Rowan University, Vibraphone Artist
“His talents, as amply demonstrated on his most recent release, Walk of Fire (Posi-Tone, 2017) are propelling him into the realm of modern vibraphone greats, such as Joe Locke, and historic giants such as Bobby Hutcherson.”
–Paul Rauch, All About Jazz
Named Downbeat Rising Star Vibraphone 2018
After a decade on the New York jazz scene, vibraphonist Behn Gillece has built a reputation as a virtuosic instrumentalist and prolific composer. Following the release of Walk of Fire, his third album on the Posi-Tone label, Gillece was named the Downbeat Rising Star for Vibraphone in 2018. The album, which received countless plays on jazz radio stations across the country and internationally, showcases Gillece’s compositions with a dynamic 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. In addition to Walk of Fire, his first two records, Dare to Be and debut album Mindset, received excellent reviews in reputable jazz periodicals such as Downbeat and Jazziz. All three albums received extensive radio airplay and rose to the top 50 on the Jazzweek radio charts.
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 the Posi-Tone collective New Faces, 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, Mezzrow, Jazz Standard, Smoke Jazz Club, Side Door, 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, jazz ensemble, music theory, and online courses. In addition to the various workshops he has been asked to give at colleges and universities across the world, he has prepared over 700 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 the aforementioned 2018 Downbeat Rising Star Vibraphonist, the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, winning the Generations competition in 2009, and winning the 2008 Jazz Improvisation competition at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
In 2014 Gillece began endorsing Malletech and has been using instruments made by the company ever since.