On Sunday night, bassist Ben Williams won the prestigous Thelonius Mink Competion in his hometown Washington. The six judges, including Ron Carter, Charlie Haden and Dave Holland, winnowed the list to three (Joe Sanders from Milwaukee, Matt Brewer of Albuquerque and Ben Williams) and those finalists performed Sunday with singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and a rhythm section of pianist Geoff Keezer and drummer Carl Allen.
“The crowd favorite was 24-year-old Ben Williams, who grew up in Northeast D.C. and graduated from Davey Yarborough’s jazz program at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He pulled hard at the strings, building up a powerful rhythmic attack on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan,” locking eyes and trading musical ideas with the ebullient Bridgewater.” reports Matt Schudel/Washington Post.
More about Ben Williams at his MySpace page.