Clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg grew up in Denver, Colorado, and received degrees from the University of California and Mills College. He was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo, and studied with both Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano.
In a March 2007 article in the San Francisco Bay Area magazine The Monthly, (http://www.themonthly.com/up-front-03-07.html), Andrew Gilbert heralded Ben Goldberg as “a dauntless musical explorer who has played a central role in the Bay Area’s improvised music scene for more than two decades.
Following his muse wherever it leads him has taken Goldberg on a circuitous musical journey, from Jewish roots music, blues and bebop to avant-garde jazz and chamber improvisation. Along the way, he himself has profoundly influenced some of the region’s most creative musicians…..It’s difficult to overstate Goldberg’s impact on the California music scene, though he has often flown under the mainstream radar, ridiculously undetected by major clubs, festivals and the jazz press. Over the past year or so, however, he’s been impossible to ignore, as a series of collaborations have put him smack-dab in the center of several of the scene’s most fertile musical ensembles.”
In addition to leading his own groups such as the Ben Goldberg Quintet, Mr. Goldberg performs with the New Klezmer Trio, Tin Hat, plays monk, the Graham Connah Group; and John Schott’s Typical Orchestra. He has received two NEA grants: one in 1993 for performance of the music of Andrew Hill, Bobby Bradford, Steve Lacy, Herbie Nichols, and Thelonious Monk; and another in 1996 for a concert series of his own compositions.