembles, bass and composition. He serves on the Jazz Executive Committee, which oversees curriculum development for the school.
Ben performed his Carnegie Hall debut in February 2012.