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Ben Goldberg

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  • Ben Goldberg

  • Ben Goldberg

  • Ben Goldberg


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, later earning an undergraduate music degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a subsequent Master of Arts in Composition from Mills College. A student of Rosario Mazzeo, Steve Lacy, and Joe Lovano, Goldberg initially won acclaim as a member of the New Klezmer Trio, debuting in 1991 with Masks and Faces; two years later he won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to mount a retrospective series spotlighting the music of key American jazz composers including Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols, a project on which he collaborated with the likes of Andrew Hill and Bobby Bradford. After teaming with Kenny Wollesen for the 1993 LP The Relative Value of Things, Goldberg resurfaced two years later with another New Klezmer Trio record, Melt Zonk Rewire; with the group Snorkel, he also contributed to 1996's Live at the Elbo Room. In 1998, Goldberg headlined no less than four new recordings: Eight Phrases for Jefferson Rubin, Twelve Minor, Here by Now, and What Comes Before.

eMusic Features


Interview: Ben Goldberg

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

The adventurous, lyrical, soulful San Francisco clarinet improviser Ben Goldberg made his reputation 20 years ago with the New Klezmer Trio. That band played what klezmer might have sounded like if it had kept evolving parallel to jazz. Since then, Goldberg has been involved in diverse bands and recording projects, playing original combo music, reimagined Americana (on the quartet Junk Genius's 1999 Ghost of Electricity), a tribute to his early hero Steve Lacy (the door,… more »


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