Winnipeg-born percussionist Ben Reimer became captivated by the drumset and the music that showcases this instrument at an early age. With his instinctive, natural attraction to collecting music and learning about bands and artists, the sounds of drummers such as Neil Peart (Rush), Larry Mullen Jr. (U2) and Tim Alexander (Primus) fuelled his musical pursuits.
Ben first recorded with his indie rock band The Lanes (frequently landing on !earshot’s college radio charts in Canada) and backed up artists such as soul singers Maiko Watson (Sugar Jones) and Jessee Havey (The Duhks).
With Western Canadian Music Award winners, Moses Mayes, Ben played International Jazz Festivals across Canada and others like the 10K Lakes Fest in Detroit Lakes and the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia.
Shifting his focus towards classical percussion, Ben received a BMus (’00) from McGill University in Montreal and MMus (’01) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, under the direction of Raymond DesRoches. In 2014, Ben completed a DMus. at McGill University. His main focus of research and performance demonstrated how the drumset, traditionally an improvised instrument, emerged as a solo instrument with prescribed notation. This topic is explored in his dissertation, “Defining the Role of Drumset in Contemporary Music Performance.”
Now based in Montreal, Ben has been called a “genre-bending wiz” (PuSh) establishing himself as a leading figure in contemporary drumset performance. He has spent the past fifteen years exploring a new role for drumset in the context of through-composed music. For the past decade Ben has collaborated with award-winning Canadian composer Nicole Lizée. He has premiered four of Nicole’s concertos, multiple chamber works, the influential drumset solo “Ringer” and appeared on numerous recordings.
Ben has arranged the solos “Liberty” by Tony Williams and “Spooky Drums” by Baby Dodds and was featured in the publication, Drummer’s Journal (4th ed. Aug 2013) and Modern Drummer’s “On The Beat” series (Jan 2018). His album “Katana of Choice – Music for Drumset Soloist” on Redshift Record is described as “an exhilarating musical ride” (Wholenote) and “a modern classic” (I Care If You Listen). The album features music by Nicole Lizée, Eliot Britton, John Psathas and Lukas Ligeti with guest musicians David Cossin, Architek Percussion and TorQ Percussion Quartet.
Ben is a member of Architek Percussion and is a Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Canada and Vic Firth artist.
October 22, 2017 | Make a Noise Festival Marathon