Born into a musical family in Toledo, Ohio, Ben Wolkins grew up studying music under numerous great musicians and teachers in the Midwest. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toledo and a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies from the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York. The pursuit of his Bachelor’s degree also found him earning credits at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, Bloomington. He has a heavy admiration for Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and Tim Hagans’ styles of playing. Ben plays with a big, bold trumpet sound and can be found playing many genres of music while always working hard at finding his own voice while improvising. His performances throughout the United States have allowed him to share the stage with notables such as; Jay McShann, David Liebman, Tim Ries, Ron Oswanski, Anthony Pinciotti, Vic Juris, Gunnar Mossblad, Gene Parker, Jim Gottron, Paul Keller, Kermit Driscoll, Steve Turre, Jon Hendricks, Claude Black, Clifford Murphy, Eliot Zigmund, Chris Byars, Dave Riekenberg, Tad Weed, Hans Glawischnig, Roland Vasquez, Winard Harper, Peter Erskine, John Hart, Jerry Weldon, Rudy Petschauer, Bill Carrothers, George Schuller, Sventlana Shmulyian, Matt Chertkoff, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chico O’Farrill’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, Big Apple Circus, Mannheim Steamroller, Henry Cuesta and the Lawrence Welk All Stars, Aretha Franklin, Melvin Davis, Willie Jones, Pat Lewis, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Rydell, and the Four Tops. When free, he enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, practicing Aikido, golfing, and listening to new artists contributing to the longevity of beautiful music.
M.A. Jazz Trumpet, Queens College – CUNY
B.M. Jazz Performance, University of Toledo