Ben Flocks is a saxophonist and educator whose soulful sound has captivated audiences around the world. Born in Santa Cruz, California and residing in Brooklyn, Ben leads his own group and plays as a sideman in a variety of musical settings. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times praised Ben’s debut album Battle Mountain as “heartfelt” and Downbeat Magazine gave it four stars. Currently a member of the smash-hit jazz troupe Sammy Miller and the Congregation, Ben and the band have received praise for their joyous, entertaining blend of music and theater. Ben has led his band at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and has had the honor to perform with Joshua Redman’s Trio, with Dave Brubeck as a Brubeck Institute Fellow and with Antonio Sanchez and Migration.
Ben holds a bachelors degree from the New School in New York and serves on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and at the Calhoun School. He leads workshops in schools around the country through Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Louis Armstrong House Museum’s educational programs, teaching all ages through interactive concerts tracing the history of jazz.
Ben proudly plays Borgani Saxophones.
Press/ Reviews for Battle Mountain
“★★★★” – “A jovial mix of American musical styles well suited for a ride down Highway 1.” – Downbeat Magazine, Sean J. O’Connell
“★★★“ – “Soulful, heartfelt.“ – The Los Angeles Times, Chris Barton
“A gracious and fluent player…Flocks is simply becoming more of what he’s always been.” – San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin
“A flawless folk-jazz fusion record.” – SomethingElse Reviews, S. Victor Aaron
“He pours himself into the horn and at times approaches that healing sonority I associate with John Coltrane.” – Musically Speaking, Mel Minter
“Replete with the vastness and diversity one would expect from the Golden State.” – Nextbop, Anthony Dean-Harris
“The group walks and breathes together, confidently and with youthful wisdom.” – Candid Music Group, Jonathan Stein
“In a jazz sea positively overflowing with darting and sprinting and flat-out-ferocious young tenor saxophonists, Ben Flocks is one to catch. Ben’s approach is patient, passionate, forthright, kind. He doesn’t dazzle with flurries of notes or overwhelm with a tsunami of technique. But he may yet make some of the widest and longest lasting waves. More importantly, he’s diving deep. Ben’s sound seeks the heart of the matter, the soul of things.” – Joshua Redman
“Ben Flocks is one of the most talented musicians I’ve met. His organic approach to improvising and creative spirit is truly inspiring. Ben plays with a soulfulness and maturity that’s beyond his years and I’m excited to see him continue to develop his voice.” – Donny McCaslin
“It’s not every day that a young badass on their instrument makes an album as unpretentious, genuine, melody-driven, and fun to listen to…one can hear California in the album a mile away.” – Taylor Eigsti
“Your sound and the sound of the band has such a richness to it, and a clear direction and sense of love and respect for each other and the music…really such a joy to listen to, you guys are radiating!” – Julian Lage
“Ben plays with so much feeling and his approach is so folk like. Nothing to prove except the song!” – Matt Wilson