• About the Music

  • Ben Allison

    Already a regular in the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series, Ben Allison—a visionary composer and bassist known for his adventurous yet accessible sound and a flair for the unexpected—makes his Carnegie Hall debut on February 3, 2012.

    Allison is one of only a few band leaders working in jazz today who has developed his own instantly identifiable sound. Known for his lyrical melodies, inventive grooves, and inspired arrangements, he draws from the jazz tradition and influences that range from rock and folk to classical and world music, seamlessly blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole.

    With his groups the Ben Allison Band, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel, Allison has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, South America, and Europe, winning fans and building new audiences.

    Allison has released 10 albums that showcase his forward-thinking vision as a producer, composer, arranger, and bassist, while also highlighting his hands-on approach to his craft. These releases include Action-Refraction (2011), Little Things Run the World(2008), Cowboy Justice (2006), Peace Pipe (2002), Riding the Nuclear Tiger (2001), Medicine Wheel(1998), and Seven Arrows (1996) on Palmetto Records.

    Born in 1966 in New Haven, Connecticut, Allison has performed the world over with musicians who range from oudist Ara Dinkjian to saxophonist Lee Konitz to legendary performance artist Joey Arias. Allison has appeared on more than 40 albums by various artists and has written music for film,

  • Watch

    In the first of a series of personal, behind-the-scenes, and rehearsal videos, Ben describes his creative process and aims for his debut at the Hall.

  • Watch

    In the third part of the series, Allison reveals how the street sounds of New York provide an important source of inspiration.

  • Watch

    In part two of a series, Ben Allison introduces percussionist Rogerio Boccato and expands on his philosophy of jazz composition and performance.

  • Watch

    The final part of the series brings the band together for its first full rehearsal and an unexpected appearance on WNYC's Soundcheck.

  • Listen


    Ben Allison performs his arrangement of "St. Ita's Vision" from Samuel Barber's Hermit Songs.



    Ben Allison performs his arrangement of Donnie Hathaway's "Some Day We'll All Be Free."


    Both tracks come from Allison's latest album, Action-Refraction.

  • Watch

    The Ben Allison Band perform Allison's own composition, "Broken," from his latest album Action-Refraction.

  • The Carnegie Hall Debut Events

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