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Ben Riley


A fantastic drummer whose solid support has helped a number of advanced bop periods, Ben Riley is most beneficial known for his association with Thelonious Monk’s Quartet despite the fact that he was just an associate for 3 years. Prior to using Monk, Riley performed numerous combos, including those led by Randy Weston, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Junior Mance, Kenny Burrell, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis-Johnny Griffin (1960-1962), Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor, and Ray Bryant. His well-documented stint with Monk (1964-1967) was accompanied by organizations with Alice Coltrane (on / off during 1968-1975), the brand new York Quartet (through the entire 1970s and ’80s), Ron Carter (1975-1977), Jim Hall (1981), as well as the group Sphere. Furthermore, Riley offers toured thoroughly with Abdullah Ibrahim.

Quick Facts

Full Name Ben Riley
Music Songs I'll Remember April, Dual Force, Jordu, It's Alright With Me, When Lights Are Low, To The Highest Degree, Love Letters, Morning Blues, Straight, No Chaser, Bill's Waltz, Reflections, Beautiful Friendship, Ornithology, Have You Met Miss Jones, Pannonica, Time Speaks, Don't Come, Don't Call, Blues for E.J., What Am I Here For?, Lullaby in Rythm, Good Foot, Monk's Glimpse, Blimey, Young and Foolish, Domani, Can't We Talk It Over, Green Chimneys, Sir Felix, Almost Touching It, Get to the Point, Instant Blue, Lost And Found
Albums Live On Tour, Have you met... Barcelona?, Good Company, A Tribute to Someone (feat. Curtis Fuller, John Stubblefield, Tom Williams, David Williams, Ben Riley), Invitation, Pumpkins Delight, Standards, Time Speaks, What Am I Here For?, Quest (feat. Billy Harper, Leszek Mozdzer), Reflections
Movies Jazz Icons: Thelonious Monk: Live in '66

  • Facts
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1 Filming Birth of Evil (2011) in Chicago, IL. [January 2011]
2 Recently wrapped on the feature film Scalene starring Margo Martindale, Hanna Hall and Adam Scarimbolo. [May 2010]
3 Filming Quench on location in Indiana. [October 2006]
4 Making Los Angeles theatre debut [June 2009]
5 Recently moved to Los Angeles to continue his acting career. [December 2007]
6 Prepping to play Leonard Peltier in the Untitled Leonard Peltier bio-pic filming early Spring 2011. [September 2010]
7 Filming Belief (2011) in Connecticut and Rhode Island. [June 2010]
8 Attended the Piven Theatre Workshop acting school in Evanston, IL, ran by founder Joyce Hiller Piven, mother of actor Jeremy Piven.
9 Worked construction as a concrete laborer in the Midwest before moving to Los Angeles for acting.
10 Is of Italian, German, American Indian (Cherokee) and Jewish ethnicity.
11 Attended the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Los Angeles.



A Hollow Point 2017 post-production The Detective
Belief 2013 Jason Benson
Kidnapped Souls 2012 Ben
The Only One 2011 Jerry Brandt
Scalene 2011 Jason
War Child 2011 Short Pvt. William Pratt
Inception 2010 Bridge Sub Con (uncredited)
Cherry. 2010 Trevor Banks
The Deep End 2010 TV Series Attorney
Shade of Grey 2009 Bryan (as Ben Schmitt)
Dance Flick 2009 Los Angeles Cop (uncredited)
What Goes Around 2008/II Short Brent (as Ben Schmitt)
Only Fools Rush In... 2008 Video Tyler (as Ben Schmitt)
Don't See It Alone 2008 Short Steve (as Ben Schmitt)
Die Cheerleader Die 2008 Jake (as Ben Schmitt)
Darling 2007/IV Short Roger (as Ben Schmitt)
Quench 2007 Jason (as Ben Schmitt)
Loss 2007/II Short The Man (as Ben Schmitt)
Be Good 2007 Short Vega (as Ben Schmitt)
The Contract 2007 Video short James (as Ben Schmitt)
The Break-Up 2006 Bartender (uncredited)



Pop Skull 2007 Himself - Commercial Guy (as Ben Schmitt)

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1 [on Daniel Day-Lewis ] To me he is a perfect artist. He is not only the greatest actor of his generation (and one of the greatest actors ever), but he is a class act and an inspiration. His discipline, commitment, and bravery to stretch himself in the work, is unrivaled in the industry and proves that great artists are more concerned with the work, and not the fame that comes as a result of great work.
2 It's about making the right choices. Yea you can do a $100 million movie and become a movie star overnight but actors like Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Edward Norton have made choices that establish their range and that's what the key is; longevity. I want longevity in this industry, not flash in the pan 'success'.
3 I act because I love for audiences to forget about their lives, troubles and problems for a couple of hours and enter the land of make believe. If I can make them watch and be moved then I have done my job well.

1 Wears cowboy boots
2 Often plays intense characters struggling with redemption
3 Known for his charisma and smile

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