Ben LaMar Gay (cornet, synthesizers, vocals), Will Faber (guitar, vocals), Matt Davis (tuba, vocals), Tommaso Moretti (drums)
Ben LaMar Gay’s musical loves range far and wide; unique and distinctive, they dip into myriad styles: avant-garde jazz, blues, indie rock, R&B, hip-hop, bossa nova, electronic, funk… He leaps beyond the borders of labels and genres to produce experimental, innovative music yet reminiscent of roots and folklore. Music which, starting from his hometown of Chicago, travels around the world, with influences from Brazil, Germany, France, Nigeria, Italy, Poland…
Ben LaMar Gay grew up in South Chicago and gained proficiency with the cornet as a member of the highly respected AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Apart from the cornet, he plays the trumpet and is a composer, producer and educator. On stage he also sings, recites, improvises and plays the keyboards and synthesizers.
Albums such as Open Arms to Open Us (2021), Grapes (2018) and Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun (2018) are a collection of soundscapes and electro acoustic collages, composing puzzles where each of the different pieces join together to create a single conceptually connected picture. These are moving, energetic, rousing, engaged, hypnotic, unpredictable, exciting and fresh albums, evocative and full of textures.
Ben LaMar Gay is a visionary ground breaker whose music reflects his life experiences: the summers spent as a boy on his aunt’s farm in Alabama that left their mark on him and taught him how rhythm connects us to our roots, his life growing up in Chicago, his three years in Brazil, his collaborations with Makaya McCraven, Celso Fonseca and Jaimie Branch, to name but a few of the artists he has worked with… For Gay, music is an inter-generational message conveyed through rhythm, which keeps memories alive, connecting us with the present and projecting us into the future, the key to understanding our place in the world.