Acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Ben Lapps, 19, has been performing professionally for 5 years. Picking up his first guitar at age 12, Ben soon began writing his own music, and recorded his first album, The New Color, at age 14. He was the youngest participant in the 2008 International Fingerstyle Guitar Championships and the 2010 Canadian Guitar Championships.
At 17, Ben released his second full album "See, the Sky" which showcases his talent in composition with especially rich, patient acoustic guitar work. Inspired by acoustic guitar icons such as Justin King, Michael Hedges, and Thomas Leeb, his music is truly unique – beautiful to listen to and mesmerizing to watch.
In 2011, Ben received the prestigious OAPN Young Artist Initiative award for his talent and accomplishments as a professional musician at such a young age.
Ben has performed his solo acoustic guitar act at venues such as The Aronoff for Red's Uncut in 2011, Cincinnati’s Midpoint Music Festival 2009, 2010 and 2011, Philadelphia' Elsefest 2012 opening for Andy McKee, Eden Park for EdenSong 2011, multiple performances at The Blue Wisp including opening for jazz great Frank Vignola, Cincinnati’s Fountain Square for the MLB 2010 Civil Rights Day Reds Game and featured performer for 2010 RedsFest at the Cincinnati Convention Center, Fountain Square for Acoustic Thursdays, Taste of Blue Ash, Leo Coffeehouse, Xavier University, The Phoenix, Paul Brown Stadium, Country Clubs such as Heritage Club, Four Bridges, and Terrace Park, restaurants such as Relish Modern Tapas in Deerfield, Anthony’s of West Chester, Pitrelli’s in Mason, Mesh, The Havana Martini Club, Northside Tavern as well as performing at The Homestead Resort in Virginia.
Ben has performed at the 2010 and 2011 Children's Charity Classic Cabaret in Lexington, KY and the 2010 and 2011 Texas Wounded Warrior Program in Tyler, TX. Ben was the featured performer at Macy's United Way Kick-Off in 2009 and Ben also performed at the 2009 and 2010 Mason Heritage Festival, is part of Mason's Thursday Night Live Series and performed at Mason's 2010 Independence Day Red, Rhythm and Boom Celebration.
The Evendale, OH Chamber of Commerce and Gorman Heritage Farm recently sponsored "An Evening with Ben Lapps" concert.
Ben's music is available on itunes, Amazon.com, CD Baby etc.
Contact Ben at email@example.com or see more at www.benlapps.com
Ben Lapps - Acoustic Guitar
The New Color LP (2009)
See, the Sky LP (2011)
Giraffe - Single (2012)
Fingerstyle Phenom adds Flash and Fireworks
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Fingerstyle phenom provides flash, fireworks Janelle Gelfand firstname.lastname@example.org The Cincinnati...Fingerstyle phenom provides flash, fireworks
Janelle Gelfand email@example.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer
March 11, 2011 ET
It all started with a guitar from Costco.
"My brother got a guitar for Christmas, and I found it in his room one day. It was just a cheap guitar, but I just kind of liked it and kept going," said Ben Lapps, of Mason.
The 17-year-old guitarist was giving an impromptu demonstration of his "fingerstyle" wizardry, a technique he picked up and taught himself from YouTube videos when he was 12. It's a mesmerizing and sometimes flashy style of finger-picking. Both of Lapps' hands travel up and down the neck of his guitar, punctuated by rhythmic slaps of the guitar body and brief displays of finger-picking fireworks.
Lapp, a junior at Cincinnati Christian Hills Academy, enjoys the whole spectrum of sounds he
can create on his guitar.
"That's why it's my instrument," he said. "It's not only pleasing in terms of the sound, it's such a show, it's entertainment to watch someone play."
Lapp will be performing numbers from his second album, "See, the Sky," at 7 p.m. tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood.
He's a phenom who released his first album when he was 14. He's already played at Midpoint Music Festival, A Taste of Blue Ash, on Fountain Square, Redsfest 2010 and in multiple venues around the region.
And he appears with A-list performers. In November, he opened for jazz guitarist Frank Vignola at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club, Downtown. Last year, he appeared along with stars such as Bronson Arroyo for Redsfest 2010.
Lapps' biggest audience was 30,000, at a Fourth of July celebration in Mason last summer. He took it in stride.
"I always wonder if I'm going to get nervous. But I don't. I just get out there and play. It's literally the most natural thing in the world for me," he said.
His music is inspired by literature, visual art ("magic realism" artist Rob Gonsalves inspired a song on his new album) and even the movies. A song he wrote for his first disc, "Jasper Street," evokes a scene from Disney's "101 Dalmatians."
"It sounds like the two bad guys Horace and Jasper, sneaking around. It's very sneaky," he explained.
Three years later, the title track of "See, the Sky" was inspired by a book he read in school: Anatole France's "The Gods will have Blood." The music is a dreamy soundscape of repeating patterns that drift along - a pleasant style that might be called "minimalist" in other arenas. In another song, "St. Patty," a snippet of a melody eventually emerges.
It's hypnotic and effortless.
When he's composing, Lapps said, he doesn't start with a tune, but prefers just to sit and improvise.
"When I write music, I don't know how it works. I literally just play," he said.
Lapps' earliest childhood memory was listening to his older brother, Jonathan, practice the piano.
"He was the only person that I knew that I could watch writing a song, because he wrote a lot of original compositions - which I thought was more interesting than playing written music on a page. To watch someone write a piece of music is so much cooler. That was one of the sparks for me," he said.
Clearly, he's endowed with natural ability, and a technique that he has honed with up to 10 hours per day of playing.
Fingerstyle is being discovered by this new
generation of emerging artists, such as Lapp, via the Internet, especially YouTube. Lapps' idols include Justin King, Michael Hedges, Andy McKee and Thomas Leeb - acoustic guitar icons who have YouTube videos that "you can sit and watch, over and over," Lapp said.
One of his upcoming highlights will be appearing on April 3 in Reds Uncut at the Aronoff Center, part of Opening Day celebrations.
Eventually he wants to simply "play music."
And he'll be able to do it in style, because now he owns an Irish-made Lowden, a much nicer guitar.
Ben Lapps - "Five Questions"
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Ben Lapps – “Five Questions” 1) I've been told you're a "prodigy." How old were you when you star...Ben Lapps – “Five Questions”
1) I've been told you're a "prodigy." How old were you when you started playing guitar, and what do you remember about when you realized this was something special to you?
I started playing guitar when I was about twelve, and it wasn’t until about two years in, when I saw a video of Justin King playing his song “Squaredance,” that I really started to take it to the next level. I learned how to play in this style, and I just fell in love with the acoustic guitar, specifically the incredible variety of sounds it could make.
2) Describe your musical style and your influences, and why those artists resonate with you.
My style is universally known as “fingerstyle acoustic guitar.” It’s been gaining popularity in recent years because of its visual appeal on Youtube from modern players like Andy Mckee, Justin King, and Thomas Leeb. These were the first people that inspired me to take up the style because of the amazing percussive textures that really make one player sound like a full acoustic band.
3) You recently released an album. Is it your first? What's the album's message?
I have just one album released so far, which I recorded at age 14. It’s titled “The New Color,” which is just a theory I had been thinking about at the time, and the album is just basically a journal of my mind put into songs on an acoustic guitar.
4) Tell me about your performance schedule. How do you balance it against being a young man and student?
For the past few years I’ve had a pretty consistent schedule of 1-2 gigs every weekend. A lot of this is playing at restaurants like Relish Modern Tapas, Anthony’s Bar & Grille, and Pitrelli’s Italian Café for hours, developing my chops and basically getting paid to do what I love. This combined with concerts and festivals like last years’ Mason Heritage Festival, Midpoint Music Festival, and this years’ Red, White and Boom 4th of July festival, and the upcoming Thursday Night Live series make for a fairly busy schedule. It can be difficult at times to balance time between music, friends, and school, but fortunately I have wonderful parents who help me all the time and give me constant support.
5) What are your post high school plans?
Currently, I am a sophomore at CHCA, and by the time I graduate I hope to have a clear view of the next step in my career, whether it be music studies in college, a move to a larger city, or touring all over the US.
Last Weekend's Show
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Saturday, February 6, 2010 Last Weekend's Show This is much overdue, but I thought I would give...Saturday, February 6, 2010
Last Weekend's Show
This is much overdue, but I thought I would give a brief recap on last weekends show. We held a benefit concert at Coffee Emporium in downtown Cincinnati and had a great time doing so. We raised exactly $423 for Haiti and donated it to Catholic Relief Services last week. Thanks to all that helped make this possible. Just goes to show what can happen when people come together to play and listen to music, talk and listen, and enjoy each-other's company.
Ben Lapps, as usual was amazing. If you haven't checked out his fingerstyle acoustic guitar music, you simply must do so. www.benlapps.com is the best place to do so. The disc is on iTunes as well. It is great music for relaxing and I put it on more than once this week.
Midpoint 2010 - Ben Lapps was built for the guitar!
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CityBeatCincy (@CityBeatCincy) 9/25/10 9:59 PM #mpmf Ben Lapps was built for the guitar, if he wer...CityBeatCincy (@CityBeatCincy)
9/25/10 9:59 PM
#mpmf Ben Lapps was built for the guitar, if he weren't so young I'd say it was invented specifically for him.
Ben Lapps - Midpoint Music Festival 2010
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Ben Lapps Mason, OH • Acoustic/Instrumental When he was 12, Ben Lapps began to show an interest in...Ben Lapps
Mason, OH • Acoustic/Instrumental
When he was 12, Ben Lapps began to show an interest in playing acoustic guitar; by age 14, he’d released his first album, The New Color, on an international level and developed his fingerstyle playing to such masterful heights, he was competing in guitar competitions across North America. And all this was just a year ago. At this rate, by the time he’s 20, “fingerstyle guitar” will be renamed “Ben Lapps-style guitar.”
Dig it: Justin King, Michael Hedges and Thomas Leeb. (MB)
9:30 p.m. Saturday at The Original Tax Place
A typical set runs about 40 mins and consists of 10-12 mostly original songs. Ben usually plays 2-3 sets per evening.
|Jun 22, 2013 Saturday||8:00 PM||Akron Civic Theatre||Akron, OH, US|