Born in El Paso, TX and raised in Indianapolis IN, Bolivia, and Houston TX, Ben comes from a diverse background. His mother, an elementary school music teacher in Houston, started Ben on piano when he was only 5 years old. In 6th grade, he was able to chose his own instrument to play in the school concert band and he chose the tenor saxophone. The band director told Ben that his embouchure was more suitable for trumpet (probably because he needed more trumpet players and always had more saxophone players than needed). When Ben told his parents what had happened, they took him to Mars Music (y'all remember that place?) and bought him a Yamaha YTS-23 Tenor Saxophone on a monthly payment plan. When he went back to school, he told his director that he was NOT playing trumpet. To this day, he is eternally thankful for his parents love and support.
Ben graduated in 2005 from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (also known as HSPVA) in Houston, TX and went on to study jazz at the University of North Texas. Ben played tenor in the award winning 2 O'Clock Lab Band for his last three semesters before graduating in the Fall of 2009. Now he is a working musician around the DFW area playing everything from jazz to funk to reggae to top 40's music with everybody he can.
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Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."