b. England. His father, Roy Castle, was a popular British entertainer and multi-instrumentalist, so Ben’s formative years thus had a musical background. He began playing clarinet at the age of seven, and by the age of 13 was playing tenor saxophone and was working with local bands. Encouraged by his father, he received early stage experience and clearly benefited from the confidence this brought him. Having decided upon a career in music, he spent a year practicing his future craft before, at the age of 18, attending London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. There, his tuition centred upon jazz and the skills necessary for a career as a session musician in the London studios. Following graduation, Castle played in numerous bands and in many styles including working with pop artists and rock groups. Among these have been Supergrass, Mica Paris, Culture Club, Gloria Gaynor, Marillion and Lalo Schifrin. Nevertheless, his first love remains jazz and in pursuit of this he has shared stages and recording sessions with numerous members of both the younger and older generations of leading artists on the UK jazz scene. Among the former are Alan Barnes, Laurence Cottle, John Etheridge, Tim Garland, Geoff Gascoyne, Steve Lodder, Mark Nightingale, Arnie Somogyi, Clark Tracey and Matt Wates. Castle’s encounters with veterans have seen him in company with Michael Garrick, Humphrey Lyttelton, Spike Robinson, Stan Tracey, Don Weller and Bobby Worth. He has also worked with the Echoes Of Ellington and the BBC Radio big bands, as well as leading one of his own. In addition to performing, Castle has also written original music for his bands, for performers other than himself, and for television. At the turn of the century, he was most often playing with his own quartet, Four From The Madding Crowd. In 2001, he teamed up with Marillion drummer Ian Mosely for Postmankind, on which guest performers included Etheridge and Marillion’s bass player Pete Trewavas. The same year Castle was voted Rising Star in the British Jazz Awards.
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