“Gillece is a skillful creator of tunes, harkening back to the original hard bop days and beyond, without sounding like mere imitations of that era's classics.”
Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz
After a decade on the New York jazz scene, vibraphonist Behn Gillece has built a reputation as a virtuosic instrumentalist and prolific composer. Walk of Fire, his third album as leader was just released on the Posi-Tone Label. The album showcases Gillece’s compositions with an exciting septet, featuring trumpeter Bruce Harris, tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, and trombonist Michael Dease. It also features a stellar rhythm section with Adam Birnbaum on piano, Clovis Nicolas on bass, and Jason Tiemann on drums. His other two leader dates, Dare to Be and debut album Mindset, received excellent reviews in reputable jazz periodicals such as Downbeat and Jazziz. Both albums received extensive radio airplay and rose to the top 50 on the Jazzweek radio charts for several weeks.
Gillece began studying classical percussion as a teenager. While he was a percussion student at Rowan University, he quickly developed a desire to play jazz. In the early years of his career he performed regularly in his home state of New Jersey and Philadelphia. In 2006 Gillece moved to New York to study at SUNY Purchase.
During his development as a jazz composer, Gillece worked closely with saxophonist Ken Fowser in a co-led project. The pair have four acclaimed albums released by Posi-Tone which include 2009’s Full View, 2010’s Little Echo, 2011’s Duotone, and 2013’s Top Shelf. All four have received international acclaim and extensive radio play.
Gillece has also been featured as a sideman on more than 30 other recordings. The most recent of these include albums by Walt Weiskopf, Michael Dease, Melody Gardot, and Ensemble Novo, a Philadelphia-based group dedicated to Brazilian repertoire.
Gillece continues to tirelessly play and compose for new projects based all over the tri- state area. He has performed his music throughout the country at venues like Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, Fat Cat, Yoshi's, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, and many others. He has also appeared at festivals worldwide, including the North Sea, Montreux, Nice, Molde, Ghent, Montreal, and Toronto festivals.
In addition to his robust performance life, Gillece also has a burgeoning career as a music educator. Gillece is a member of the faculty at New Jersey City University and Rowan University, where he teaches vibraphone and jazz ensembles. In addition to the various workshops he has been asked to give at colleges and universities across the world, he has prepared over 200 lessons for online instruction on vibesworkshop.com, which benefits percussion students internationally.
In the spring of 2008, Gillece finished his master’s degree at SUNY Purchase. Some of his awards and honors include winning the 2008 Jazz Improvisation competition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, participating in the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, and winning the Generations competition in 2009.
In 2014 Gillece began endorsing Malletech and has been using instruments made by the company ever since.
Visit the website to purchase Gillece’s albums, find out information on teaching, and to see his updated performance schedule.