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 and a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies with accreditation from top music schools in the country including; Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, University of Toledo, and the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York. His performances throughout the United States have allowed him to share the stage with notables such as; Jay McShann, David Liebman, Tim Ries, Gunnar Mossblad, Gene Parker, Kermit Driscoll, Steve Turre, Jon Hendricks, Eliot Zigmund, Dave Riekenberg, Hans Glawischnig, Roland Vasquez, Winard Harper, Peter Erskine, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chico O’Farrill’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, Big Apple Circus, Henry Cuesta and the Lawrence Welk All Stars, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Rydell, and the Four Tops. Currently, Ben is on faculty at the University of Toledo teaching Jazz Trumpet while also at Adrian College in Michigan directing the Repertory Jazz Ensemble and teaching Applied Trumpet Lessons. Private instruction is given out of his home alongside keeping a busy performing schedule with professionals in the area. When free, he enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, practicing Aikido, golfing, and listening to new artists contributing to the longevity of music.
M.A. Jazz Trumpet, Queens College – CUNY
B.M. Jazz Performance, University of Toledo