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Ben Bonham: Bio

Ben Bonham has over twenty years of professional experience as a live performer, teacher and recording musician in both the U.K. and America. Since 1996, this British expatriate has delighted U.S. audiences with his renderings of old time American music and his mastery of Delta blues, vintage Hawaiian, folk, ragtime and country blues guitar.

After living and working all over the world - often playing music at nights - Ben moved back to England in 1992 and started playing music full time. Ben formed The Roustabouts with harmonica/washboard player Dave Gibson and toured the UK for 2 years playing "blues , rags and that good old devil's music".  

Ben moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 where he gigged non-stop with his Amazing One Man Band. His hard work and popularity led to regular shows at respected Bay Area venues such as The Filmore, The Sweetwater, The Freight and Salvage and major music festivals. Ben recorded two One Man Band CD's and the popular solo guitar instrumental  Slide Show during this period.

He also partnered with Bay Area slack-key specialist and Tiki afficonado, Frank Novicki to form The Waikiki Steel Works, a band dedicated to their love of vintage Hawaiian steel guitar music.  

Ben moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002 and was one of the founders of Trashcan Joe Portland's favorite trashcan band, with Ben playing "trash steel" guitar.  Trashcan Joe released their 2004 CD Wrong Side of Town to enthusiastic reviews.

Ben began working with Portland swing/jazz guitar virtuoso Jamie Stillway in 2002. Their CD Stillway & Bonham drew critical raves, including Best Local CD of the 2004 by Willamette Week.

Ben toured the USA in 2004 as Hawaiian steel guitarist for the darling Japanese Ukulele Duo, Petty Booka.

In 2003 Ben moved an hour east along the Columbia River to the picturesque community of Hood River where he now lives on a small farm with his wife and two children. Since joining the Columbia Gorge's fine array of musicians, Ben now works in many different formats from solo acoustic to big, swinging ten piece band providing music for all occasions. He can be seen most frequently around the Gorge in performances with The Hapa Hillbillies or The Bohemian Social Club and  in Portland, every now and then, with Trashcan Joe, or Stillway & Bonham.

Ben has taught guitar and ukelele for ten years and is one of the few instructors offering advanced steel and slide guitar instruction in the Pacific Northwest.