The ITF Board and Staff is excited to feature
Jazz trombonist, arranger, and composer Ben Patterson
and to celebrate his recent retirement as the music director and lead trombonist of the Airmen of Note!
Ben will be featured as an Artist on our 2021 program, in Columbus, GA!
Ben’s career as a military trombonist began when he won a coveted spot in the world renown Airmen of Note, a feat he accomplished in the late 1990’s, as a fresh-faced graduate from the University of North Texas. After cutting his teeth in the acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band, Ben brought a diverse skill set to his job in the Air Force. A powerful soloist and an equally commanding lead player, Ben’s voice became a focal point in shows, while at the same time, he continued to develop his skills as an arranger and composer, and eventually rose to the level of Music Director. After twenty-three years, fourteen studio recordings, and countless concerts across the globe, Ben retired in 2020. The ITF is thrilled to feature this multi-talented artist and to celebrate this milestone in his career!
If you want to know more about Ben and his playing, it’s pretty easy to find recordings! He can be heard in virtually any performance of the Airmen of Note from the last twenty years – a body of work that is truly inspiring!
As a primer, check out this 2020 studio release, on which Ben is featured as both a soloist and a composer. His chart, “Small Note Boogaloo” is an infectious romp in the style of its name – the Boogaloo, a 1950’s dance style combining Latin styles with Doo-Wop and Soul – and features a fun shuffle grove, with some surprising harmonic interjections.
On the closing track, “With Every Breath I Take,” Ben’s solo captures the Latin style of the arrangement, while featuring some tasty rhythmic surprises.
Check out this trombone extravaganza, recorded when Ben was on loan to the US Army Blues. First up is a rhythmically dazzling trombone soli, with Ben on lead, then a killer blow by the great Luke Brimhall, followed by Ben’s signature, virtuoso solo style – prepare for feats of rhythmic insanity! Plenty to geek out over!
Ben’s work has not been exclusive to military bands. The Ben Patterson Jazz Orchestra, which released its debut recording, “Vital Frequencies” in 2016, is a showcase for his skills as a composer. Check out the driving funk chart, “To the Top” in the video below. If you like what you hear, you can find many more of Ben’s chart’s for sale at Pro Jazz Charts. We can’t wait to hear more from Ben, as he transitions to civilian life!
Also playing the lead chair in the Alan Blaylock Jazz Orchestra, Ben can be heard on all three studio recordings with that ensemble, and has been featured at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Percussive Arts Society Conventions, the International Trumpet Guild Convention, and the Detroit Jazz Festival, and was a featured artist in the Airmen of Note’s Heritage Jazz concerts and broadcasts from 1998-2008.
Be sure to check out all of Ben’s events at the 2021 ITF!
See you in Columbus!