Ben Winkelman is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Melbourne, Australia. He has been living in New York City since 2010, where he is active on the jazz, Latin and gospel music scenes.

Ben has released four critically acclaimed albums of his compositions with his trio. His trio has toured Australia extensively and appeared at many of the major national jazz and music festivals. In 2008 his trio toured to Japan and New Caledonia and appeared on Australian national television on ABC TV in 2006 and 2010.

Ben has received an award and a number of grants and award nominations. In 2007 his second trio album “The Spanish Tinge” won the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. In 2006 his first trio album “Stomps, Pieces & Variations” was nominated for the Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Classic Jazz Album. In 2010 his third trio album “Odysseys” was nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. His work has been supported by grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, the Contemporary Music Touring Program, the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, the Australian Cultural Fund and the PPCA. He was a semi-finalist in the 2006 Wangaratta National Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for an APRA Professional Development Award in 2006 and 2009.

Ben’s jazz compositions draw on a wide range of influences, including Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, stride piano, gospel and early 20th century classical music.

Besides leading and writing for his trio Ben has been very active as a collaborator and sideman, in jazz, and also in other styles such as Cuban and Brazilian music, pop, funk, Argentinean tango and klezmer. He has played and recorded with Julie O’Hara and Ali McGregor and toured with the Black Arm Band, Eddie Perfect, and Spanish singer Diego Guerrero. He played in and arranged for Melbourne Latin band Rumberos for many years and was a member of live electronica group Ping.

Ben studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne with Paul Grabowksy and Mickey Tucker, completing a Bachelor of Music in 1994, and studied classical piano with Linda Kouvaras from 2003-2009. He earned a Master of Music degree at Purchase College (State University of New York) in 2014, where he studied with Kevin Hays on a scholarship. 

Ben has taught piano since 1996, and has presented workshops at universities, TAFEs and high schools around Australia, including at Monash University, Griffith University, and University of Tasmania.