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2014 Reflections

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I learned a lot in 2014. In February, I released “Battle Mountain,” my first record with my own band. It was incredible to make music in my home state of California with my best friends – I’ll never forget it. Thanks to everyone for believing in my music!

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with cdza throughout the year, performing and recording around the world! We hit the slots in Vegas, performed in the English countryside, and shared the stage with Snoop Dogg and T-Pain. But the highlight was making a “History of the Saxophone” video for their Instrumentals series, which you can check out here if you haven’t seen it. It was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding musical projects I’ve ever been a part of; hope you learned a little something about my favorite instrument and had a good laugh too. I still rock my Kenny G wig occasionally, so be on the lookout.

Through experiences teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Nueva Summer Music in CA, the Calhoun School in NYC, and through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s educational programs, I’ve developed a love for teaching. I learn as much in the classroom as I do on the bandstand, and I’m constantly inspired by my students. Many thanks to all my friends continue to help me nurture this love.

I brought my band to the Stanford Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Earshot Jazz Festival. I was also a guest artist/educator for SFJAZZ for their Discover Jazz Series. I owe so much to everyone who works with these vital organizations to bring music to new generations. I along with so many of my peers wouldn’t be here without you!

Our world is complicated and constantly evolving. Technology, wars, conflict, and political strife dominate the news. But we have music. Music heals us in hard times. Music makes us dance, it makes us smile. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to play my saxophone everyday. My goal for the new year is to find new ways to use music to make people happy and bring us together as one. I urge all of you to find a way to use your ideas, your words, your skills, and your talents to help make this world a better place. It’s up to us to stand up for what we believe in and make positive change. Now is the time. Let’s get to it.

Love to you all for helping make this year musical, joyful, and unforgettable.

All the best and Happy 2015,

Ben Flocks

History of the Saxophone video w/ cdza & California Summer Shows!

You may have heard of the YouTube sensations at cdzacdza is a group of musicians and artists in NYC who create viral YouTube musical experiments. I’ve had an incredible time playing with them for the past year, and I’m happy to announce the premier of my feature “History of the Saxophone” video as part of their INSTRUMENTALS series. It was an exciting challenge to try and squeeze the history of the sax into just under ten minutes, but we did it! Check out the video here, hope you enjoy it.

Also really stoked to play with my Battle Mountain band for three super sweet shows this summer in California. These performances will feature the entire band from my debut album – Ari Chersky on Guitar, Sam Reider on Piano, Rhodes, and Accordion, Garret Lang on Bass, Evan Hughes on Drums, and myself on Saxophone. You can purchase Battle Mountain here on cdBaby, and here on iTunes! And check out our four star review for Battle Mountain from Downbeat Magazine!

Tennessee Waltz video premiere and Nextbop.com feature!

Excited to announce the video premiere of my band’s rendition of “Tennessee Waltz,” featured on my upcoming debut album “Battle Mountain.” Big thanks to Anthony Dean-Harris and everyone at Nextbop for featuring us on their front page today! Check out www.nextbop.com/blog/benflocksbattlemountain for the full article, and watch us play Tennessee Waltz during our session at Tiny Telephone Recording back in March at the link below.

Battle Mountain EPK

Happy New Year everybody!

Incredibly excited to kick off 2014 by announcing the release of the EPK for my upcoming record “Battle Mountain.” The video features footage from the recording session at Tiny Telephone back in March, along with live performance footage and interviews with my bandmates. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible! Stay tuned for announcements regarding our record release shows coming up in February; Battle Mountain is out February 11th. Love you all, let’s have a musical 2014!

December California Shows!

Really looking forward to heading back to the Bay Area for the holidays! We’re playing three shows with my band Battle Mountain in anticipation of the release of my new record on February 11th:

Thursday December 19th at Amnesia in San Francisco, Double-Bill with the Amigos Band – www.amnesiathebar.com

Friday December 20th House Concert in Santa Cruz – contact for details

Saturday December 21st at the Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, Double-Bill with the Amigos Band – www.thecrepeplace.com

See you there Californians!

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California Trip

I’m excited to announce that I’m heading to California next week to record my debut album at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. Recording alongside me are some of my closest friends, Ari Chersky, Sam Reider, Garret Lang, and Evan Hughes. Stay tuned for updates from the studio, and previews from the record!