Ben Tankard


Ben Tankard (born January 10, 1964) is a gospel keyboardist and record producer from Daytona Beach, Florida.


Tankard's father was a minister and his mother a missionary. In church, he played drums at an early age. He played tuba in school and received a basketball scholarship. Although he was selected in the NBA draft, he hurt his kneee before the season started. During a period of homelessness, he went to church and was inspired by a revival service to turn his life around. He began playing keyboards and released his first album, Keynote Speaker (Tribute, 1990), then learned about arranging and record production. He has worked with Gerald Albright, Twinkie Clark, Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, Shirley Murdock Kelly Price, and Take 6.

Tankard discovered a third-grade school teacher named Yolanda Adams and signed her to Tribute. He produced her albums Through the Storm, Save the World, More Than A Melody, and Yolanda... Live in Washington. They collaborated on over 40 compositions. He credits her voice for helping to bring his production style and keyboard playing to a large audience.

Performances and charity work

Tankard's eighteenth studio album, Ben Tankard/Full Tank, was released on June 5, 2012, on his revamped Tribute Records (Ben-Jamin' Universal Music & Film) label. It features music from producer-songwriters, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and guest appearances by Mark Kibble/Take 6, and Gerald Albright. The lead single from this release, "Sunday Vibes" featuring Tim Bowman on guitar, was released on May 20 and became the No. 1 most played song on Watercolors (Sirius XM). The album debuted its first week on the Billboard and top sellers charts in three categories: Jazz, Gospel, and Southern Gospel, a first for Tankard in that genre. Ben Tankard/Rise!, was released on September 28, 2018. It features music from William Murphy, Drake, and Herb Alpert. The lead single and title track is a remake of Albert's 1979 multi-million selling instrumental hit Rise (Herb Alpert album). This release, Tankard's twentieth, entered the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart at #9, Jazz Chart #12 and Gospel Chart #11, as well as Amazon jazz bestsellers list #2.

He makes over 100 special appearances and concerts every year, including jazz festivals, gospel, and corporate events.

A licensed pilot, he flies to most of his concerts on his fleet of airplanes. He participates in the Urban Eagles charity which talks to children about careers in aviation. He is a longstanding member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Cessna Pilots Association.

Since 2012 Tankard has worked with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a musician and speaker. He provides support for the New York-based NBA office of player development. His role allows him to share his stories and encourage players to find a life outside basketball. In his motivational sessions with young players, he often plays a smooth-jazz mini-concert from the piano as the players write their goals and plans.

In 2002, Tankard and his wife started the Destiny Center Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which is also the national headquarters for the record label, Tribute/Ben-Jamin'. His motivational self-help book entitled The Full Tank Life was released on August 30, 2016. Since 2013, Tankard and his family have starred in the reality television series Thicker Than Water for the Bravo network.

Awards and honors

He has earned 15 Gold and 6 Platinum records in his twenty-five years in the music business.

He and Shirley Murdock received Gold records for their WOW Gospel 2006 collaboration which climbed to No. 1 on the Gospel chart and No. 20 on the Billboard Top 200. It was certified Gold for more sales of over 500,000 units. His arrangement of the Lionel Richie song "Jesus Is Love" has been one of the most played songs on Sirius XM Radio gospel channel for ten years. His album Full Tank 3: CanTANKerous (2017) reached No. 1 on the Smooth Jazz Amazon Bestseller list and entered the Billboard Gospel chart at No. 15 and the Billboard Jazz chart at No. 18. He has been a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) writer for over 25 years.

He has received Grammy nominations, Dove Award nominations, and many Stellar Awards, including Best Instrumental Album in 2010 for Mercy, Mercy, Mercy Although many of Tankard's albums have received airplay on gospel and smooth jazz stations, The Weather Channel, XM Satellite Radio and Music Choice, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy was the first album in the history of Billboard magazine to appear on the gospel, contemporary jazz, and jazz chart simultaneously.

In October 2012, Ben Tankard/Full Tank appeared on the Grammy Award ballot for six Grammy Awards. They included Pop Instrumental Album, Improvised Jazz Solo, Instrumental Composition, Instrumental Arrangement, and Instrumental Arrangement for vocal and Engineered Album.

On July 16, 2011 Tankard was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Musical Excellence by the Atlanta Gospel-fest.

In September 2012, Ben Tankard/ Full Tank was nominated by the Soul Train Music Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist and the Stellar Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Performance.

He was also nominated for a BlueMic award and won it for Best Instrumental Artist on July 12, 2013, at the Gospel BlueMic Awards in Chesapeake, Virginia.

On February 20, 2016, Tankard won the gospel Stellar Awards for his CD: Full Tank 2.0. The gospel Stellar Award is considered the highest honor in Gospel Music and winning this award fifteen times makes Tankard the most awarded Gospel Instrumentalist of all-time. Full Tank 2.0 was also nominated for 2016 Dove Award for Best Instrumental CD.

On March 24, 2018, he was inducted into gospel music Honors Hall of Fame by The Stellar Awards. On April 28, 2018, he was named honorary Tuskegee Airman.


  • All Keyed Up (1990)
  • Keynote Speaker (1990)
  • Keys to Life (1991)
  • An Instrumental Christmas (1991)
  • Sunday Drivin (1993)
  • Play Me in Your Key (1994)
  • Instrumentally Yours (1996)
  • Git Yo Prayze On w/Tribe of Benjamin (1997)
  • Raize Da Praise by Tribe of Benjamin (1999)
  • The Minstrel (1999)
  • Christmas Love (2000)
  • Song of Solomon (2001)
  • Play a Lil' Song for Me (2003)
  • Piano Prophet (2004)
  • Let's Get Quiet: The Smooth Jazz Experience (2007)
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (2009)
  • Full Tank (2012)
  • Thicker Than Water-The Church Picnic (2013)
  • Full Tank 3: CanTANKerous (2017)
  • Rise! (2018)

External links

  • Official site


Learn more about Ben Tankard on Facebook:

Enjoy "RISE"

Source : Wikipedia


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