Be Here Now: Ben Williams & Sound Effect @ Spa Little Theatre, 5/22/10

Ben WilliamsWildly talented, young jazz bassist Ben Williams has attracted plenty of acclaim and international attention since October, when he won the Thelonious Monk Award, the world’s most prestigious jazz competition.

At 8pm on Saturday, he’ll step into the spotlight at the Spa Little Theatre in Saratoga Springs, celebrating the opening weekend of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s 2010 summer season.

A recent graduate of the Julliard School with a Master’s in Jazz Studies, Williams is perhaps best known as a member of Blackout, the crack quintet led by jazz vibraphone virtuoso (and Albany native) Stefon Harris. Williams is featured on the group’s latest album, “Urbanus,” which was nominated for a Grammy.

Williams can also be heard on “Idiosyncrasies,” the new album by tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his trio. In addition, Williams can be heard anchoring the trio of pianist Jacky Terrasson on the keyboardist’s brand new album, “Push.”

When you’re hot, you’re hot – as they say. Despite being one of the most in-demand bassists on the contemporary jazz scene, when Williams lands in Saratoga on Saturday night, he’ll be leading his own band, Sound Effect. In addition to Williams, the quartet features saxman Marcus Strickland, pianist Aaron Goldberg (whose latest album as a bandleader in his own right, “Home,” earned a Critics’ Choice pick recently from The New York Times) and drummer Otis Brown III.

Tix for Ben Williams & Sound Effect at the Spa Little Theatre in Saratoga Springs are $25 and are available online and at the door. Doors open at 7pm, and showtime is 8pm on Saturday.

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