Ben Rolston Quartet

Thursday, October 3 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm$25.00
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Event Series Event Series: Ben Rolston Quartet


Doors open at 5pm for dinner. Seating begins at 6pm for “Dinner & a Show”. The second show starts seating at 9pm.


Marcus Elliot, sax

Michael Malis, piano

Jon Taylor, drums

Ben Rolston, bass

Brooklyn based bassist / composer Ben Rolston is an accomplished and compelling performer in an eclectic range of musical styles. Ben has performed with important musical voices like Marcus Belgrave, Laurence Hobgood (Kurt Elling), Tim Ries (Rolling Stones), Dwight Adams (Stevie Wonder), and Nick Dunston. Ben has also performed at some of the finest venues and festivals in the country, e.g. The Detroit Jazz Festival, The Newport Jazz Festival, The Ambria Jazz Festival, Birdland, The Stone, The Green Mill, Jazz at the Bistro, The Jazz Gallery, The Blue Llama, and The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ben’s young musical curiosity and talent were honed by the teachers and musical culture of Ann Arbor and Detroit, leading to his matriculation at The University of Michigan to study with master musicians such as Robert Hurst and Geri Allen. Immediately after graduating in 2012, Ben released his debut album Fables. It features 10 original compositions and was described as “full of grandeur and dissonance” and “find of the week” by Dave Sumner (eMusic Contributor). Shortly after the album release Ben was one of sixteen young jazz musicians from around the country handpicked to be a part of Ravinia’s Steans Institute Program for Jazz (Chicago). While at the Institute Ben had the privilege to study with jazz legends Rufus Reid, Curtis Fuller, David Baker and Nathan Davis.

Moving to Detroit after graduation sparked a period of intense growth and musical activity. A talented and close-knit peer group led to established bands, regular gigs, a flurry of recordings, and the founding of Polyfold Musical Arts Collective, a non-profit musicians advocacy group. Some of the most fruitful work came from Rolston’s relationship with Marcus Elliot and Michael Malis, who together are described in Mark Stryker’s book Jazz From Detroit as “among the most compelling Detroit jazz musicians of their generation.”

During this time Ben was also touring the country with The Appleseed Collective, an Americana band playing bluegrass, western swing, and jazz manouche influenced original music. In 2016 the Alex Levine Quartet, of which Rolston is a long term member, participated in a month-long residency program in Switzerland through the UNCOOL Festival. This has led to 3 records, 3 tours in Europe, and a short film about collaboration between American and Italian musicians. Another important musical connection was made through pianist Tad Weed to a group of his like-minded students, leading to Ben’s joining two bands (Talking Ear and the Estar Cohen Project) and eventually performing at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival with ASCAP prize winning artist Estar Cohen feat. Fabian Almazan.

Since moving to NYC in 2017 Rolston has presented three new bands: Brasfas (a small brass band influenced by Balkan Music and Ornette Coleman), Quartet Quartet (an improvisational adaptation of Philip Glass string quartet no. 5), and Qualia Quartet (modern jazz featuring Oud). He performed in the premiere of Nick Dunston’s La Operacion at Roulette Intermedium, and has maintained a monthly concert series with Polyfold featuring some of the best improvisers NY has to offer.


Thursday, October 3
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm