It has been a year-and-a-half since Ben Babylon joined members of Elton’s group on stage at the Canyon Club near Los Angeles, California. The occasion was a tribute to Bens late father, Guy Babylon, who was Eltons Grammy-winning keyboardist and arranger for 21 years. Now the 14-year-old musician is getting ready to return to the same stage for a different kind of show, when his own Ben Babylon Band opens for the new superband, The JAZZMATICS, on April 22.
The show will mark the debut of The JAZZMATICS, a group of 20 musicians who have worked with some of the biggest names in show business, including Elton, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Bette Midler, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Chicago and Santana. The Canyon Club concert will feature a 10-member configuration of the group: Terry Wollman on guitar; Melanie Taylor and Leslie Smith on vocals; Luis Conte on percussion; Greg Manning playing keyboards; Lee Thornburg on trumpet; JV Collier on bass; Nick Lane performing on trombone; Tom Evans on sax, and Ricky Lawson on drums.
It will be the biggest show to date for the up-and-coming Ben Babylon Band, which features Babylon on lead vocals and keyboards, Alex Naylor on bass and background vocals, Brian Schwartz on guitar, and Alex Andrews on drums.
”Im a little nervous, Ben admitted. ”Not only is it exciting to open for these phenomenal musicians, but also to be playing at such an amazing place as the Canyon Club.”
As mentioned previously by EJW, Babylon has been recording his first album, assisted by Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson, John Mahon, Greg Penny, Jesse Johnstone, Martin Tillman, and others who have worked with Elton. Recently, he released the albums first single, Contradiction, on iTunes and Amazon.
Although known primarily as a rock artist, Ben is also an accomplished jazz musician and winner of the Maestro Award for Outstanding Soloist at the National Heritage Music Festival in San Diego, in 2011. He believes that his music will appeal to jazz fans at The JAZZMATICS show.
”Jazz and blues are my favourite musical genres, and I always incorporate those styles into my music,” Babylon commented. ”I like to say that instead of being classically trained, I’m jazzically trained.”
”It is very important to us that Ben is opening this debut show for The JAZZMATICS,” said Allen Kepler, an American jazz radio personality who co-owns The JAZZMATICS. ”We are not only inspired by Ben’s talent, but also feel that his presence at this premiere will help to bring our local community together.”
The JAZZMATICS and the Ben Babylon Band will appear at the Canyon Club on Sunday, April 22. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the concert starting at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets are $19.50. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. For information, call the venue at 818-879-5016 or visit www.CanyonClub.net.