BEN POLCER (trumpet) grew up with the jazz. During the first 8 years of his life, his parents, Ed Polcer and jazz singer Judy Kurtz, owned Eddie Condon’s Jazz Club in New York, therefore, Ben said “that music has always been in my head”.
In the early 2000’s, Ben helped found “Baby Soda”, a NYC jazz band that was made up of many different musicians at any given time, playing in parks, coffee houses and on street corners. The band was breaking new ground by taking their nostalgic music away from the usual classic jazz settings and finding new venues that attracted younger audiences. This was not Ben’s “day job” though, as he was a director of a sports camp in Purchase, NY, while busking on the side with various bands around Manhattan.
In 2007 Ben made the big move to New Orleans and life as a full time musician. He helped found a new version of “Loose Marbles”, a band he had played with in NY. Since then, he has become one of the top young bandleaders in NOLA, performing at Preservation Hall, The House of Blues, Fritzels Jazz Pub and up and down Frenchmen Street. Musically, Ben doubles on piano and triples on drums.
In 2011, he co-founded Welbourne Jazz Camp in Middleburg, Virginia, with the purpose of bridging the gap between the inseparable jazz music and traditional jazz dances.
We welcome Ben to his first year with the NC Jazz festival. At this time Ben does not have a website.