A career spanning 25 years, working with and for many of the rock ’n’ roll legendary musicians of our time, has enabled Ben Waters to select a group of fine musicians who have joined him in entertaining audiences in festivals and prestigious venues across the world. He is very excited that Bill Wyman, one of the founding members of the Rolling Stones, has agreed to join him and his band on stage. Ben has always been a big fan of Bill’s playing and learnt a lot by watching videos of Willy and the Poor Boys. Bill’s style of bass playing is perfect for this kind of music as Bill plays an electric bass, but he makes it sound like a double bass and the last concert they did was rocking because of this!
A love of boogie woogie and early rock ’n’ roll has inspired Ben from an early age when he was lucky enough to hear family friend Ian Stewart, another founder of the Rolling Stones, play piano in Ben’s native Dorset. Ian (“Stu”) was much loved by The Stones and many other musicians and they were all devastated at his early death. When Ben decided to make a commemorative album (Boogie4Stu) in aid of the British Heart Foundation all The Stones, PJ Harvey, and Jools Holland (who gave his studio freely) rallied round. Sir Peter Blake designed the cover and donated many thousands of pounds to the BHF from sales of prints. A sensational concert to launch the album was held at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 9th March 2011 with Ian Rankin, the celebrated author who based his Rebus character on Stu, acting as compere to a show which included Ben with Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Jools Holland, Mick Hucknall and Shakin’ Stevens.
Jools Holland described Ben in the Mail on Sunday as being one of the favourite pianists of all time and has been a constant support to him over the years. Ben left college to go on tour with Shakin’ Stevens and their friendship has endured for many years. Ben and his bass player Richard Hymas co-wrote Last Man Alive for Shaky’s recent chart topping album. You can hear the influences of the early rock ’n roll greats in the Big Band’s music – Ben has played both with Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry as well as recording with one of the world’s finest musicians – Ray Davies (who curated the Meltdown Festival for the 60th anniversary of the Royal Festival Hall and selected Ben’s band as one of his favourites).
All in all, you can expect phenomenal performances from a carefully selected group of musicians who truly love their music.
The apple not having fallen far from the tree in the form of Ben’s son Tom, Ben is proud that he often joins him on stage, playing saxophone and sometimes piano or drums, when his studies at the Royal College of Music allow.
A donation of £10 from each ticket will be given to Lifting the Blues – www.liftingtheblues.co.uk – which is dedicated to destigmatizing mental health issues via music.