ABOUT

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Ben begged his parents for a drum -- any drum. One Christmas, his aunt bought him a shiny, stainless-steel snare. Whether she intended to nurture his love of music, or just needle his parents, it's never been clear. Either way, he became a drummer for life.

 

A few years cobbling together homemade drum sets gave way to proper lessons, with DC-area teachers Steve Larrance and Chuck Ferrell. Ben got his start performing at school, eventually winning several competitions as a member of the Sidwell Friends School Jazz Ensemble, from 1999-2003.

During high school, he also joined his first band, played his first gig, and recorded his first record. Anchoring cult DC punks The A.K.s gave Ben a window into a world of do-it-yourself rock and roll that was instantly appealing.

 

Though he studied English in college, he was never far from the kit, continuing to perform and record. His Star Wars-themed campus quartet So Long Princess was featured on Season 3 of the CW reality show "Beauty and the Geek" -- though not because of its beauty.

 

Relocating to San Francisco in 2007, Ben played with a succession of working bands in the city’s vibrant scene. He recorded as a session player at Motor Studios (owned by Fat Wreck Chords label head Mike Burkett), and had the chance to tour up and down the west coast and beyond, including North Carolina, Germany, and Finland. A personal and professional highlight during this time was playing on Wild Eyes’ 2014 release Above Becomes Below.

 

In 2015, he began studying at Los Angeles’ Musicians Institute, graduating with an Associate of Arts in Drum Performance. Though Ben had been a drummer for fully 20 years when he started at the school, his playing was transformed by the knowledge and patience of its faculty, particularly Albe Bonacci, Kevin Stevens, Jon Rygiewicz, Ronen Gordon, and Drum Performance chair Stewart Jean. 

 

Happily combining years of DIY experience with a musical education, Ben is now busy bringing his drumming to the stages and studios of Los Angeles, and passing on the gift of music as a teacher with the LOUD music education program. His own studies continue under the tutelage of world-renowned teacher Bruce Becker.

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© 2017 by Ben Richardson