Ben Winkelman

Label: OA2 Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0805552216424
Catalog number: OA2 22164
Releasedate: 07-06-19
- Over five albums as a leader, New York pianist Ben Winkelman has been developing his concept for the piano trio
- "...the trio captures the ear, providing thrilling evidence of a stellar contemporary trio to rank among the best..." - ALL ABOUT JAZZ. 
Over five albums as a leader, New York pianist Ben Winkelman has been developing his concept for the piano trio, seeking to strike an elusive balance between composition and improvisation, planning and spontaneity, the intellectual and the intuitive, all with his steadily working group. His featuring of the three instruments, not only as soloists, but as if they were a small orchestra, gave them each integral parts in the compositions expanding the overall voice of the trio. For "Balance," his sixth recording, Winkelman went into Sear Sound in New York with drummer Obed Calvaire and bassist Matt Penman, artists he highly respected but had yet to perform with, to add new energy and joyful unforeseen outcomes as they explore his ongoing interests in Afro-Cuban, gospel and classical music, but filtered through their collective jazz perspective. 
Ben Winkelman is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Melbourne, Australia. He is currently living in New York City, where he is active on the jazz, Latin and gospel music scenes. 

Since 2005 Ben has released three critically acclaimed albums of his compositions with his trio on the Jazzhead label. Between 2006 and 2010 his trio toured Australia extensively four times and appeared at many of the major national jazz and music festivals. In 2008 his trio toured to Japan and New Caledonia and appeared on Australian national television on ABC TV in 2006 and 2010. 

Ben has received an award and a number of grants and award nominations. In 2007 his second trio album "The Spanish Tinge" won the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. In 2006 his first trio album "Stomps, Pieces & Variations" was nominated for the Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Classic Jazz Album. In 2010 his third trio album "Odysseys" was nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. His work has been supported by grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, the Contemporary Music Touring Program, the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, the Australian Cultural Fund and the PPCA. He was a semi-finalist in the 2006 Wangaratta National Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for an APRA Professional Development Award in 2006 and 2009. 

Ben's jazz compositions draw on a wide range of influences, including Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, stride piano and early 20th century classical music. 

Besides leading and writing for his trio Ben has been very active as a collaborator and sideman, in jazz, and also in other styles such as salsa and Cuban music, Brazilian music, pop, funk, R&B, Argentinean tango and klezmer. He has played and recorded with Julie O'Hara and Ali McGregor and toured with the Black Arm Band, Eddie Perfect, and Spanish singer Diego Guerrero. He played in and arranged for Rumberos (Australia's premier Latin band) for 17 years, and was a member of live electronica group Ping in the late 90s. 

Ben studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne with Paul Grabowksy and Mickey Tucker, completing a Bachelor of Music in 1994, and studied classical piano with Linda Kouvaras from 2003-2009. He earned a Master of Music degree at Purchase College (State University of New York) in 2014, where he studied with Kevin Hays. 

Ben has taught piano since 1996, and has presented workshops at universities, TAFEs and high schools around Australia, including at Monash University, Griffith University, and University of Tasmania.