About Ben


A hard swinging drummer who recently relocated to Melbourne from New York, Ben

Charnley’s playing is strongly influenced by 1950s and ‘60s jazz masters Philly Joe

Jones, Tony Williams and Elvin Jones, as well as modern giants such as Jack DeJohnette, Brian Blade and Bill Stewart.


In 2015, Ben completed a Master of Music degree at New York University, studying with jazz legends Kenny Werner and Ari Hoenig. Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the renowned Berklee College of Music where he studied with Grammy winning artist Terri Lyne Carrington (Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter).


As a result of his achievements at Berklee, Ben received the Ed Thigpen Award, the Achievement scholarship Award and the World Tour Scholarship. Whilst at

NYU, he received the Robert Sudick Scholarship and was awarded grants from the Ian Potter Foundation Cultural Trust and Dame Joan Sutherland Fund. His debut album as leader, Riverside Drive, documents his musical journey in Boston and NYC and features longtime collaborator Mina Yu as well as bassists Trevor Brown (USA) and HyoYoung Kim (South Korea). Ben has also been featured in Drum Scene Magazine.


Ben has extensive recording and touring experience, both in the USA and

Australia. He has performed live at countless venues including Parliament House, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Forum Theatre, Federation Square, NGV, the JazzLab, the Paris Cat, 170 Russell, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, the Adelaide Festival, the Woodford Folk Festival as well as iconic NYC venues such as le Poisson Rouge, the Knitting Factory, Webster Hall, Rockwood Music Hall and the Bitter End.

Ben regularly performs with his own trio and as a highly in demand session musician. Since moving to Melbourne he has performed with the Rookies, Fem Belling, Chris McNulty, Mina Yu, Raleigh Williams, Nadira and Friends, Richard Pavlidis, ZEDSIX and legendary K-Pop artist Taewoo Kim. Ben has been showcased at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.


Ben proudly endorses DW Drums and Evans Drumheads.