Beni Williams
  • Male
  • United Kingdom
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Welcome to the all-new Beni Williams Jazz Network Worldwide Homepage!

Latest Activity

Beni Williams posted blog posts
Aug 27, 2011
Jaijai Jackson commented on Beni Williams's blog post "Thanks to Jaijai" ~ Captain Keyboardz muses ...
"Beni... My heart heard you...thank you for sharing such reverence.  You sure know how to make a dream feel like a reality.  My Dad would love that line...."No negatives, Jaijai is creating..."....Phew...onward I grow, your…"
Aug 27, 2011
Beni Williams posted a status
"Please read my Open Letter: "Thanks to Jaijai ~ Captain Keyboardz muses" (1st entry on my JNWW Blog. I'm sure I speak for us all.)"
Aug 26, 2011
Nestor Zurita left a comment for Beni Williams
"Hi great to meet you, I dont follow anyone I do my own thing and hope people like it, I compose in many different stiles from Latin Jazz to modern classical, I've played with musicians that range from Steve Lacy to Jovino Santos…"
Jul 25, 2011

Profile Information

Where are you located?
Bristol (Groove City), England, UK
What is your affiliation to the Jazz World?
Musical Artist, Producer, Educator, Arranger, Composer, Graphic Designer, Recording Studio, Freelance Writer
Tell us a little about your background...
I am a composer and jazz keyboardist in the international vanguard, currently working on community music projects in St Pauls, Bristol's Afro-Caribbean district. I gave my first public performance of original music in 1972 and, to date, have played more than 4,000 gigs and sessions with over 50 ensembles at significant venues from London's Bass Clef to Tokyo's Pit Inn.

My father Q Williams was (and still is) a fine jazz pianist in the classic Ragtime, Stride and Boogie-Woogie vein. He worked with great musicians like Stephan Grappelli and Acker Bilk, and when I was a kid the house was full of his Trad, Skiffle, Mainstream and Jug bands smoking like chimneys and rehearsing up a storm (the Paramount and Oriole Jazz Bands, the Alligator Jug Thumpers); and my mother playing records by Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Mahalia Jackson and the Mighty Sparrow; and my big sister - also named Mahalia - singing along with Stevie, the Temps, Four Tops, Diana Ross, Marvin, et Al . . . Green (Ha ha!). So I was steeped in Jazz and Black music from the get-go, and pretty soon began looking for musicians who sounded like that and could teach me - so I spent my teens learning to improvise and playing keyboards in Funk, Reggae, Soul, and Jazz-Rock groups (that was the happening music back then and, of course, I didn't want to play the same styles as my father). After the usual school bands broke up and college began, I realised that music was IT for me - an infinite source of life, expression and personal growth.

In the late '70s, I formed the UK's first Jazz Funk/World Music band 'TAO' with Dominican bass guitarist Len St. Laurent and a great British Tenor Saxophonist Jerry Underwood; in the '80s, I set up and operated my own studio in Japan, composing and producing music for vocal artists and commercial films, and working with international musicians in the Tokyo/Yokohama 'LIVE house' venues; in the '90s, I moved back to the UK to start a family, and began studying and playing a lot of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, along with other types of Latin Jazz.

Returning to school as a mature student, in 1999 I got formally qualified to teach and research Composition, Jazz Performance, Jazz Studies and the History of Jazz.

Since 2000, I have worked in the studio as sideman and producer with fusion pioneer John Serry, British reedsman Paul Dunmall, flautist Neil Metcalfe (ECM sideman of Roscoe Mitchell), stellar New York Composer/Saxophonist Mike Ellis (also a Jazz Network member), Altoist Ron Caines - founder of Britain's first Jazz Rock Band 'East of Eden', Puerto Rican Bass Guitarist Antonio Quijano, Avant-garde Composer/Guitarist Philip Gibbs, Master Drummer Marco Vinicio Oyaga, Senegalese Griot and Kora player Moussa Kouyate, and played LIVE with legendary Colombian Cumbia Queen Toto La Momposina.

I am currently working with my jazz-funk big band 'Prime Funk Collective' (which includes my old colleague Len St. Laurent - now on lead guitar, his son Oisin - 'Usheen' - on rhythm guitar, my daughter Eartha Williams on vocals [she rocks!], Mick Gavagan on Tenor, George Paice: drums, Oz Lawrence: bass, Zenpho: synths, plus a large cast of supporting players. I also work on studio projects with my improvising trio 'Paroksha' and a range of wide-open duos, and have played several extended solo piano comprovisations - all of this will be available when my new label is up and running.

Recently, I have revived an old love of mine - playing jazz on melodica. I just bought a new three-octave Chinese-made one, which is the business! (see photo)

I am also getting back into producing LIVE recordings, these days for my own label New Concept Recordings. Pretty soon, I'll be off to Japan to re-connect with many old friends there.

Peace and blessings. Thanks for stopping by. Mo' later. . . (Beni)

PS. Tonight, I'll do a blog entry about the tracks I've posted for you here.
How did you hear about the Jazz Network? Please give full name of contact
From my old Tokyo bandleader Mike Ellis, whose fabulous music graces these pages.
What Instrument do you play?
Piano, Bass, Percussion
What is your website address? Only websites that pertain to your business and how you can be contacted.
http://www.myspace.com/beniwilliamsurbangrooveunit
When Is Your CD Scheduled For Release?
Write Articles About It - To get the buzz going

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Beni Williams's Blog

"Thanks to Jaijai" ~ Captain Keyboardz muses ...

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 3:00am 1 Comment

God Speed your full recovery, Jaijai.

We all know you do your level best for each one of us at all times. What you have built is not only an extraordinary and exemplary community with a single positive focus, it is the future-tech version of the human network that once existed among the early players of jazz, who journeyed via…

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Comment Wall (5 comments)

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At 1:36pm on July 25, 2011, Nestor Zurita said…

Hi great to meet you, I dont follow anyone I do my own thing and hope people like it, I compose in many different stiles from Latin Jazz to modern classical, I've played with musicians that range from Steve Lacy to Jovino Santos Neto.

And I've ben playing professionally for 21 years.

chao!

At 9:39am on March 2, 2010, Tim Gertsch said…
Yeah she's quite the handful. Her name's Avalon Rose. She's already a little dancer, hahaha. Japan huh? That sounds fun. I'd love to travel and make music abroad like that.
At 2:24pm on November 1, 2009, HARLEM JAZZ NOTES said…
Hey Beni i like the wall paper looks cool. Just stop buy to say Hello.
Hello: Beni.
I also came to check out some of your music, stay in touch.
At 6:28pm on October 21, 2009, Christopher Fields said…
Your Music is HOT!!! Amazing sounds - I wish you continued success Brother Williams
At 10:23am on October 17, 2009, Christopher Fields said…
Brother Beni -
Thank You for the kind words and encouragement.
I am walking on clouds right now -
I look forward to seeing & hearing more, and growing
as an Artist - I wish you continued Success in life and I am claiming that we'll blend our skills on stage in the near future.
 
 
 

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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."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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