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Monday, July 25, 2022
7:00 PM
Door Ticket Price:
Student Ticket Price:
Kuumbwa Jazz Presents

Ben Williams: “I Am a Man”

6:00 PM
All Ages
Advance ticket sales for this show have ended. Tickets will be available at the door starting at 6:00 PM. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 48 hours of the performance time), with matching photo ID, will be required at the door for entry. Masks are encouraged. Dinners are available to purchase at the venue per availability. Please click the 'FAQs' button above for more information.

Dinner Menu:
Green Curry Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms & Spinach
Basmati Rice
House Salad 
*meat & veggie chili will be available to order at the counter


When it comes to black music, Washington, D.C. produces its share of game-changers. That long list includes Duke Ellington, Chuck Brown, Marvin Gaye, Shirley Horn, Roberta Flack, Bad Brains, Meshell Ndegeocello, Wale, and Oddisee. You can add Ben Williams to that venerated roster. For more than a decade, Williams has steadily become one of the most acclaimed and versatile bassists in modern jazz. In 2009, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He has performed/recorded with such giants as Pat Metheny, George Benson, Stefon Harris, David Sanborn, Lauryn Hill, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Maxwell, and Nicholas Payton. In 2013 and 2015 Williams received the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star Award for Bass. Williams became a “Rising Star” when he won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition Award that landed him his first record-deal with Concord Records.  As a leader, Williams revealed his talents as a keen composer and bandleader on his first two albums – State of Art (2011) and Coming of Age (2015). As gripping as those albums are, they don’t prepare you for Williams’ newest album, I AM A MAN, released Rainbow Blonde, a new imprint co-owned by singer, songwriter, and kindred spirit, José James. Sonically, the new album departs grandly from the mostly acoustic instrumental settings of his previous albums. Williams imbued his love for modern R&B and hip-hop and his socio-political awareness subtly on State of Art and Coming of Age. But on I AM A MAN, he brings them to the fore with mesmerizing vocal-centric songs that will surely raise his profile higher in modern soul and rap circles. The Ben Williams Band on this concert date will also feature vocalist Sydnee Winters, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, pianist Brandon Coleman, and dummer Jonathan Pinson.

Ben Williams Website
(Ticket Includes 5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax)


Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, 95060 United States
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