Ben Holder

Prince of Wales,


The smile on landlord Eddie’s face said it all. Last night the Ben Holder Trio lit up the packed bar of the Prince of Wales, the crowd joyously enthusiastic and enthralled.

The group sparkled and swung mightily through selections from the Great American Songbook (Embraceable You, Fly Me to the Moon, Body and Soul, They All Laughed and more) Django’s back catalogue (Minor Swing and Nuages) and bluesy foot-stompers such as Bobby Troup’s classic Route 66.

The 23-year-old jazz prodigy Ben, only a few hours back from the USA, where he played at The House of Blues in Las Vegas and gigged in California, played his violin with supercharged facility and sang with confidence, skillfully supported by the melodic and nimble Jez Cook on guitar and the rock-solid and sophisticated Paul Jefferies on double-bass.

The band capped off the evening in triumph with the tirelessly effervescent Ben bowing up a tropical storm on the magical Sonny Rollins’ calypso St Thomas. What an incredible night - and all for free. - Tom Saunders