Ben is co-leader and principal composer of Mansion of Snakes, a 12-piece group inspired by Fela Kuti, Sun Ra and Funkadelic. The group has been touring the UK and making numerous festival appearances including Greenman, Shambala, Kendal Calling, Boomtown and Smugglers. The band released a self-titled EP followed by the single ‘Mating Season’, released on vinyl by Leeds label Come Play With Me. The track was featured on BBC 6 Music as well as in M-Magazine and The Line Of Best Fit. Mansion of Snakes are recent winners of the PRS & Pledge Music Emerging Artists Fund, and plan to use this to record and release a full length LP in 2019. M-Magazine called the group “a psychedelic jazz behemoth whose polyrhythms and serpentine melodies are pushing the genre into edgy new turf”
The rising profile of Mansion of Snakes led to Ben working with Ghanaian musician Kweku Sackey in his group KOG & The Zongo Brigade, playing a fusion of traditional Ghanaian music with jazz, funk and hip-hop. The band has been playing extensively in Europe and will release a new album with Heavenly Sweetness in early 2019.
As a member of Sam Quintana’s jazz quintet Wandering Monster, Ben has performed at Manchester Jazz Festival, Scarborough Jazz Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival, Ribble Valley Jazz Festival and Marsden Jazz Festival. The group was also winner of the Jazz North Presents scheme in 2017.
Ben was recently invited to join award-winning jazz-punks WorldService Project, beginning with a 12 date UK tour to promote their new album Serve. Later in 2019 the band performed at Berlin Jazz Festival, Cork Jazz Festival and Galway Jazz Festival as well as making a three week tour across India and China.
In 2018 Ben joined a new group lead by esteemed Anglo-Canadian composer John Warren and is currently writing and recording with his new project Vipertime, co-led with guitarist Matias Reed. Vipertime draws heavily from 70s Ethiopian jazz as well as psychedelia and post-punk. Their debut EP has received plays on BBC Radio 3 (Jazz Now) and BBC Introducing. Vipertime recorded their dubut album in October 2018.
As well as performing, Ben has made a committed effort to building and nurturing the Leeds jazz scene. In 2013 Ben set up The LS6 Jam Session, a weekly gig and jam in Leeds’ Hyde Park, and ran the night for 5 years before passing it on. The night is the longest running jazz jam session in Leeds and has become a cornerstone of the scene, hosting both local and touring .
“Ben has a mature, assured sound and leads his band through complex, interesting charts with ease. His compositional skills and technical prowess make him, and the band, one to watch this year.” – HEART, Leeds.
‘A name to watch out for; part Neset, part Coltrane, Brecker, and Dexter Gordon!’ – Sheffield Jazz
‘Stunning tenor playing’ – Bebop Spoken Here