Benjamin Heaney is a familiar face to many in Plumas County. Ben grew up in Quincy and has played music with Johny McDonald as a music student, since elementary school. He has studied clarinet, tenor saxophone, and accordion, and has played in the High Sierra Community Orchestra and the Quincy High School bands. His favorite instrument is the accordion, which is what he will be focusing on during Words & Music this month.
Ben says living in Quincy has had a profound influence on his musical inspiration.
“Different elements of each band and ensemble I have performed with have given me great experiences and new ways to jam. The individuals that I have learned from and collaborated with have done nothing but help me improve my skills and talents to make me into the musician I am today. I could not have done it without them.”
Much of the music Ben plays is a mashup of genres and artists that he has listened to since he first picked up his grandfather’s accordion. Ben’s original songs have taken influence from blues players like Johnny Cash and folk singers like Bob Dylan.
Ben currently studies psychology at Sonoma State University, but has been studying remotely from Quincy during the pandemic. He commented, “Playing music has helped ease my troubles during these strange and difficult times, and I hope it will do the same for you.”
The 2021 Words & Music will continue in a virtual format for the foreseeable future. You can connect with Words & Music on the the Plumas Arts’ YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGWoU-fxFXS6VtEe9A11fTw/videos. Archives are available at https://www.plumasarts.org/wm-virtual-archive.html.
Words & Music has been a program of Plumas Arts for more than 30 years, featuring acoustic performances of music and the spoken word when it has taken place at Patti’s Thunder Café. Modest admissions were charged at the door when it was an in-person event, now that it is offered virtually it can be viewed admission free.
Should you be inspired to make a donation to Plumas Arts to benefit presentations like these and the work they do to make and keep our beautiful place in these Sierras a thriving arts culture, just click the Donate button on plumasarts.org. Donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible.