Big Ben Hillman the Professor of FUNK
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Big Ben Hillman the Professor of FUNK

Band R&B Funk


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"It Must Have Been the Music" 2002

"I'm Sorry" 2007



Big Ben Hillman the Professor of FUNK is a multi-instrumental musician, rapper and vocalist, composer and music producer, as well as an artist and lyrical poet. His style is a blend of contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul music mixed with jazz and blues.

Born in Boston, Hillman got his start as a drummer, playing in local bands throughout his teens and early twenties. As a high school student he would begin to play the keyboards as his desire to write and arrange his own music grew stronger. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he studied both percussion and keyboards, and majored in music composition. Upon graduating Hillman would make a name for himself as a well known keyboard player in Boston's hard-core funk scene, playing with some of the biggest names in local music, such as Michigan Blacksnake (aka Blacksnake) The Unforgettables, Hazie Maze, The Boston Horns, Two Ton Shoe, saxophonist Sam Kininger and hip hop artist D-Tension. Over the course of his career, Hillman has shared the stage with a host of diverse and well known musicians including hip hop stars Method Man and Ghostface Killa from the Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul, Biz Markie, Digable Planets and Mix Master Mike of The Beasty Boys. He has also been seen performing with rock legends Les Claypool and Jimmy Buffet.

It was during this period that Hillman also began hosting a popular radio program called “Soul Power 91.5” which could be heard Wednesday nights on WUML in Lowell, MA. As the title suggests, the show consisted of old school soul and r&b classics, as well as music by local and underground hip hop and neo-soul artists. Hillman would often interview guests on his show, some of whom include Nicole Nelson of Dwight and Nicole and Wonder Mike of hip hop legends The Sugar Hill Gang.

In 2000 Hillman formed his group The Royal Family, which had a minor dance hit with "It Must Have Been the Music." It was at this point in his career when he started mixing contemporary dance and hip hop beats with the smooth melodies of soul music and the rich harmonies of jazz. The original line up of the group disbanded in 2003 due to personality conflicts and artistic differences, leaving Hillman once again open for freelance work. In 2006 Hillman began writing material for a new solo venture. He now tours with a new line up of all star session musicians, known as the new Royal Family.

Currently Hillman is based out of the Philadelphia area, and performs regularly in New York, Philly and Boston. In 2007 he released a successful single called "I'm Sorry" which was accompanied by an award winning music video. A second music video was released in 2008 called "Look At Me". The song "Look At Me" will be released on a forthcoming CD.

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