I am Ben Hillyard, an upright and electric bassist, collaborator and music educator. I’m based in London and work throughout the UK and internationally.
Thanks to a good ear and experience in a wide range of styles I get to move between blues, funk, rock, jazz, classical and crossover music, and work with great musicians in many different genres, which is just the way (a-ha, a-ha) I like it. Though the music and the mood are different for each gig the satisfaction comes from the same place – feeling the energy and love created on stage and watching it flow into the audience.
Musical highlights of recent years
- Touring India and Bangladesh with Parapar, led by noted singer and musicologist Moushumi Bhowmik;
- Playing support for Take That at the O2 and other UK arenas;
- Playing with hammond funk masters The James Taylor Quartet;
- Touring Europe with US free-soul legend Sir Joe Quarterman;
- Gigging with Dennis Greaves of Nine Below Zero, with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze frequently dropping in as a guest.
Passing on the craftmanship
I believe that a musician should always be learning and that we have a responsibility to pass on our craft to others, particularly young people.
I teach bass and guitar privately and in schools, and in 2012 set up the ‘Loving & Living Music’ project with personal coach Heli Rajasalo to explore, develop and teach musicianship and collaboration skills.
I have also worked with Trinity College of Music developing the bass guitar exams for their Rock & Pop syllabus, launched in 2012.