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Tradition Meets Innovation

Vancouver BC based musician and pastor, Benjamin MacRae, specializes in modern music and the spoken word, blending influences from across the diverse traditions of music and Christian spirituality.

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Tradition & Innovation

An experienced performer, composer, Benjamin MacRae is an accomplished clarinet, flute, & saxophonist from the Fraser Valley that is currently settled in Vancouver, BC.  While Ben’s most current musical endeavours are focused around the Grand Slam Jazz Band (, working on his own material, and playing as a session musician for various bands in the traditional jazz idioms of the lower mainland, he has extensive experience working as a European classical musician, in Jewish Klezmer music, the wide span of Christian devotional music, contemporary/freely improvised music, and in various jazz orchestra settings.  Ben was honoured to be one of the music directors at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Burnaby BC for three years, and has helped to co-ordinate various jazz vespers programs, church music camps, and jazz summer camps aimed at forming the God-given gifts of youth and young adults.  From weddings to funerals, dances to wakes; large shows to cozy in-home concerts; sacred settings to secular instances; teaching people of all ranges, abilities, backgrounds and identities; Ben is widely experienced in providing music for, and with, the people. 

Ben received a Diploma in Orchestral Performance from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2017) for classical clarinet studying with Robert Sheffield.  At Capilano University Ben recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies - Performance/Composition (2021) under the direction of saxophonist Mike Allen, clarinetist James Danderfer, and composer Jill Townsend in the spring of 2021.  Ben is a former member (in good standing) of Chapter 145 Vancouver Musician's Association/American Federation of Musicians.  Ben is available as a performer, composer & educator.  Please feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of the page if you would like to get in touch.

In addition to his work as a musician, Ben is an aspiring minister is pursuing studies at the Vancouver School of Theology to obtain his Master of Divinity (2021-present).  Ben is currently serving at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church as their Minister with Youth and Young Adults, as well as the Jazz Vespers Coordinator. (For inquiries about playing at StAW, email Ben at his work email,  Ben’s ministerial passion is in the intersection of music, Christian spiritual traditions, ecumenical and interfaith dialogues, social activism, and evangelism amongst those in the first third of life & witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the rapidly secularizing context of North America.  Ben’s faith is one of constant reformation, and as a liberal, inclusive Christian, he advocates for the full inclusion of all peoples into the life, mission, and witness of the church.  To get a sense of Ben’s latest theological thinking, you can check out his latest reflection by clicking on the link below. 

Future study aspirations include completing a Doctorate of Ministry that researches the spirituality and music of Duke Ellington as witnessed in his three Sacred Concerts (1965, '68 & '73) with the aim of composing new works in - and expanding upon - that tradition as means of missional musicking for the church, and continuing to develop inclusive Christian education programming & music for youth and young adults.

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It is my great pleasure to work with some of Vancouver's most talented musicians.  The following bands are the result of a close collaboration with seasoned professionals and rising talent alike blending musical tradition with current modern trends.  These bands are available for your listening enjoyment.  Drop me a line and I will send you a quote for your special event!

Grand Slam Jazz Band

Joyful Swing

The Grand Slam Jazz Band (Vancouver, BC) is inspired by the traditional jazz of New Orleans and the classic Vancouver swing bands past and present.  This is joyful music for the soul, for dancing, for celebrating and for everything in between.  We aspire to be music for the people, sharing our unique brand of hot jazz. 


We fit in everywhere from garden parties, benefits, background music, formal and corporate events, various celebrations (weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthday parties), and are perfect for your dancing and listening fancies.  If you've got an event, we can adjust to any requests you may have musically or otherwise. 



Kayden Gorden - Trumpet & Vocals
Ben MacRae - Clarinet/Tenor & Vocals
Aaron Lee - Trombone
Alvin Agatep - Guitar
Michael Wagler - Double Bass
Tyler Murray - Drums

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Feel free to leave a message regarding quotes, gigs, lessons and repertoire, or even just to drop a hello! Don’t hesitate to get in touch, fine music is only a click away!


Vancouver BC, Canada


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(1) 604.997.1643

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