- & The Jelly Rolls  -


Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Ben Wilcock is most well known as a band leader for the jazz trio The Jelly Rolls and his work as a sideman with New Zealand soul singers such as Bella Kalolo, Aaradnha and Louis Baker, specialising in jazz and soul.

After graduating from the New Zealand School of Music in 2001, Wilcock toured with the theatre company Indian Ink as pianist in the show The Pickle King. After a season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 he relocated to London where he worked as a pianist in nightclubs and hotels. From 2004-2007 he lived in Cambridge, UK with his wife Fiona Wilcock.

In 2008 Wilcock returned to New Zealand where he worked on the faculty at The New Zealand School of Music in Wellington as a jazz educator until 2014, when he relocated to Rotorua.

While living in Wellington he recorded and toured extensively with singer Bella Kalolo, including performances at Glastonbury, AWME, City of London festival, and the Java Jazz festival. He also worked with Aaradnha on her Treble and Reverb tour of New Zealand and Australia, culminating in a performance at the Vodafone New Zealand Music awards in 2013 with the number one song 'Wake Up'[2].

Wilcock is a key member of The Jelly Rolls, a jazz piano trio with two studio albums, one live album, and a live radio show recorded for Radio NZ[3]. The ensembles' most recent work is 'The Phantom Canoe', an album featuring interpretations of four Māori legends from the Rotorua region[4]. The album features Michael Barker on the vibraphone, John Rae on the drums and Daniel Yeabsley on the double bass and bass saxophone[5].

Wilcock has performed with well known New Zealand acts Swamp Thing, The Troubles, Roger Mannins, Rodger Fox, Nick Granville, Reuben Bradley, Whirimako Black, and international musicians such as Bob Moses, Chris Cain, and Bennie Maupin.

He has recorded with Swamp Thing, The Jelly Rolls, The Troubles, Bella Kalolo, Aaradnha, Louis Baker, Nick Granville, Tessa Quayle, Johnny Lippiet, Howie Morrison Jnr, Nick Tipping and Colin Hemmingsen.

He is currently a music lecturer at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua.

Selected Discography

The Jelly Rolls - The Phantom Canoe, THICK records nz

The Jelly Rolls - Sneaky Weasel, THICK records nz

The Jelly Rolls - Live in Cromwell, THICK records nz

The Jelly Rolls - A short history of jazz 1930s, THICK records nz

Bella Kalolo - Without the paper, Bellasounds

Bella Kalolo - Time and Space, Bellasounds

Louis Baker - Even in the darkness

Tessa Quayle - Whisper Not, ODE records

Colin Hemmingsen - Tripos, ODE records

Triptych Trio - Round the Bend, ODE records

Swamp Thing - Rumors and lies