Musician of the Week: Ben Saldinger

YEAR: Third (Transfer)

MAJOR: Jazz Studies

HOMETOWN: Plainview, N.Y.

What’s your instrument of choice? Why?

I’m majoring as a drumset player, so I guess that’s it. I would consider piano to be the most cerebral of them all, but I’m more expressive with drums because it’s a tactile, delicate thing. I’ve been playing piano since I was eight and drums since I was 12.

Who are your biggest influences?

My dad is a professional bass player, so that’s my number one. Steely Dan. Lots of jazz: Miles, Stan Getz, Bill Evans. For popular music, definitely Phish. Phish influences me in every aspect of life and music. 

Who are you currently listening to?

Cannonball “Julian” Adderley. Donald Fagen’s Kamikiriad

What do you do with music on/off campus?

I play drums in jazz ensemble. I’m also in Pirate Cat, a jazzy-alternative-groove-type band. 

Plans for music in the future?

I guess the goal would have to be to perform. That’s what you dream for. The realistic one would be either something with teaching or musical therapy.

Any advice for aspiring musicians?

You can’t get frustrated with temporary kind of difficulties. Music in general is like a video game with infinite levels. To get to the next level you need more coins. The more levels you have, the more weapons you have. You can’t skip them, you have to pass each level. But it’s so gratifying once you do.

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