MAJOR: Jazz Studies
HOMETOWN: Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
What is your instrument of choice? Why?
Electric Bass. I’ve always gravitated towards bass. I grew up listening to a lot of reggae and ska, and bass is very prominent in those styles. I guess the real reason would be because sophomore year of high school, my best friend started playing bass and then he gave up and I just took it – and then I fell in love.
Who are you currently listening to and who are your main influences?
Jamiroquai, Marcus Miller and Hepcat. I’m heavily influenced by ska and reggae and also funk and soul. The Temptations and James Jamerson and Stevie Wonder. For reggae and ska: The Toasters, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Jimmy Cliff.
What are you involved in on/off-campus that is music related?
I play with several groups such as Quatrane and Liana & the Michaels. I run a jazz quartet call the Ben Basile Quartet (BBQ). My main group is In The Pocket, which I play with my twin brother Tony and we are a funk/soul/party/dance band.
What will you do with your degree?
Immediately after school I plan on playing a lot and teaching privately. I really want to tour, of course. I’m trying to find a band I can tour with. Also working with Mike Marchese and Vince Tampio to play at resorts and on cruise lines. Grad school maybe in the far-distant future. Well, I’m really excited for my senior recital which will be on Saturday, April 16 in Shepard Recital Hall.