Ben Allison (c. 1966) is an American jazz double bassist and composer born in New Haven, Connecticut.
Ben leads the groups The Ben Allison Band, Man Size Safe, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel and composes and performs instrumental music that utilizes a lot of improvisation and incorporates a wide range of musical influences - including rock, folk, jazz, R&B, Malian Griot music, Armenian folk themes, 20th century serialism, and Italian film music. He is known for his driving, rhythmic approach to the bass and lyrical, cinematic compositions.
Ben has released nine albums of original music - Think Free (2009), Little Things Run the World (2008), Cowboy Justice (2006), Buzz (2004), Peace Pipe (2002), Riding the Nuclear Tiger (2001), Third Eye (1999), and Medicine Wheel (1998) on Palmetto Records, and his 1996 debut Seven Arrows on the Koch Jazz label.
Ben has received 6 SESAC Performance Awards for national radio airplay and the BIrd Award for artistic excellence (2005, Netherlands).
At the age of twenty-five, he formed the Jazz Composers Collective - a musician-run, non-profit organization based in New York City that is dedicated to constructing an environment where artists can exercise their ideals of creating and risking through the development and exploration of new music. As the Artistic Director and a Composer-in-Residence of the Jazz Composers Collective, Ben has produced or co-produced over 100 concerts and special events, including the Collective's annual concert series (which ran for eleven seasons), national and international tours by Collective artists, an on-going Collective residency at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NYC), and an annual "Jazz Composers Collective Festival" at the Jazz Standard - which has drawn international attention as a mainstay of New York City's musical life.
Born in 1966 in New Haven, Connecticut, Ben has performed with musicians ranging from oudist Ara Dinkjian to saxophonist Lee Konitz to legendary performance artist Joey Arias. He has appeared on over 40 albums by various artists and has written music for film, national television and radio, including the theme for the NPR/WNYC show On the Media, the score for Two Days, a play written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald Margulies, and the score for Play Name, by indie film director David Snyder. He was a featured artist with the Jazz Sinfonica Orchestra of Sao Paulo in 2005 and 2008 and a guest lecturer at the Accademia Nazionale Del Jazz in Siena, Italy in 2009.