At only 24 years old, Ben Levin is already making his mark as a blues pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. Ben has been nominated for two Blues Music Awards (BMA), in 2020 and 2023. Based in Cincinnati, OH, Ben has been playing professionally since he was 15 years old, embracing the authentic sound of his heroes such as Professor Longhair, Pinetop Perkins, Otis Spann, and Ray Charles.
Ben’s fascination for blues piano began when he snuck a peek at his father watching the Ray Charles biopic “Ray” at age 6. Piano lessons with world-renowned Cincinnati-based blues/boogie pianist Ricky Nye led Ben into a passion that has not let up since. Ben’s first festival appearance was for his local Cincy Blues Fest at age 13; by age 15 he was the full-time piano player in his father’s band weekend band The Heaters.
At 17 Ben self-released his debut CD, Ben’s Blues, which included four original songs sprinkled in with covers of Professor Longhair, Big Maceo, John Lee Hooker, and others. Ben’s Blues was nominated for two Blues Blast Awards, best debut CD and Sean Costello “Rising Star” awards. The CD led to invitations for Ben to play at festivals and clubs in Europe, with Ben playing the prestigious LaRoquebrou (France) Boogie/Blues festival in summer 2017 and Beauforthuis Festival (Netherlands) and UK Boogie Fest in 2018. These tours also included performances at clubs in London and Amsterdam.
In July 2019 Ben’s second CD Before Me was released by Vizztone Label Group to enthusiastic reviews, and the CD debuted in the top 50 blues CDs in a variety of radio-based charts around the world: Living Blues, Roots Music Report, Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, and Australian Blues and Roots. Ben’s mentors and heroes Bob Margolin (guitar), Bob Corritore (harmonica) and Philip Paul (drums) contribute to the CD with an authenticity that only decades of playing and recording can bring. Before Me, was nominated for a Blues Music Award, "Best Emerging Artist Album".
At the start of 2020, Ben continued to play his local gigs while he finished his sophomore year of College. In the summer of 2020, Ben recorded his 3rd album, Carryout Or Delivery. The album was released in the fall by Vizztone Label Group, receiving high acclaim around the world, and debuting in the top 25 on radio-based charts such as Living Blues, Roots Music Report, and Australian Blues and Roots.
In 2021, Ben released his third album with Vizztone, "Still Here", which debuted at #3 on iTunes Blues Charts and #10 on Billboard Blues Charts. This was Ben's most personal album to date, as it honors his father after he recovered from a battle for his life against Covid. "Still Here" received airplay on Sirius XM Bluesville, and the first single from the album "Love and Friendship" debuted at #6 for the top 15 Rack of Blues during the first week of January.
During 2022 Ben traveled overseas to play the SwingWesplaar blues festival in Belgium, along with the Joe Bonamassa Keeping the Blues Alive Cruise in the Mediterranean.
“A bluesy old soul- it’s all right on to let the tradition rest in his hands.”
- Chris Spector, Midwest Records