Ben LaMar Gay (US)

Ben LaMar Gay is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, poet, and patently eclectic polymath who Afropunk has called “strikingly original,” Pitchfork has called “uncategorizable,” and Jeff Parker has called “hands down, one of my favorite musicians on the planet today.” He channels a radical array of sound, color, and space through the universal language of folklore; but despite the widely attributed genius of his work, his artistic approach and general demeanor are characterized by an endearing humbleness and warm humanity.

His critically–lauded 2018 break out Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun (International Anthem) was more like a greatest hits than a debut album, as it compiled the best of the prolific but obscurity–prone Chicago native artist’s previously unreleased music.

On Open Arms to Open Us (November 2021, International Anthem) he fluently interweaves jazz, blues, ballads, R&B, raga, new music, nursery rhyme, Tropicalia, two–step, hip–hop and beyond in his most colorful and communicable work yet ― a beaming expression of Gay’s signature omni-genre, “Pan-Americana” brew.

His latest album Certain Reveries (November 2022, International Anthem) is a long-form composition by Gay, performed in duo with percussionist Tommaso Moretti. It was originally filmed by Chris Strong for EFG London Jazz Fest’s 2020 live-stream program. This new album release is the first time the unedited audio from the live performance portion of that program is made available. Gay presented the original Certain Reveries visual program for EFG LJF in three parts, with the live performance portions dissected by a mesmerizing short film (or “revery”) he conceptualized, choreographed, and directed, alone in his Chicago apartment, as a tribute to the late inventor/composer Eddie Harris.


International Anthem




Ben LaMar Gayvocals, synths, cornet, flute
Will Faberguitar, synth, flute
Josh Sirotiaktuba, flute
Tommaso Morettidrums, flute






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