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Ben Dunham-5.heic

Ben Dunham

Artistic Statement

            Music is something that creates and communicates memories.  The sounds of a beautiful melody, raging percussion, or any balance of many musical ideas create imprints in each individual’s subconscious.  These imprints collectively formulate one’s worldview and connection within humanity.  As a composer and improviser my job is to create experiences and memories, finding creative outlets to connect with others.  I attempt to think of the consequences of every note and the power that a note or chord can hold.  It can be surprising, predictable, satisfying, unsatisfying, aggressive, or light; nevertheless, the intentionality of music is integral to the connections found within human nature.  The language of music communicates past all barriers and unites us through the big and small memories throughout each piece.

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Longer Biography

            Ben Dunham is a 21-year-old composer and jazz vibraphonist from Clearwater, FL.  His musical perspective integrates his extensive jazz and classical backgrounds.  As a composer and performer, it is his passion to find the intersections between different genres to create his own unique voice.  As a vibraphonist, he has been nationally recognized for his work as a performer and bandleader.  He has performed at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Maurice Gusman Hall, the Clearwater Jazz Festival, Lucas Theater, the Suncoast Jazz Festival, as well as WDNA and WUSF Radio Stations.  In high school, he was recognized as an Outstanding Vibraphone Soloist at the Essentially Ellington National Festival (2020) and recognized as a Young Arts Merit Scholar (2021).  He has performed alongside musicians such as Dafnis Prieto, Camille Thurman, Darrell Green, and John Daversa.  In fall of 2023, he released his debut album Homesick featuring his unique voice as a composer/vibraphonist.

            As an arranger/composer, Ben has learned to adapt his work for Classical music, Jazz, and Media Scoring.  As a Classical Composer, he received the grand prize for the PCMEA New Music Festival (2021).  He has also had numerous works performed by student groups as well as professional groups such as Peridot Duo and The _____ Experiment.  Ben was also recognized as the 2024 All-Stamps Ensemble Composer, where his work The Sixth Stream will be premiered by an innovative 19-member ensemble in March of 2024.  Throughout his jazz career, he has worked on numerous Arrangements and Compositions.  Two of his pieces were featured on the 2021 Downbeat Student Awards Magazine - these two pieces being “Opportunity” (Original Large Ensemble Composition) and “Humpty Dumpty” (Large Ensemble Arrangement).  For his own group or other ensembles he participates in, he is an active writer searching to amplify the voices of the musicians he works with.  As a film scorer, he has worked on the scores to several student films, some of which were premiered at the 2021 and 2022 Scores for the Silver Screen Festival at the University of Miami.

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