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John Benitez

John Benitez - acoustic and electric bass Grammy award-winning bassist John Benitez, born in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico, started playing gospel music in church at the age of thirteen. Already a gifted musician, John began his formal education at "Escuela Libre de Musica" followed by study at the University of Puerto Rico and later the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music with master bassist Federico Silva. By age nineteen, John was the first-call bassist in San Juan's thriving Jazz and Latin music scenes. He performed with, among others, such well-known artists as Chick Corea, Lucecita Benitez, Batacumbele, Lalo Rodriguez, Cuco Peña, Roberto Roena, and Justo Betancourt. In his early twenties, he toured with Batacumbele to Columbia, South America where he continued to play and study music. Always in demand, John was asked to play with some of the top names in the country like Joe Madrid and often accompanied international touring artists like trumpeter "Chocolate" Armenteros. In 1993, John move to New York and attended the City College of New York where he studied with the legendary acoustic bassist, Ron Carter and later with the contra bass guitarist Anthony Jackson. His education, however, was not limited to formal classroom study. John learned on the bandstand performing with some of the finest Jazz and Latin musicians including, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente, Michele Camilo, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Watson, David Sanchez, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Danilo Perez, Kenny Kirkland, Will Calhoun, Vinny Valentino, Chucho Valdez, Don Pullen, Dave Samuels, and Mongo Santamaria, to name just few. He recorded with Roy Hargrove's Crisol band (whose recording, “Habana,” was awarded the Grammy for best Latin jazz performance in 1997), David Sanchez (the Grammy nominated, “Obsesion”) Tito Puente, Hilton Ruiz, Antonio Hart, the Tropi-Jazz All Stars, the Mingus Big Band, the Caribbean Jazz Project, and Eddie Palmieri. John has participated in two instructional videos with master percussionist Giovanni Hildalgo and Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa. He can also be seen on the national tv and cable shows, Good Morning America, The Today Show and BET On Jazz. As a sideman and a featured special guest, John has performed in all of the major jazz festivals and venues around the world including Turkey, Jordan (where he played for the royal family), South America, Canada, Norway, Finland, and all over Europe. John was chosen by the United States Information Agency and the Kennedy Center to represent the United States as a Jazz Ambassador on a tour of South America.

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Album Review

Colette Michaan: Earth Rebirth

Read "Earth Rebirth" reviewed by Katchie Cartwright

Colette Michaan's bamboo flute calls out over a looming drone as Earth Rebirth opens. Instruments emerge out of time to create a watery soundscape that becomes increasingly lush as John Benitez's bass brings in the tempo, with Yusnier Sanchez Bustamante's percussion chattering behind Luisito Quintero's swirling cymbals and Leo Genovese's fluid piano. Michaan mapped the composition minimally. The flute is a suling she acquired in her travels in Indonesia, so she sketched out its scale and gave some harmonic context. ...

Album Review

Letizia Gambi: Blue Monday

Read "Blue Monday" reviewed by James Nadal

As the world continues to shrink--musically speaking of course--the melding of American jazz with Mediterranean melody is another spin cycle that makes appreciation of this evolving art form so interesting. With high expectations, Neapolitan vocalist Letizia Gambi, which hails from a theatrical family, and has extensive jazz education, releases Blue Monday, an exuberant and ambitious production that takes jazz on a romantic Italian holiday. After a collaboration with drummer extraordinaire Lenny White in 2009 led to “Introducing Letizia ...

Album Review

John Benitez Trio: Descarga In New York

Read "Descarga In New York" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

With his first solo release, it is easy to see why John Benitez is one of New York City’s busiest first call bassists. The young artist has supported the “Mingus Big Band,” famed Afro-Cuban percussionist, Mongo Santamaria, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and many others, yet takes a leadership role with his trio and others for this frisky, up-tempo outing.

Benitez is a bassist who possesses a broad tone, performing primarily on acoustic, while we also get to hear drummer, Dafnis Prieto’s ...

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Ximo Tebar Band "The New Son Mediterraneo" Jazz With Sea Flavor At Smalls Jazz Club New York on May 24th With Jim Ridl, John Benitez & Donald Edwards

Ximo Tebar Band "The New Son Mediterraneo" Jazz With Sea Flavor At Smalls Jazz Club New York on May 24th With Jim Ridl, John Benitez & Donald Edwards

Source: Jazz Friends News

Virtuoso and innovative spanish jazz guitarist Ximo Téba will perform on May 24th at smalls jazz club accompanied by Donald Edwards, Jim Ridl and John Benítez. Creator of “Son Mediterráneo" style, Ximo Tebar is one of the most international Spanish musicians, with an impressive career, numerous awards, excellent recordings and performances in the most prestigious festivals around the world. Son Mediterráneo is the hallmark of the innovative Valencian guitarist Ximo Tebar since the early '90s, a mix of jazz jazz ...



John Benitez Bass Solo on "Slowvisor"

John Benitez Bass Solo on "Slowvisor"

Source: The Latin Jazz Corner by Chip Boaz

Bassist John Bentiez has been an essential part of New Yorks Latin Jazz scene for the past couple of decades. He has anchored a number of projects, working with Latin Jazz luminaries such as Eddie Palmieri, Papo Vazquez, David Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria, and many more. In addition to recording and touring with an all-star list of Latin Jazz musicians, he recorded his own album Descarga In New York with his trio in 2001. His impeccable time feel, broad knowledge of ...


Performance / Tour

Klaus Mueller Trio (Mon) Cafe - Chuck Fowler (Tue) Titus Ribas (Wed) Andy Gonzalez (Thu) Duane Eubanks QT (Fri-Sat) John Benitez (Sun) at Cachaa

Klaus Mueller Trio (Mon)  Cafe - Chuck Fowler (Tue) Titus Ribas (Wed) Andy Gonzalez (Thu) Duane Eubanks QT (Fri-Sat) John Benitez (Sun) at Cachaa

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Cachaa 35 West 8th St (bet. 5th & 6th Aves.) NYC * tel 212-388-9099 sets at 9,11 & 1am * $10 cover, $15 min. Menus from selected restaurants available New York City's Newest Jazz Hang In The Heart of Greenwich Village Cachaa (pronounced “ka-SHA-sa") is the newest late-night Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, located at 35 W. 8th Street between Fithth & Sixth Avenue in New York City. The name ...



Special John Benitez Performances, January 3 & 4

Special John Benitez Performances, January 3 & 4

Source: All About Jazz

Two Very Special Evenings @ the Jazz Gallery!

Friday, January 3, 2003 John Benitez's Soul Expressions featuring Adam Rogers John Benitez, bass Bob Francheschini, sax Adam Rogers, guitar Christos Rafalides, marimba Steve Hass, drums

Saturday, January 4, 2003 John Benitez and Dave Liebman Quartet John Benitez, bass Dave Liebman, saxes Phil Markowitz, piano Adam Nussbaum, drums

Set Times ...


Performance / Tour

The John Benitez Quintet @ the American Museum of Natural History, Oct 4, 2002

The John Benitez Quintet @ the American Museum of Natural History, Oct 4, 2002

Source: All About Jazz

Please join us for an early evening of progressive Latin Jazz with the new John Benitez Quintet live @ the American Museum of Natural History

“Mr. Benitez with his rock solid groove, is the best new Latin Jazz bassist in the city, great at using the fewest possible notes to greatest swing potential" --Ben Ratlif, New York Times

John Benitez, bass Miguel Zenon, alto sax Luis Perdomo, piano Dafnis Prieto, drums Luisito ...

“Benitez demonstrates a 'nuevo generacion' pan-Latin Jazz vibe on his solo debut.The Puerto Rican-born leader's playing is precise, reliably hard-driving and inventive throughout, and the grooves lock together seamlessly” DOWN BEAT “Mr. Benitez , with his rock-solid groove, it the best new Latin jazz bassist in the city, great at using the fewest possible notes to maximum swing potential.” Ben Ratliff, New York Times



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Spirit Songs

Origin Records


Earth Rebirth

Self Produced


Blue Monday

RP Production


Introducing Letizia...

Jando Music S.r.l.


Chant for Peace Eternal

From: Spirit Songs
By John Benitez



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