Composer And Bandleader
Ben Cockerham is a NYC-based composer and bandleader, specializing in the intersection of jazz, funk, and chamber music. An active performer in the NYC scene for over a decade, Ben leads several acts including mainstays such as indie funk band Sublunar Minds and the Gil Evans-esque Savoy In Color. He is a prolific songwriter and composes chamber music for some of the top musicians in NYC as well as high profile events such as New York Fashion Week.
In Sublunar Minds, Ben serves up energetic, catchy, and quirky funk rock. Their 2019 album Into A Future Bright And Beautiful, their 5th, is a hit on college radio and their 2018 album Lit Again In Our Time re-wrote classic Black Sabbath riffs in a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I.
With Savoy in Color, Ben brings a distinct and evocative jazz utilizing a large horn ensemble, playing lush and dissonant harmony, with support only from bass and drums, and space. That’s the essence of the group’s 2013 EP The World You’re in Is Perfect, with its instrumental jazz tracks reminiscent of the Gil Evans-Miles Davis collaborations that harken back to the 1950s & ’60s.
With The New Benjamin Britton, a blend of jangly pop guitar and cool marimba decorate a singer-songwriter style. The group pairs Ben with NYC percussionist Britton Matthews; their album Raise A Glass Broken Land was released in 2012.
As a chamber music composer, Ben floats between angular modern textures and lush fantastical harmony. In the fall of 2019, Ben will release two new music suites: Shadow Forth, a mix of modern harmony, music concrete, electronics, and jazz, and In And Of And Above, a set of four lyrical string quartets. Additionally, Ben frequently collaborates with the NYC fashion community to compose original scores for runway shows during New York Fashion Week, blending live chamber music with modern electronics and beats.
As a guitarist, Ben is passionate about new sounds and textures, with an appetite for the unconventional. Two of his favorite instruments include a replica of Queen guitarist Brian May’s homemade Red Special -- which enable otherworldly sounds like no other guitar -- and a custom 8 string built by Novax guitars for jazz/funk guitarist Charlie Hunter -- which enable simultaneous playing of guitar and bass.
A serial entrepreneur, Ben co-founded music companies RightsFlow (acquired by Google in 2011) and Source3 (acquired by Facebook in 2017). In 2010 Billboard magazine named Ben one of its “30 Under 30: Power Players In The Music Industry.”
Ben lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children, and dog.