Ben Charnley
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Artist profile 
Ben Charnley
Dame Joan Sutherland Fund recipient, Jazz Drummer


A professional drummer since the age of 14, Ben Charnley forged a big reputation in his homeland, Australia for his exciting style of World Music drumming in the Woohoo Revue before moving to Boston, MA to study on a scholarship at the renowned Berklee College of Music. He currently resides in New York City, after being admitted to the Master’s of Music jazz performance program at NYU.

As a founding member of the highly successful contemporary gypsy music group, The Woohoo Revue, he toured almost constantly for two years playing big festival stages and tour shows after the release of their critically acclaimed album Dear Animals in 2009.

Whilst playing with the Woohoo Revue by night, by day he studied under master jazz drummer and educator Graham Morgan for four years. Through these studies, Ben refined his playing of jazz, which started him on a journey to get to the heart of the music.

When he decided to leave The Woohoo Revue, Ben asked Graham Morgan for advice on where to study, with the goal of becoming a World-class jazz musician. Morgan suggested moving to the USA. Luckily things opened up for him and with a sense of adventure he got on the plane to Boston to begin studying at Berklee College of Music as a performance major.

Since commencing at Berklee, he has studied under master jazz drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Ralph Peterson Jr and has learned the methods of the famous teacher Alan Dawson, from the source.

He has also played in a host of live performances, senior recitals and recording sessions, including two sessions leading his own trio and sextet, whilst in Boston.

As a result of his achievements at Berklee, he has received both the Ed Thigpen Scholarship Award and Achievement Scholarship Award on top of his Berklee World Tour Scholarship.

Inspired by his studies, Ben wrote a feature article in Drumscene magazine about his experiences at Berklee, which was published in December 2011.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, he was admitted into the prestigious NYU graduate program. 

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