Posts Tagged ‘songwriting’

Kindred and Ben (feat. John on Percussion) run through a new tune for their show at the Tea House on Apr 30, 2014. Come on out!



Ben Hammond: Vocals, Vocal Percussion, Guitar/Octaver, Live-Looping, Songwriting
Sandi Grecco: Drumset

April 2nd, 2013 performance of Ben’s original tune “Hipster Juliet”, featuring a mini verse from Skee-Lo’s “I Wish”. All elements of this performance are played and looped live with no pre-recorded tracks or samples.

Ben is playing a Taylor T5 through a Boss OC-3 Octaver Pedal and a Boomerang III Loop Station.

PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE GOING! Some of these listings may be outdated and are constantly changing.




  • Pastry Art Cafe – Open Mic, 7-10pm. (info)




Why I Put Together This List:

Sarasota, FL is a really great city for music, especially considering it’s relatively small size. I have so many friends that are making a living playing music in a way that is simply not possible in other parts of the country. Yes, there are huge problems with the city’s and county’s noise ordinances. Yes, the bigger established clubs can be a little “covers” oriented. However, people like the project are making big progress on both these accounts, and every year I return to find a new crop of incredible musicians moving into town or making their way onto the circuit. I’ve been extremely lucky to take over as host at the long-running SKOB Open Mic.


It has been an incredible way for me personally to network, shed new tunes, ‘audition’ new potential players, and test my skills as a bandleader. More importantly, it functions as a type of an incubator for musicians, combining new players to town, older players looking to get back into it, guitarists who don’t sing with singers who don’t play, etc. I have been honored to help guide this process as both an observer and a participant.

In this spirit, I have compiled the above list of Open Mics and Open Jams in Sarasota, in the hopes of encouraging developing musicians, budding songwriters, traveling professionals form out of town, and established players seeking the final piece of their band ‘puzzle’. Whether you’re a pro with a night off, an amateur seeking improvement from an encouraging audience, or a music lover who understands the “next big thing” is probably actually tuning his guitar in your local bar down the street, come out and support local music at some of these events and let’s keep this one big awesome happy musical family.

Much love! Come say hi on Tuesday!


My good buddy Matt Gerhardt has just finished up in the studio on his debut album, and I was invited to sing and jam the nylon string on one of the tunes. Our mutual friend slash rockstar Cort Farris also joined us on Steel Pan. Check it out! I’ll post a link once his record is up on Itunes, etc.


Sarasota’s premier newspaper periodically features locale musicians in their arts publication / website “The Ticket”, and they’ve featured yours-truly this week. Journalist Dawn Scire does a bang-on job describing my sound in all its permutations and combinations, and I might just have to steal some of her phrases when describing my music in the future. Rock on for supporting live, local music!

“Nor does his music fit into any common category: one minute he’s singer-songwriter smooth, the next breaking into rap-jazzy scats, skillfully co-merging genres within songs.” Herald-Tribune – Jan, 2012

Read the whole article at


I am super excited to be taking over as host of this awesome Tuesday night event at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar. From 7-11pm, bring your instrument, voice, ears and thirst for beer and good times to come rock with us! I am keeping this a very positive space where people are free to share all styles of music, from hip-hop to hipster shoe-gaze to hoe-downs. It’s all good, if it’s coming from the heart! So far we’ve had MC’s, Trombones, Steel Pans and Electric Banjos. Oh, guitars too! PA will be provided, along with a rotating selection of instruments. “Like” it at to get updates on various rockstars who will be showing up, etc. Hope to see you there!

Just played a concert of original music last night at the Local Bean, a new coffee shop on Siesta Key here in Sarasota, FL. This is an awesome little spot dedicating itself to promoting local, live, original artists, and I highly recommend you check it out. Below is a video compilation of some of the tunes I did, including a video debut of my new tune: “Friction“.

Let me know what you think, and please “Share” it and “Like” it and whatever other fun verbs you want to do to it 🙂