As a studio musician, performer, educator, and composer, Benjamin Lee is fiercely dedicated to artistic excellence, professionalism, and community.
Oakland-based ensemble The TOaG Quartet debuts their new music showcase, featuring never before heard compositions from their upcoming third album. The night will span a dazzling breadth of improvisational music, all composed in response to and reflecting on the tumultuous last several years – which hit professional creatives especially hard. Audiences will delight at the dynamic power of this assembly of Bay Area instrumentalists who have been described as “Swinging and Funky,” “Beautiful and Groovin,” “Dark and Spacey,” and “Raw but Refined.” Under the direction of bassist Benjamin Lee, the quartet is fronted by saxophone phenom Eli Maliwan, whose technical and creative prowess is unmatched. Powerhouse drummer Ricky Carter commands the rhythm section with a seamless blend of fury and subtly, alongside veteran guitarist DV Wright – who’s soundscapes are as stunning as his screaming solos.
The evening will also feature special guests from TOaG’s educational partnership with Oakland High School, as well as a surprise guest visual artist live painting!
One part working band and one part teaching ensemble, The TOaG Quartet is dedicated to producing hard-hitting improvisational music, honoring Black American musical roots, and supporting arts education.
Tickets and info at: https://www.firehousearts.org/events/the-toag-quartet/
"There have been those who have been based more in the groove traditions of players like James Jamerson, those who lean more toward the straight ahead stylings of folks like Ron Carter or Charles Mingus, and then there are the cats who show skill in both camps.
Ben is one such cat..." (full testimonial)
-- Ricky Carter
Session Drummer, Producer
"...He always shows up more prepared then anyone else, and shreds the charts on anything that's put in front of him. I wish I had an extra band so that I could hire him full-time!" (full testimonial)
-- Alex Taite
SF Opera, Vocalist/Composer
"...[Ben is] patient, deeply knowledgeable about the bass and its history, and connected on an emotional level with me while infusing our lessons with great faith in my ability to improve, in spite of my lack of experience. 5 stars isn't enough!" (full testimonial)
-- Christina Mitra
Private Bass Student
"As for as music instructors go, Ben Lee is hands down at the top of the list. He has been instructing our 8th grade son for a year now on upright bass and we've seen my sons technical abilities and music theory grow at an astonishing rate..." (full testimonial)
-- Johnny Jones, Parent
"...Ben gives everything he has in mining the possibilities of any given piece. He has a great sound, excellent intonation and a very solid time-feel...There appear to be no boundaries to his creativity." (full testimonial)
-- David Tidball
Wyldlyfe, Band Leader
-- Cliff Keller
San Diego Songwriters, Director
The Kellers, Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter