Notes by Ben

Notes by Ben

Ben Thomas plays the vibes and bandoneon, and composes music.

News and Updates

Che, Bandoneon at Wilmington Symphony Orchestra

Here’s a video of me playing “Che, Bandoneon” during Austin Piazzolla Quintet’s performance with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in November. It was a thrill to play this solo in such a beautiful concert hall (The Wilson Center at Cape Fear).
Thanks to Tony Rogers and the rest of the APQ!

Duets w/ Eric Likkel at Smith

Every Monday night from 8-10 PM, Eric and I are playing duets at Smith on 15th in Capitol Hill. Tangos, choros, jazz, and original compositions. On Monday nights, bottles of wine are 50% off! The food is delicious and the new owners are doing an amazing job. Come visit for dinner, drinks, and a good hang.

Solo bandoneon at Luc


I’ve started playing solo bandoneon on Sunday nights at Luc in Madison Valley from 6-8 PM. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle and Thierry Rautureau is a restaurant legend for a reason!
I’m playing a mix of tangos and French tunes.
Please stop by for dinner or a cocktail sometime soon.
It’s a perfect way to close off your weekend.

“Che, Bandoneon”

Here’s one of my favorite arrangements by Federico.
I pulled this back out and have had a blast relearning it

Maria de Buenos Aires

I just finished playing a run of Maria de Buenos Aires with the Eugene Opera. We got a really nice review from the Eugene Register-Guard.

“The orchestra…was as powerful an actor as any who sang, recited or danced. Bandoneón player Ben Thomas was charismatic as he interacted with the performers on stage while realizing the difficult parts written by Piazzolla, one of the great Bandoneón composers.”

Here is a track from TORCH’s upcoming CD. Brian Chin – trumpet, Eric Likkel – clarinet, Steve Schermer – bass, me – vibes. The artist, Scott Kolbo, has provided animation for several of our projects. Enjoy!


Stowe Tango Festival 2017

In August, I got another chance to perform with the Stowe Tango Festival Orchestra. Some of my favorite musicians and people from around the world play in this every year. It is an fantastic group directed by Hector Del Curto on bandoneon.



Last month, I worked with the Multi-Media Design students at Highline College to make this video. They were amazing to work with. This is Mattio’s arrangement of one of my favorite songs.


Vai e Vem

New video by the Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto.
This band is so much fun.    Burnin’!
Jovino Santos Neto – piano/composition, Jeff Busch – percussion, Mark Iverster – drums, Chuck Deardorf – bass, and yours truly on vibes

Tango vibes – “Mal de amores”

After spending 10 years or so working on bandoneon for tango, I decided it was time to start incorporating vibes into my tango projects. Here is a solo arrangement I wrote of one of my favorite tangos by Pedro Laurenz, “Mal de amores”.
Any percussionists that would like a copy should send me an email.

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