“… is a skillful creator of tunes, harkening back to original hard bop days and beyond, without sounding like mere imitations of that era’s classics.”
Bruce Lindasy, All About Jazz
After nearly a decade on the New York jazz scene, vibraphonist Behn Gillece has built a reputation as a virtuoso instrumentalist and skilled composer. In 2015, he’s making his solo debut with Mindset, on the Posi-Tone label. Showcasing Gillece’s original compositions, the album features Rick Germanson on piano and Fender Rhodes, Paul Gill on bass, Charles Ruggiero on drums, and on seven of its 10 tracks, tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser.
A New Jersey native, Gillece began his musical training as a teenager. Originally a percussionist, he decided to make a commitment to vibraphone and composition, inspired by greats like Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson. For several years, Gillece performed regularly in his home state, as well as Philadelphia, before moving to New York in 2006.
Since 2006, Gillece has made quite a name for himself on the New York jazz scene as a sought-after sideman, as well as a leader/co-leader, most notably alongside Ken Fowser. The pair have four acclaimed albums available from Posi-Tone: 2009’s Full View, 2010’s Little Echo, 2011’s Duotone, and 2013’s Top Shelf. All four have been well received by critics, and have received international acclaim and extensive radio play.
Gillece has also appeared as a co-leader or sideman on more than 20 other recordings, most recently contributing to albums by Walt Weiskopf, Melody Gardot, and Ensemble Novo, a Philadelphia-based group dedicated to performing Brazilian repertoire in the samba, bossa nova, and MPB tradition. He continues to tirelessly play and compose for new projects based all over the tri- state area.
Gillece has performed his music throughout the country, at venues like Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, Fat Cat, Yoshi's, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, and many others. He has also appeared at festivals worldwide, including the North Sea, Montreux, Nice, Molde, Ghent, Montreal, and Toronto festivals.
On the educational side, Gillece has been invited to colleges and universities throughout the area for clinics and masterclasses. He has prepared over 200 lessons for online instruction via vibesworkshop.com, where his lessons are studied by members internationally.
In the spring of 2008, Gillece finished his master’s degree at SUNY Purchase. Some of his awards and honors include winning the 2008 Jazz Improvisation competition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, participating in the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, and winning the Generations competition in 2009. Behn Gillece plays Malletech instruments and mallets.