WANT TO GO?
Ben Williams and Sound Effect
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Clay Center
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the school band, not everybody gets his or her first choice of instrument. Jazz player and bandleader Ben Williams didn't get his.
How Williams became a bass player was kind of an accident.
"I wanted to play guitar," said the award-winning bassist, who performs Saturday at the Clay Center with his group, Sound Effect.
Growing up in Washington, D.C., Williams attended classes at a public middle school that also housed an arts school. One day a week, students could take music, art and drama classes.
"I was already interested in music," he said.
Williams was excited and knew exactly what he wanted to try, so when it came to sign up for classes, he chose strings.
"I was just thinking if it had strings, that's the class you were supposed to be in to learn to play string instruments," he said.
It made sense to an 11- or 12-year-old. Guitars do have strings, but the class was for orchestra strings: cello, violin, viola and the upright bass.
By the time Williams realized his mistake, the guitar class was full. If he wanted to take a music class, he had to stay in the strings course and pick an instrument.
"I had to take something, so I took the bass."