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Ben Siems has established himself of a modern composer of the first order, with accolades including Runner-Up and Finalist Awards in the Song of the Year international songwriting contest, Honorable Mention in the International Acoustic Music Awards, over a dozen grants from such prestigious sources as Meet the Composer (of New York) and The American Composers Forum, and over forty commissions to compose music for dance, theater, film and video. With works spanning a stylistic range from traditional folk and blues to modern jazz to classical to avant-garde modernism, he has truly "done it all" when it comes to writing music.
As a guitarist, Siems is an internationally recognized force to be reckoned with, described by CADENCE magazine as "a fountain of muted melody, with a masterful grasp of the guitaristic art," and by Jazz Critic Clifford Allen as "slick and refreshingly contemporary ... technically adept and consistently surprising." JazzReview.com chimes in, "At last, a truly NEW voice in jazz guitar has emerged!"
Siems and drummer Jeremy Hauer formed The Willie August Project over a decade ago, as a vehicle to explore Siems' compositions in the jazz realm. Having charted as #1 New Artist on XM Satellite Radio Real Jazz, with documented airplay on over sixty radio stations on four continents, the group has firmly established itself as one of the best small jazz ensembles to come out of the central U.S. over the last decade. It is little wonder that JazzReview.com has said of The Willie August Project, "This Midwestern combo is gonna be a contender, you wait and see!"
Here, on this Reverbnation page, you can find samples of The Willie August Project's music, as well as Ben Siems' acoustic folk-blues work, and information and performances in both realms. For more information on Siems' classical and avant-garde work, please visit, http://www.musicxray.com/artists/bensiemsconcertexperimental and http://www.mnartists.org/Ben_Siems.