BEN BLACK BIOGRAPHY
The earliest influences for me were in listening to my parent's records. I was influenced by my mothers love of Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66, The Singers Unlimited, Nina Simone, and so many of the great musicals of that era. As a young teen I uncovered Mom's old recording of "Sarah Vaughan at Kelly's. This album was a real spiritual awakening for me.
These early beginnings and interests in diverse cultures are reflected in my music. My ancestry is armenian, slovenian, german, and scotch/ irish. I borrow from other cultures with respect and gratitude, the nuances of diversity in an ever-changing world.
Music is the poetry of the heart. It's honesty cuts through boundaries where nothing else can. It often takes the mask off of age-old ills that lurk in all cultures. This is one of the lofty and real goals and effects of music...to lead us to a better understanding of all, to see beyond the outward and obvious.... to learn to love and be loved.
There is an early part of my experience to share that is such an influence of love in my life. It is the summers of my childhood, spent with my family on my grandparents ranch. It was here that I experienced the endless joys of being a boy in the country, the awe of childhood, feeling truly connected to the earth, nature, and the sights and sounds around me. I can still remember all the wonderful smells of freshly baked bread, of the herbal lotions and liniments that grandma used, and the sweet country air.
The awe and wonder and innocence and mystery of childhood.... The feeling of connectedness with your land and your people. Their poetry, their music of the country is my roots. It is the influence of this music and love that so molds and shapes my music, casting its complexion throughout. No matter where I go, or what happens, this eternal wellspring of love lives in my heart.
The family has changed; people have grown up and passed on. The end of an era. But the raw richness of this heritage is untouchable, and I will cherish it forever.
As an evolving singer/songwriter my music, my arrangements, my thoughts, and my preparation of it, all reflect in some way a measure of this certainty, that as we explore the world in this age of confusion and anxiety, seeing still the continuing inequities of racism and prejudice. We individually and collectively face up to it, seek answers, perhaps not finding them, yet continue to live and create with reverence and love.
Listen to my music. It is my message to each heart that listens to my song.
This is Ben Black the man and his music