Ben Allison is much more than just a bass player.
With more than 30 years of professional experience, Allison has gained an international reputation as a composer, writer and advocate of musicians’ rights. The New Haven, Conn., native has released 13 albums, and written music for film, television and radio all while performing award-winning jazz compositions across the globe. Whether it’s topping jazz radio charts or conducting clinics at international universities, Allison has made music his life’s work.
Allison, along with guitarist Steve Cardenas and saxophonist Michael Zilber, are members of The Easy Way and will perform at 4:30 p.m. this Sunday at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Miramar. Tickets are available at bachddsoc.org and cost $35 for adults and $30 for students with ID.
From shows at Carnegie Hall in New York to the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Allison’s career and credentials stand out. In 2005, 2008 and 2013, Allison composed and arranged for Jazz Sinfonica, an 80-piece orchestra in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He’s currently a faculty member at the College of Contemporary and Performing Arts at New School University, teaching music business, entrepreneurship and music production.
Allison encourages those around him to be engaged in more than just tunes. He’s an advocate for musicians pursuing not only their freedom of self-expression, but their right to fair compensation. He started his own musician-run nonprofit, the Jazz Composers Collective, and testified in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in support of performing rights in 2012.
Allison and Cardenas have been performing together since 2005, and draw influence from the free-playing spirit of Jim Hall and Jimmy Giuffre.
“They were envisioning quieter music that embraced the emerging qualities of free playing, but also maintained a connection to the American songbook, and elements of blues and folk,” Allison wrote in an email to the Review. “Their music has a unique kind of sophisticated simplicity that has stood the test of time.”
For the Bach performance, the trio will focus on Allison’s latest album, “Quiet Revolution,” which he believes strikes an intimate and conversational tone with the audience.
“In a way, it will be like a musical version of a two-act play, where three actors interact, weaving a story with ups and downs, twists and turns, and ultimate resolution,” Allison explained. “We’ll be taking the audience on a voyage through this music and hope they leave feeling inspired.”