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THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT

Photo copyright 2006 Leslie Ostrander

BEN SIEMS, guitar; JEREMY HAUER, drums and percussion

Welcome to the home page of THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT, an innovative trio that plays melodic modern jazz and is based in Minnesota in the United States.
Scroll down and click on a link below to proceed...



"Music [that] comes from a deep and well thought-out place."

--Jazz Improv magazine, vol. 5, no. 1, Fall, 2005

"This Midwestern combo is gonna be a contender, you wait 'n' see."
--www.JazzReview.com

"The massively creative minds involved in this project digest a diversity of styles and the results are stunning."
--A&R Select Artist Representation, Hollywood, CA

"Siems is a fountain of muted melody, with a masterful grasp of the guitaristic art."
--Cadence magazine, April 2004
SEE THE COMPLETE REVIEW IN THE CDs/SURRENDER TO THE WIND SECTION OF THIS SITE!

The music of Ben Siems and The Willie August Project is available for commercial licensing through PUMP AUDIO, one of the world's leading sources of music for film, TV, and all kinds of other uses. For further information...


License this music for commercial use through Pump Audio

Hear The Willie August Project on the Guitar Jazz channel at JAZZRADIO.com, the best collection of streaming jazz radio stations on the web!!


Web site copyright 2013, 2014 The Willie August Project.

CONTACT INFO - BIOS/PHOTOS - ABOUT - AWARDS - SHOWS - NEWS/RADIO INFO - CDs/MP3s

Direct links to albums on iTunes.com:
With You, In a Moment, by The Willie August Project - click here!
Surrender to the Wind, by The Willie August Project - click here!
Empire at Twilight, by Ben Siems, featuring Jeremy Hauer - click here!

Click here to visit The Willie August Project on MySpace!


NEW!!
You can now purchase individual Willie August Project and Ben Siems tracks as MP3s,
directly from this site! Go to the CDs/MP3s section below for more information.
















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CONTACT INFO

Willie August Project
Photo copyright 2004 Mike Raymond

THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT
Melodic Modern Jazz

Ben Siems - guitar, composer
Jeremy Hauer - drums

Information & Bookings:
WillieAugust@hotmail.com
URL: http://WillieAugust.tripod.com

BIOS/PHOTOS - ABOUT - AWARDS - SHOWS - NEWS - CDs



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ABOUT THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT

click here for
BIOS & PHOTOS



Please also check out our pages at MySpace, CDBaby, and the TWIN CITIES MUSIC NETWORK.
The Willie August Project is also listed at:
iTunes, INDIEJAZZ.COM, MP3TUNES.COM, BAND MECCA,
and
THE MUSICIANS RESOURCE CENTER.



The Willie August Project began as a collaboration between guitarist-composer Ben Siems and drummer Jeremy Hauer. The group is named for Siems' late grandfather, who was an avid supporter of live music before dying at a young age from a brain tumor. To round out the trio, upright bass duties are shared by some of the top bassists in Minnesota, including Jeff Brueske, Graydon Peterson, and Elizabeth Draper.

From A&R Select Artist Representation, Hollywood California:
"The Willie August Project jazz trio is demonstrating its forward-thinking musical theory with the audio goods on tap in its album, Surrender to the Wind. Genre-bending abounds with the progressive compositions presented by this act. Leader and principal composer Ben Siems has a history of bravely attacking jazz, fusion, avant-classical, ambient, experimental, singer-songwriter, and cinematic and theatrical styles. It sounds like a lot to bite off but the Project has no problem masticating this mouthful. The massively creative minds involved in this group digest a diversity of genre interests and the results are stunning.

Atmosphere swells out of the speakers on 'Andean Fire Circle,' the startling single from Surrender to the Wind. Captivating guitar playing stands as the spine of this music that mingles jazz, ambient and folk flavors in a slowly building and emotive work that carries the listener a great distance in its few minutes of running time. Drawing on a diversity of styles enables the band to embrace the whole scope of human emotion, from the most uplifting joy to the greatest depths of despair."
--Kristofer Upjohn, staff writer

Inspired by the current progressive jazz movement, the small group jazz of the 1960s and 70s, and the jazz-folk-rock fusion sounds associated with the ECM record label, The Willie August Project builds its sound around extraordinarily cohesive ensemble playing, with an emphasis on collective improvisation. Each member of the group is both a fine soloist and an excellent supporting musician and listener. As a result, this trio is able to maintain a remarkable consistency of mood throughout each tune, with each passage flowing seamlessly into the next.

CONTACT  - AWARDS - SHOWS - NEWS - CDs



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AWARDS





Marquis Who's Who Biographee




Photos copyright 2006 Leslie Ostrander



The Willie August Project

*RUNNER UP, 2009 SONG OF THE YEAR International Songwriting Contest
*FINALIST, 2008 SONG OF THE YEAR International Songwriting Contest
*HONORABLE MENTION, 2008 Indie Singer-Songwriter Association (issa) Songwriting Contest. With hundreds of thousands of entries, the issa competition is one of the toughest in the world!

*RUNNER UP and HONORABLE MENTION, 2006 SONG OF THE YEAR International Songwriting Contest

*#1 New Addition to the XM Radio Real Jazz 70 Playlist, first week of 2006

*AllAboutJazz.com All Time Top Fifty Daily Downloads List, 2005, 2006

*MP3 Tunes Jazz Top Fifty, 2005, 2006

*Minnesota Jazz On Air Top Fifty, four months in 2004

*Honorable Mention, CITY PAGES Best Albums of 2004 List

*Six Minnesota Music Awards Nominations

*Selected for the Walker Art Center's, "Five Minutes of Fame" series, 2002, 2003

*See below for additional honors for Surrender to the Wind!*



Ben Siems

*FINALIST, 2008 SONG OF THE YEAR International Songwriting Contest

*Recipient of seven grants from New York City's MEET THE COMPOSER, INC., including 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010 Creative Connections Awards

*Profiled in Marquis Who's Who in America, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 print editions

*Winner of a 2006 subito grant from the American Composers Forum

*Recipient of ASCAPlus Writer Awards, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

*Featured performer at the 2004 Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest Mainstage Guitar Summit

*Winner of the 2001 Harriet Tubman Center Composer's Commission


CONTACT - BIOS/PHOTOS - ABOUT - SHOWS - NEWS - CDs



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UPCOMING SHOWS

NOTE: Last-minute changes to club gigs are rare, but not unheard of, occurrences. It is always a good idea to call the club the day of a show you wish to attend to verify details.





Photos copyright 2004 Tom Herbers





FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 8 - 10:30 p.m.:
The Siems-Hauer Acoustic Roots Band with special guest Karin Dahlin performs at THE NICOLLET
, 1931 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55403, 612-872-2415.
This is one of Jeremy's and my favorite venues for acoustics in Minneapolis, so we are thrilled the new ownership has brought back live music for the first time in several years. It is a beautiful space to listen, hang out, dance, or just engage in the proverbial eating, drinking, and merry-being. It will be wonderful to welcome back to the stage the powerfully-piped Karin Dahlin, as we give you two full sets of authentic Delta blues, classic and contemporary folk, and a whole bunch of acoustic music surprises!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 7:30 - 10 p.m.:
The Siems-Hauer Acoustic Roots Band with special guest Karin Dahlin performs at JOJO'S RISE AND WINE
, 12501 Nicollet Avenue South, Burnsville, 55337, 952-736-3001.
Before all your December weekends are devoured by family events, office holiday parties, panicked shopping frenzies, and all the rest, take a mellow evening drive down to Burnsville to this delightful coffeehouse/wine bar/craft beer emporium/cafe/pizza joint/etc. with a fun and casual atmosphere. We'll be serving up two full sets of bluesy-folky goodness, so you'll go home warmly nourished, body and soul. :)

CONTACT - BIOS/PHOTOS - ABOUT - AWARDS - NEWS - CDs



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NEWS



Photo copyright 2006 Leslie Ostrander


Listen for The Willie August Project's music on a jazz radio station in your area:

NATIONAL:
**XM RADIO REAL JAZZ 70**

The ASCAP Network
, streaming audio and podcasts at www.ascap.com/network.

INTERNET:
JAZZRADIO.com (click on the Guitar Jazz channel), indieWarehouse Radio
MASSACHUSETTS: WGBH, Boston
NEW YORK: WKCR, WBGO, New York City;
WGMC, Rochester; WAER, Syracuse
PENNSYLVANIA: WRTI, Philadelphia;
WDUQ, Pittsburgh
WASHINGTON, DC: WPFW
GEORGIA: WCLK, Atlanta
OHIO: WRMU, Alliance
MICHIGAN: WEMU, Eastern MI
ILLINOIS, MISSOURI: WBEZ, WNUR, Chicago;
WSIE, Southern Ill., St. Louis, MO
LOUISIANA: WWOZ, New Orleans
MINNESOTA: KBEM and KFAI, Twin Cities;
WTIP, North Shore
COLORADO: KUVO, Denver
WASHINGTON: KPLU, Seattle/Tacoma
OREGON: KMHD, Portland
CALIFORNIA: KSCM, San Mateo/SF Bay;
KKJZ, Long Beach; KSDS, Sand Diego

FEEL FREE TO CALL THE STATION IN YOUR AREA AND REQUEST THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT!!





(Posted 12/30/10)
Throughout 2010, Ben Siems added to his extensive resume of successful collaborations with dancers and other artists. Reviving his partnership with video artists Jim Peitzman and Kym Longhi, he created soundtracks for several new documentary videos on the remarkable work of the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Agency. He also composed, performed, and recorded the original sound score for a twenty-minute dance solo by Jennifer Ilse of Off-Leash Area Contemporary Performance Company, titled, "Expedition of Coat (and Me)," performed in September at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As the calendar turns to 2011, watch for announcements of new collaborations between Ben Siems and Ellen Keane of Keane Sense of Rhythm, Danielle Robinson-Prater of DRP Dance and others!


(Posted 10/27/12)
A NEW CD IS OUT!!!
In collaboration with New York-based pianist Stephen Rettner, Ben Siems has recorded an all-new CD that is unlike anything you've heard from Siems or The Willie August Project before! On three separate dates in 2010 and 2011 during Rettner's visits to the Twin Cities, the duo got together at Siems' Minneapolis home, set up microphones, and freely improvised together. From those sessions, they chose their favorite hour of music, and now present it on the very aptly titled disc, Three Days in a Duplex. For most of the CD, Ben returned to his childhood instrument, the cello, but there is some unmistakably 'Siemsian' guitar work on the recording as well. The spontaneously improvised pieces have the surprises and bursts of energy one expects from experimental music, but a classical discipline prevails throughout. From the gently tender and lyrical to the adventurously avant-garde, this unique CD offers something for every music lover! See the CDs/MP3s section of this site for all the details!

"I am not a musician, just a listener with wide tastes. And I like [this] music – the melodic lines, and the aleatory excursions. And the gentle way it is accomplished. And the combination of cello and piano or synthesizer." — Dr. R. Hoffman, curator, Entertaining Science Music Series, New York, NY.

(Posted 12/5/09)
Hear The Willie August Project on the BEST collection of streaming jazz radio stations on the internet, JAZZRADIO.com! You'll find us on the Guitar Jazz channel, in the company of the likes of Wes Montgomery, Les Paul, Emily Remler, and Pat Metheny. That is humbling and then some!

(Posted 10/17/09)
The Willie August Project's live concert and recording session at Glacier Music Studios on September 25, 2009 was a great success! We are currently embarking on the process of mixing and mastering the recorded material from that night to create The Willie August Project's first-ever LIVE CD!! Check back at this site throughout the fall of 2009 for updates on our continuing progress and news of the impending CD release in the spring of 2010!


(Posted 6/22/09)
Ben Siems' resume of composing commissions continues to grow and diversify. Since the spring of 2008, his projects have included:
*"Border Crossing" (sound scape with mariachi music), dance-theater soundtrack commissioned by Off-Leash Area contemporary performance works.
*"The Bottom Fell Out ... and Then" (avant garde soundscape), soundtrack for modern dance piece, commissioned by choreographer Jim Lieberthal.
*"Our Town" (sound scape with folk/Americana), soundtrack for movement theater adaptation of Thornton Wilder's classic play, commissioned by Macalester College.
*"Ivan the Drunk and His Terrible Tale of Woe" (sound scape with Russian-inspired music), soundtrack for movement theater work, commissioned by Off-Leash Area contemporary performance works.

And, he is currently working on the soundtrack for "The Seducer" a film based on Dostoevsky's "White Nights," written and directed by independent filmmaker John Koch.

For more information on Ben Siems' composing projects, or to receive work samples or contact Ben about a project opportunity, send Ben an email.

As Ben has been honing his skills as a composer, Jeremy Hauer has been honing his as a sound engineer, recording studio director, and audio and video editor. His GREEN OLIVE STUDIO in St. Paul, MN offers professional quality work at very affordable rates. For more informaion on Green Olive Studio, send Jeremy and email.

(Posted 6/18/08)
Ben Siems was named as a FINALIST in Folk category for the April round of the 2008 SONG OF THE YEAR International Songwriting Contest, for his folk-blues composition, "Early Morning Blue"!! Only the top five songs in each category achieve FINALIST status. To hear "Early Morning Blue," click on track 2 of the IPlayer, found below in the MP3s for STREAMING OR PURCHASE section. To see the official award announcement or learn more about the SONG OF THE YEAR contest, visit The SONG OF THE YEAR website.

CONTACT - BIOS/PHOTOS - ABOUT - AWARDS - SHOWS - CDs



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RECORDINGS AND REVIEWS

The Willie August Project's CDs are on the DiPhoCal Jazz and Glacier Music record labels.

Click on a selection or scroll down.

Use these links to find Ben Siems and Willie August Project albums on CD Baby!!
Surrender to the Wind, CLICK HERE

With You, In a Moment (Live at the Glacier Fringe), CLICK HERE

Empire at Twilight, CLICK HERE

Three Days in a Duplex, CLICK HERE


Or use these links to find albums on iTunes!!

With You, In a Moment (Live at the Glacier Fringe), by The Willie August Project - CLICK HERE

Surrender to the Wind, by The Willie August Project - CLICK HERE

Empire at Twilight, by Ben Siems, featuring Jeremy Hauer - CLICK HERE


Or, click on "MP3s for streaming or purchase."



NEW!! *RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX (2012)
--Immediately below.

*WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT (2010)
--Scroll down.


*SURRENDER TO THE WIND (2003)
--Scroll down.


*EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT (2007)
--Scroll down.


*DREAM TRUTHS (2000)
--Scroll down.


MP3s for streaming or purchase
--Scroll down.


*TRANSPARENT SUNRISE (1999)
--Scroll down.


PURCHASING INFORMATION
--Scroll down.

 
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RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX


Willie August Project

Released 9/21/2012

1-6. Broken Wanderings (Rettner-Siems)
7. The Cage Overlay (Rettner-Siems)
8. Dreamspace, Shared (Siems)
9. Cocoon and Moth (Rettner-Siems)
10-13. Partial Reflections (Rettner-Siems)
14. Untangled Movement (Rettner-Siems)
15. Gut Story (Rettner-Siems)
16-18. Murmurs (Rettner-Siems)

Original compositions copyright 2010, 2011 Ben Siems, Rettner-Siems and Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP. Sound recording copyright 2012 Rettner-Siems. All rights reserved.


In collaboration with New York-based pianist Stephen Rettner, Ben Siems has recorded an all-new CD that is unlike anything you've heard from Siems or The Willie August Project before! On three separate dates in 2010 and 2011 during Rettner's visits to the Twin Cities, the duo got together at Siems' Minneapolis home, set up microphones, and freely improvised together. From those sessions, they chose their favorite hour of music, and now present it on the very aptly titled disc, Three Days in a Duplex. For most of the CD, Ben returned to his childhood instrument, the cello, but there is some unmistakably 'Siemsian' guitar work on the recording as well. The spontaneously improvised pieces have the surprises and bursts of energy one expects from experimental music, but a classical discipline prevails throughout. From the gently tender and lyrical to the adventurously avant-garde, this unique CD offers something for every music lover!




PURCHASING INFORMATION:

*To hear excerpts from all eighteen tracks and to purchase THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX ONLINE online, please visit CDBaby.com, the internet's best independent music site!

*And of course, like all Willie August Project/Ben Siems CDs, THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX may be purchased at any Willie August Project or Ben Siems performance.

WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT - SURRENDER TO THE WIND - EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT - DREAM TRUTHS - TRANSPARENT SUNRISE - MP3s

 
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WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT


Willie August Project
Glacier Music #GM 001
Released 4/30/2010

1. Mahjong (W. Shorter)
2. Learning to Un-Belong (Siems)
3. Diamonds in the Darkness (Siems)
4. Son of Thunder (Siems)
5. Because They Can't Have Their Own Parade Now (New Orleans Elegy) (Siems)
6. Suite for a Dancer, Movement 5: Strong; Free; Beautiful (Siems)
7. South St. Exit (E. Dolphy)
8. Mo' Better Blues (W. Lee)

Original compositions copyright 2000, 2003, 2009 Ben Siems and Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP. Sound recording copyright 2010 Glacier Music and Ben Siems. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE TO HERE AN EXCERPT FROM TRACK 5, Because They Can't Have Their Own Parade Now (New Orleans Elegy) !
(2.5-minute excerpt from 10-minute performance.)

TO HEAR FULL-LENGTH STREAMING MP3s, VISIT THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT ON MY SPACE!

On September 25, 2009, The Willie August Project performed for a live audience at Glacier Music Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Microphones were set up much as they would be for a studio recording session, but the performance style was that of a club show, with the band moving briskly through the night's set list. Now, the best of that evening is available to you on this very special Willie August Project CD. A best-of-both-worlds recording, WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT offers the energy of live performance without distracting crowd and club noise. As a result, it offers a great chance to hear the band "going for it," taking risks that rarely happen in the sterile confines of a recording studio.



Yes, The Willie August Project's first-ever live performance CD, With You, In a Moment (Live at the Glacier Fringe), is now available!! Offering the unique combination of studio quality sound with live conert energy, this disc shows sides of the band never heard before on a recording.

With its combination of three all-new, never-before-recorded Ben Siems compositions, new versions of popular pieces from past Willie August Project CDs, and The Willie August Project's trademark versions of Wayne Shorter's 'Mahjong' and Bill Lee's 'Mo Better Blues,' this new disc will be a great addition to your Willie August Project / Ben Siems collection!

PURCHASING INFORMATION:

*To purchase WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT online, please visit CDBaby.com, the internet's best independent music site!

*In the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, look for WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT at the The Electric Fetus and Cheapo/Applause Discs.


*And of course, like all Willie August Project/Ben Siems CDs, WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT may be purchased at any Willie August Project or Ben Siems performance.

RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX - SURRENDER TO THE WIND - EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT - DREAM TRUTHS - TRANSPARENT SUNRISE - MP3s



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SURRENDER TO THE WIND


Willie August Project
DiPhoCal Jazz Records #DiPh 03
Released 11/21/2003
Distributed by NorthCountry Distributors, Redwood, NY

Click here to hear an excerpt from Track 2, Andean Fire Circle !
(2-minute excerpt from the 8-minute performance)

TO HEAR ADDITIONAL STREAMING MP3s, VISIT THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT ON MY SPACE!

Scroll down to the MP3 player above to hear a variety of additional sample tracks from this disc.

All compositions copyright 2003 Ben Siems and Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP. All rights reserved.

For more sound clips, to purchase individual tracks in MP3 format, and for other information, please visit our pages at CDBaby.com: cdbaby.com/cd/willieaugust and cdbaby.com/bensiems.


**#1 New Addition, XM Radio Real Jazz 70, first week of 2006**

**AllAboutJazz.com All Time Top Fifty (#18) Daily Downloads music list, 2005

**Honorable Mention, CITY PAGES Best Albums of 2004 list**

Scroll Down for REVIEWS and further info

TO PURCHASE SURRENDER TO THE WIND,
VISIT CDBaby.com the internet's best independent music site!



RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX - WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT - EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT - DREAM TRUTHS - TRANSPARENT SUNRISE


REVIEWS OF SURRENDER TO THE WIND

From CADENCE MAGAZINE
The Review of Jazz and Blues:
Creative Improvised Music; April, 2004
Copyright 2004 Cadence Magazine

WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT, SURRENDER TO THE WIND, DiPhoCal Jazz 3 Ben Siems, g; Jeremy Hauer, d, perc.; Scot Hornick, b; Jim Chenoweth, b; Laura Caviani, p. Sept., 03, Minneapolis.

Light, but firm, swing characterizes parts of SURRENDER TO THE WIND, while other parts have a textured approach that connotes New Age music. Fear not the bland, however, because The Willie August Project, so named for leader Ben Siems' grandfather, plays durable music that expertly straddles the line between easy groove, and challenging absorption.

Occasionally reminiscent of Gary Burton's DUSTER and LOFTY FAKE ANAGRAM-era groups in their synthesis of jazz with folk and rock sounds, SURRENDER TO THE WIND is pleasurable to listen to; it easily seems half its generous length. Laura Caviani fits into the trio's quietly compelling spaces beautifully on her two (opening and closing) tracks, the former of which is the disc's first out-and-out swinger. The Ornette-ish "Taunting the Duck Squat Impostor," with its tricky melody and extended soloing, also shows off this group's power to hit the boards, but what impresses most here are the quieter, more spare tracks. "Aspirations in Cobblestone" and the excerpt from "Suite for a Dancer," for instance, have an earthy feel that quiets the mind, and resonates both physically and mentally.

Siems himself is a fountain of muted melody, with a masterful grasp of the guitaristic art of the octave. Although he plays electric throughout, his sonic approach gives even his highest, brightest notes the warmth of a candle flame. Jeremy Hauer is a sympathetic percussionist, laying back much of the time, and going for texture and color over forward propulsion, while the respective bassists fill the trio's mid-range with the necessary essentials. An off-the-beaten-path release that makes one want to hear more. --Larry Nai


"A very impressive CD. Siems' guitar work is sterling. Absolutely topnotch."
-Mike Raymond, Jazz Director, WTIP-FM North Shore, MN




Detailed information on retail store purchase options for this Willie August Project disc can be found below in the PURCHASING INFO section. For mail order information, send an email to The Willie August Project.

"At last, a youthful jazz guitarist who doesn’t break his neck trying to capture/channel the styles of Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, or Wes Montgomery! Not that there’s anything amiss with those fellows, but if I want to hear them, I’ll listen to their discs – too many guitarists follow a bit too closely in their giant footsteps. Guitarist Ben Siems has obviously learned a more n’ a bit from those guys, yet he doesn’t sound like any of ‘em. The beautifully pensive, acoustic 'Andean Fire Circle' feels like he’s listened to not only acoustic jazz string-benders (like Ralph Towner) but also to folk-oriented guitarists Leo Kottke and John Fahey ... but there are faint echoes of Hendrix (more melodically than stylistically). Another fine thing re: this Siems doesn’t overplay, plays melodies (instead of just notes), and employs (but does not overindulge) a sense of quietude & space, as do his beautifully empathetic bass/drums band-mates. Special kudos to drummer Jeremy Hauer, whose brittle, tasty, slightly minimalist approach recalls Matt Wilson and Han Bennink. There is plenty of crisp swing to go along with the suspension of time ... This Midwestern combo is gonna be a contender, you wait ‘n’ see."
-Mark Keresman, www.JazzReview.com

"Siems solos confidently on guitar, tastefully making use of space. His work is clearly about making music as opposed to succumbing to a preoccupation with technique -- the latter being the case with all too many musicians impressed with pyrotechnics. ...His sensitivity as an improviser is quite evident in the music. When he points out that 'Jazz, like life, is not about reaching a destination' and he discusses his ongoing journey, it is clear that his music comes from a deep and well thought-out place. Siems offers a depth and diversity of music here. Considering his exploration and understanding of his place in the universe, and how it informs his music, I recommend sharing the path with him for a moment, and listening to The Willie August Project."
-Winthrop Bedford, Jazz Improv magazine

"The jazziest tune [on Surrender to the Wind] is the title cut. Siems' notes on the guitar are juicy and loquacious, with an attractive underbelly of swing ... this is a delightful ride. "Nothing Matters but the Joy" glows in shimmering beauty defined lyrically by Siems. ... It's a nice one indeed, which can be said of the album as a whole."
-Jerry D'Souza, AllAboutJazz.com
(Read the complete review at www.allaboutjazz.com.)

"The Willie August Project takes us to far off places on SURRENDER TO THE WIND. The compositions of Ben Siems reverberate with the beauty of nature."
-Leigh Kamman, Minnesota Public Radio



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EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT


Willie August Project
DiPhoCal Records #DiPh 04
Released 10/18/2007

Listen to sample tracks from Empire at Twilight by scrolling down to the MP3 PLAYER above!

To hear additional MP3 excerpts from Empire at Twilight and/or to purchase the CD or individual tracks, visit CDBaby.com!


RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX - WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT - SURRENDER TO THE WIND - DREAM TRUTHS - TRANSPARENT SUNRISE



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DREAM TRUTHS

DREAM TRUTHS
DiPhoCal Jazz Records #DiPh02
Released 12/1/2000


TO PURCHASE DREAM TRUTHS,
CLICK ON THIS ICON:





WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT - SURRENDER TO THE WIND
EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT
MP3s

TRANSPARENT SUNRISE


NOMINATED FOR JAZZ RECORDING OF THE YEAR, 2001 MN MUSIC AWARDS

Click here to hear Track 3, Pool Hall Chatter!

Copyright 2000 B. Siems
Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP

"The Willie August Project ... has achieved something quite personal on this sophomore CD. Siems writes blues-hued, graceful and often melancholy themes, while his guitar work is moving further afield from an obvious love of Wes Montgomery into an idio-syncratic realm. Hauer uses his drum kit in a painterly, post-modern way, spontaneously composing arresting intros, and adding cool running commentary to Siems' themes."
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/10/00

"A very fine album."
Leigh Kamman, host of Minnesota Public Radio's, "The Jazz Image."

"Eight fine examples of what Twin Cities music critic Tom Surowicz has described as Siems' 'stellar composing.' From the swinging blues of 'Pool Hall Chatter' to the dark groove of 'Should Have;' from the introspective 'Ashes of My Dreams' to the explosively modern, 'The Trial and the Truth,' Siems shows his remarkable ability to capture a wide range of moods. Dream Truths truly offers something for every jazz fan."
Twin Cities Jazz Society's, JAZZ NOTES, 12/00


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MP3s FOR STREAMING OR PURCHASE


TO PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT AND BEN SIEMS TRACKS IN MP3 FORMAT, VISIT CDBABY.COM/CD/WILLIEAUGUST, CDBABY.COM/WILLIEAUGUST2, CDBABY.COM/CD/BENSIEMS, or CDBABY.COM/CD/RETTNERSIEMS.

FOR STREAMING MP3s, PLEASE USE THE BEN SIEMS/WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT ELECTRONIC PRESS KITS (EPKs) AT MUSIC XRAY. ON EACH PAGE, IF YOU CLICK ANY SONG TITLE ON THE LEFT, THAT SONG WILL LOAD INTO THE PLAYER ON THE RIGHT. THEN SIMPLY CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON. TA-DA!!

JAZZ (WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT):
www.musicxray.com/artists/thewillieaugustproject

FOLK-BLUES (BEN SIEMS, SIEMS-HAUER ACOUSTIC ROOTS DUO): www.musicxray.com/artists/bensiemsfolkbluesdemo

CLASSICAL/CINEMATIC/EXPERIMENTAL (BEN SIEMS, RETTNER-SIEMS DUO, ET. AL.): www.musicxray.com/artists/bensiemsconcertexperimental


All songs copyright Ben Siems and Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP. Unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly prohibited by U.S. and international copyright laws.


RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX - WITH YOU, IN A MOMENT - SURRENDER TO THE WIND - EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT - DREAM TRUTHS - TRANSPARENT SUNRISE



MP3 contents:

TRACK LIST FOR NIMBIT PLAYER:

1. Andean Fire Circle
(from the CD, Surrender to the Wind)
2. Surrender to the Wind (from the CD, Surrender to the Wind)
3. Early Morning Blue (available as a single only!)
4. Shadow Chasers (from the CD, Empire at Twilight)
5. Nothing Matters but the Joy (from the CD, Surrender to the Wind)
6. Threshold: Entrancending; Incantascence (from the CD, Empire at Twilight)
7. Aspirations in Cobblestone (from the CD, Surrender to the Wind)
8. Waiting for Yesterday (from the CD, Empire at Twilight)
9. Lost and Found (Loon Call) (from the CD, Surrender to the Wind)
10 (six tracks) Empire at Twilight Suite (from the CD, Empire at Twilight)
11 (two tracks) Timescape suite (from the CD, Empire at Twilight)
12. Andean Fire Circle , live version recorded December 2008 at the world-famous Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis!




TRACK LIST FOR A&R SELECT IPLAYER

A. From Surrender to the Wind
1.Andean Fire Circle (CD trk. 2)
2.Nothing Matters but the Joy (CD trk. 10)
3.Chilly and the Mustangs (CD trk. 6)
4.Surrender to the Wind (CD trk. 1)
8.Ramsey Hill (CD trk. 3)
10. Aspirations in Cobblestone (CD trk. 4)
11. Suite for a Dancer, Movt. 6 (CD trk. 7)

B. From Empire at Twilight, by Ben Siems
5. Threshold (CD trk. 8)
9. Shadow Chasers (CD trk. 7)
12. The Isolation of the Ascendant (CD trk. 11)
13. Primeval Scape (CD trk. 10)
15. Time, too, Crumbles (CD trk. 3)

C. From Dream Truths
7. Pool Hall Chatter (CD trk. 3)

D. From Transparent Sunrise
6. The Terms of My Surrender (CD trk. 7)

E. From Sun's Gonna Shine, by Ben Siems
14. Sun's Gonna Shine (CD trk. 1)



  _________________



TRANSPARENT SUNRISE

TRANSPARENT SUNRISE
DiPhoCal Jazz Records #DiPh01
Released 6/10/1999


PLEASE NOTE: TRANSPARENT SUNRISE is currently out of print. If you are interested in purchasing this CD, please send us an email and we will let you know if there are any copies available. Thanks to all those who have purchased this CD!!


RETTNER & SIEMS: THREE DAYS IN A DUPLEX - WITH YOU IN A MOMENT - SURRENDER TO THE WIND - EMPIRE AT TWILIGHT - MP3s - DREAM TRUTHS

SONGS IN MP3 PLAYER, ABOVE:
The Terms of My Surrender

All selections copyright 1999 B. Siems.
Thunder Cliff Music, ASCAP

"Siems wrote a batch of grade-A songs for the group's debut CD"
--Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Free Time," 11/5/99

"Outstanding writing, good group cohesion, sure swing, well-schooled solos, catchy riffs, and healthy echoes of Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis and other 1960s post-bop icons -- TRANSPARENT SUNRISE delivers all that and more."
--Twin Cities Jazz Society's, "Jazz Notes," 11/99


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THE WILLIE AUGUST PROJECT
Melodic Modern Jazz

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