Ben Cook Bio
Ben Cook has performed for the Boston Pops Orchestra and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at Symphony Hall and on tour throughout the United States. Since first working for the BPO and BPEO in 2003, I have performed over 100 times at Boston Symphony Hall, the Hatch Shell at the Esplanade, the Tanglewood Music Festival, and on several national tours, working with conductors Keith Lockhart and John Williams and backing such diverse artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Melissa Etheridge, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, Tom Morello, Donna McKechnie, Jim Belushi, the Dropkick Murphys, Tom Scholz, Train, Chris Isaak, Joey McIntyre, Emmy Rossum, Melinda Doolittle, Katharine McPhee, Ayla Brown, and others. Material performed with these orchestras has ranged from pop songs to jazz to the symphonic repertoire of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Williams, Ralph Vaughan-Williams, John Alden Carpenter, and Morton Gould, among others. Recently, Ben performed the soloistic piano part on John Williams’ Grammy-award winning “The Book Thief” at Tanglewood with Maestro Williams conducting, and he was featured on the Pops’ 2015 Florida tour soloing on Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing”. In March 2015, Ben performed with the Pops brass section and noted Broadway vocalist Brian Stokes Mitchell at the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for President Obama and other dignitaries. Also, in December 2015, he recorded a live performance with the orchestra that was broadcast nationally on PBS in December 2016.
Ben Cook has recorded numerous times with jazz artists such as Miles Donahue, Fred Buda, Cassandre McKinley, and Crosscurrent and worked as a New England area pit orchestra musician for numerous Broadway shows, including Wicked, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, and dozens of others. Ben is an adjunct faculty member at Brandeis University and summer program instructor at Berklee College of Music.
Randy Armstrong uses music for healing and as therapuetic practice for a wide variety of learning disabilities and physical and emotional illnesses.