Ben Levin

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is presenting a number of programs throughout 2019 in honor of the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi.  The series is entitled, Freedom 55, in reference to the 55th anniversary of Freedom Summer.

I've produced a one-hour special, which will air at 11pm on Saturday, April 13th, highlighting the events planned at the Freedom Center on Thursday, April 18th and Friday, April 19th.  The special includes a conversation with Dion Brown and Jacqueline Dace from the Freedom Center; music from Bobby Rush, Marquise Knox, and Ben Levin.  There's also an interview with Ron Esposito and Ben Levin in our Corbett Studio.

This year's annual Blues Christmas special will air on Saturday, December 22nd, at 11pm.  The show begins with a song from Canned Heat's Christmas Album, "Christmas Blue," which features Dr. John, too.   Ben Levin, who recorded a couple of songs for this special in WVXU's Corbett Studio on May 13th, opened for Canned Heat's gig at Ludlow Garage December 1st.  Other artists featured in the first half of this Blues Christmas special are Joey DeFrancesco, the Blind Boys of Alabama with special guest Tom Waits, Aaron Neville, Etta James, and Sonny Landreth.  The rest of the show includes holiday music from Eric Clapton's "Happy Xmas" cd, The Persuasions, the Marcus Roberts Trio, and Houston Person with vocals by Etta Jones on "Santa Baby."

The annual Cincy Blues Fest is returning to Sawyer Point this weekend for a one-day musical event, Saturday, August 11th.  The festival runs from 2:30 - midnight on two stages with the headliner Delbert McClinton taking the stage at 9pm, Saturday night.

Other bands on the Budweiser Main Stage include Leroy Ellington's Sacred Hearts, The Noah Wotherspoon Band, plus Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project.  The Arches Boogie Piano Stage will feature Ben Levin, Ricky Nye, and Judy Carmichael among others that day.

This week's edition of The Blues, Saturday, May 26th at 11pm, features interviews with three blues musicians:  Ben Levin, EG Kight, and Marcia Ball, plus songs by Trombone Shorty and Galactic who are coming to the PNC Pavilion in August.


Local blues pianist Ben Levin will perform a very special concert with former Muddy Waters sideman and collaborator, "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin

1. Southgate House Revival - 4/18 (Tom Petty Tribute), 4/21 (Sierra Hull)

2. The Greenwich - Chasing the Trane film - 4/19

3. Cincinnati Opera's summer season

4. 4/20 - MOTR Pub, Madison Theatre, Northside Tavern shows

Lots of local, regional & national "music notes" this week.  Here's Elaine Diehl:  


This week on The Blues, Saturday, October 21st, at 11pm, you'll hear a conversation with Ben Levin and Ron Esposito recorded in WVXU's studio on Monday, October 16th.  They discuss Ben's new blues cd, "Ben's Blues," which was recorded at Ultrasuede Studio here in Cincinnati.

There’s a hot young pianist on the scene whom local piano legend Ricky Nye has been praising for some time now. He’s Ben Levin and according to his website he’s been playing piano since he was eight, then hooked up with Ricky Nye.