Benjamin Shannon

  • Bachelor of Music (Jazz Drums) Queensland Conservatorium of Music
  • 2017 Banff International Jazz Program Participant
  • Certificate in Music Studies (QLD CON)
  • AMEB Grade 6 Theory
  • Bachelor of Music - Honours (First Class) Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Benjamin Shannon is making a serious indent into the Australian and International music scene as a percussionist, educator, curator and composer. Hailing from Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Ben began lessons under the guidance of Luke Williams (Dead Letter Circus) at age 10.

Ben has studied with world renowned percussionists Mark Guiliana, Dave Elitch, Ian Chang, Jeff Friedl, Danny Heifitz, Tim Firth, Andrew Gander, Simon Barker, John Parker and Paul Hudson just to name a few.

Ben’s style can be described as a concoction of influences and genres representative in the way he performs, teaches and approaches music. He has performed alongside ARIA and Grammy award winning artists in Jane Sibbery, Scott Tinkler, Robin Eubanks, Yitzhak Yedid, Kristin Berardi, Toby Wren, COG, sleepmakeswaves, The Contortionist, Leprous, Voyager, The Black Sorrows, Troy Cassar-Daley, Tim Ruiz, Art Fristoe and Woody Witt, to summarise an extensive list. His compositions have received critical acclaim. (Bell Award’s Young Jazz Award Finalist 2019, Queensland Music Awards Finalist 2020, 2022, Art Music Awards 2022)

Ben looks to further his appetite for musical development by further pursuing teaching, composition and performance, with the later currently taken up by original projects Kodiak Empire, Milton Man Gogh, Found in Brisbane Conduction Orchestra, SHAMIN, SAFETY CLUB, Valtozash Big Band, Big Dead, Cowbird, Martin Kay Group, James MacIntyre Trio and the Ben Shannon Trio. (+ more) Having performed well over 600 gigs in the last six years alone, 2024 and beyond looks extremely bright for Ben with a plethora of teaching, performing, writing and mentoring. (Between 50-60 students a week for the last 8+ years!) He has released over 20 albums since 2013 touring nationally and internationally with a multitude of groups.

Ben recently took part in the Banff International Jazz Workshop, in Banff, Canada, in August 2017. He was 1 of 48 worldwide to be accepted from over 4000 applicants. Ben is in awe of the experience, describing it as the best, most influential 3 weeks of his life, so far.

Ben also took part in the Australian Art Orchestra Creative Intensive Music Program (Selected as one of 24) in August of 2018 where he engaged in cross-cultural workshops, performances and rehearsals with musicians from Arnhem Land, Korea, England and across Australia and learnt from some of Australia’s most reputable Art/Experimental Music artists.

In early 2017, Ben was asked to join iconic Sydney based label, Art As Catharsis, to help with bookings and administration for the Brisbane side of things. His other roles include meeting with potential clients, discussing and contributing to general label plans, online exposure and promotion.

Ben also conducts and directs an improvised orchestra, The Brisbane Conduction Orchestra, from methods and practices he learned from his time in Banff, from Tyshawn Sorey. This is a community oriented Orchestra that champions diversity, inclusion and a safe improvisational environment.
Ben is heavily involved in the Australia contemporary jazz scene promoting gigs for Qais Essar, Michel Gasco, KNOWER, Rafiq Bhatia, Hubris. and many other Australian and International acts over the last six years.

He has booked countless gigs and tours for classical, jazz, rock, experimental and world outfits since 2011 across all parts of Australia. He has generated a strong network of venues/musicians/publicists/radio from the ground up through his relentless appetite to foster original exciting projects in Australia.

Ben is extremely honoured and proud to have signed a publishing and artist development deal with Double Drummer. Double Drummer is run by ex Albert Music/BMG Chief Executive Officer Tim Prescott whose artist alumni includes AC/DC, Beyonce, Powderfinger, John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen to summarise an extensive list.

He also began studying the Tabla in 2016 under the direction of guru ji Shen Flindell and looks to incorporate new found eastern styles and techniques to the drum kit, composition and teaching.

Since 2018 Ben has featured in a number of television commercials and movies both drumming and acting. He is represented by Howell Management.
Ben’s approach to music is a holistic process that is clearly representative of everything he stands for. He wishes to share his musical aspirations with the world throughout his journey.

Ben is currently studying honours at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, with plans to transition this into Doctoral study oriented around The Art of Conduction.

He currently holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Drums and a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education. Ben is devoted to the Australian experimental/improvised scene and seeks to push the sound of Australian improvised music for the rest of his time.

Stafford, QLD
Also travelling in the local area


More Information

Details last updated: February 13, 2024