In this episode Rosalyn sits down with Ben Whiteley, a talented bassist and multi-instrumentalist from Toronto. Ben comes from a family of professional musicians and has an impressive career performing with renowned artists such as Basia Bulat, Julia Jacklin, and Sarah Harmer. He has also made appearances on NPR's Tiny Desk concerts and various international festivals.
Ben dives into his musical journey, starting from his early experiences as a teenager in a rock band to his first paid gig at the Rivoli in Toronto. Ben shares how his father, Ken Whiteley, played a crucial role in his development as a musician and how performing with him helped him find his own path as a side player. They discuss the importance of being present on stage and the joy that comes from making music together.
Ben shares valuable insights on embracing mistakes and finding the balance between precision and spontaneity in live performances. He also reflects on the role of entertainment in music and the responsibility of bringing joy and connection to the audience.
The conversation takes an interesting turn as they explore Ben's additional roles as a tour manager for artists like Basia Bulat and the Weather Station. He explains how diversifying his responsibilities as a musician has helped him support artists in a more comprehensive way while navigating the challenges of touring.
Join Rosalyn and Ben in this insightful episode as they uncover the intricacies of a musician's life and the various roles they play on and off the stage.
Ben Whiteley is a Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist. Born into a family of professional musicians, he developed his musical sensibilities at a young age. By 18, he was performing regularly with his father, Canadian roots artist and producer, Ken Whiteley. Since then, Ben has recorded and performed internationally with revered artists including Basia Bulat, Julia Jacklin, The Weather Station, Sarah Harmer, Hannah Georgas, Tim Baker, Fred Penner and Raffi. He has performed on multiple Juno award-winning and Polaris shortlist records and has preformed on NPR’s Tiny Desk, Jools Holland, Jimmy Kimmel, Austin City Limits, KEXP, Q on CBC, and most major international folk and rock festivals.
Follow Ben on Social Media:
Produced by Kayla Nezon (Folk Music Ontario), Rosalyn Dennett (Folk Music Ontario), Tim Fraser + Tanya Fraser (Murdoch Entertainment)
The ReFolkUs Project is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage