Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ben Wolfe

Ben Wolfe

In his early years bassist Ben Wolfe played an electric instrument, but he’s strictly into an acoustic mode now. No amplifier either, if you please. While some people might think him a traditionalist, Wolfe feels differently. “I don’t look at it like that. To some people traditional jazz is New Orleans music from the ’30s…I play what I consider actual jazz. Acoustic jazz. Swing,” he says.

Born in Baltimore, but raised in Portland, Wolfe played a variety of instruments, including tuba and trombone, until finding his “musical home on the upright.” His artistic inspirations are varied. Among them are Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He gigged in the local clubs, then headed to New York. “I needed more challenges,” he explains.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published