Ben Stivers is an in-demand keyboard, piano and organ player based in Brooklyn, NY. Ben Stivers has a wide stylistic vocabulary from recording, touring and collaborating with artists across multiple genres including jazz, blues, rock, pop, latin pop, rap, dance and jazz fusion. As his resumé shows, Ben Stivers is recognized around the world as one of the premier keyboard players on the music scene today.
Ben was born in Indiana but his family moved to Las Vegas when he was four to pursue musical careers. His father was the bandleader at UNLV and his mother was a professional violin player so it was no surprise when he took an early interest in classical piano. Ben was a dedicated classical piano student and earned recognition as a finalist in the prestigious Arnold Bullock Piano Competition at age 16. In addition to his classical music studies Ben took an interest in jazz fusion bands such as the Yellow Jackets and Weather Report which drove his interest in keyboards and groove. While attending Chapparal High School in Las Vegas Stivers was fortunate to have talented friends to play with like bassist Dave Monsey (Edie Brickell, Tedeschi/Trucks, etc) and many professional musicians living in the community to learn from such as Frank Sinatra band leader Vince Falcone. With this strong musical foundation Ben decided to pursue a career in music.
In 1986 Ben moved to Miami to pursue a degree in Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. The UMschool was very competitive and filled with future stars in musical performance, engineering, production and business and Ben rose to the top in this environment. In the late eighties the Miami music scene was exploding and many successful acts drew from the University of Miami music school for their bands, management, production and writing teams. This inertia launched Ben's international careerwithartists such as Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Chayanne, Exposé, Jon Secada, Emilio Estefan, Dan Warner, Matchbox 20 and many others.
A highlight of Ben's Miami years was his collaboration with the Gibb family. Ben touredand recorded with the Bee Gees and Barry Gibbsince the early 90s. IHe continues to collaborate with Barry Gibb in the studio and on stage as keyboard player in the Barry Gibb Band.
In 1998 Ben moved to Spain to pursue a full time jazz residency project in Mallorca. In Spain Ben played with top European jazz musicians, honed his skills as a leader and became fluent in Spanish. After a few years in Spain Ben was ready to return to the US and made the giant step of moving to New York City.
As in Miami and Mallorca Ben wasted no time rising to the top of the local music scene in New York City. He immersed himself in the New York jazz scene playing with musicians such as Teddy Kumpel, Matt Chertkoff, Kenny Rampton, Rez Abassi, Donny McCaslin, Groove Collective and many others. In NYC Stivers honed his jazz organ chops as a sideman in numerous organ trio settings and as the leader of the Ben Stivers Organ Trio.
In addition to Ben's jazz piano and organ work he collaborates with many NYC based singer/songwriters, dance studios, producers and performers. Some of his singer/songwriter collaborations include James Maddock, Jason Darling, Kate Chaston, Christine Courtin and others. When Ben is not touring he can frequently be found at the Rockwood Music Hall with NYC's most innovative musicians.
Ben has kept up his international touring work and is current a member of the Chris Botti Band. Other recent tours include the Barry Gibb Mythology Tour, Gregg Allman Band, Robin McKelle and the Flytones, Rez Abbasi and others.
Here's a brief overview of Ben's projects.
Touring and Recording
Chris Botti, Matchbox Twenty, Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Chayanne, The Bee Gees, Barry Gibb, Laura Brannigan, Thalia, Gloria Estefan, David Garrett, Patti Austin, The Gregg Allman Band, Albert Lee, Groove Collective, DJ Logic, Cindy Blackmon, Robin Mckelle, Sam Moore, Gaby Moreno
Select New York City Projects
Aaron Comess of Spin Doctors, Scott Sharrard and the Brickyard Band, Ryan Scott, Ivan 'Funkboy' Bodley, Robin McKelle and the Flytones, Chris Buonno, James Maddock, Flavorlab, Kate Chaston, Jason Darling, Christina Courtin, Marcus Wolf, Dana Fuchs, Sarah Tolar, Nivedita Shivra
Miami Studio Work 1990-1993
Exposé, Jose Feliciano, Prince Rahiem, Gloria Estefan, Bee Gees, Julio Iglesias, Barry Gibb and many others.
Select Jazz Collaborations
University of Miami, BM Studio Music and Jazz, 1990.
Extensive classical piano training, Las Vegas, NV 1980-1986
National finals of the Arnold Bullock Piano Competition at age 16