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Ed Bennett

About Me

Ed Bennett has long been considered one of the West Coast's premiere string bass players. Currently living in Portland, Oregon since 1990, Ed's work has taken him virtually everywhere in the world. He has worked with, toured internationally, or recorded with many legendary jazz figures, including: Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Sonny Stitt, Frank Morgan, Richie Cole, Pete Christlieb, Bud Shank, Charles McPherson, Pete Jolly, Joe Albany, James Williams, Mike Wofford, Bill Mays, Dick Berk, Larance Marable, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Witherspoon, Anita O'Day, Ernistine Anderson, Marlena Shaw, Nancy King, Karrin Allyson, Mary Stallings, Dee Daniels, The Modernaires, and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. Ed was born in Los Angeles California on December 19, 1951 and began playing the string bass at the age of 12. He was a talented student of bassist Nat Gangursky, with whom he concentrated on technique and the classical repertoire. At 13, he was introduced to jazz music, and played in a Dixieland band that appeared on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour in 1966. A dedicated, working professional, Ed also majored in music, winning acceptance to the Berklee School of Music in Boston in 1971. Ed made what he considers to be his first professional jazz engagement doing a week stint at the Jazz Workshop with Brazilian greats Victor Brasil and Claudio Rotiti, while a Berklee student. In 1974, Ed toured with Jimmy Witherspoon. Between 1976 and 1979 he backed Carmen McRae, making his recording debut on "Carmen McRae at the Great American Music Hall" in San Francisco which was was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1977. In 1981, he worked with the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, recording the Grammy- nominated "Tanuki's Night Out." While living in Los Angeles, Ed Bennett recorded his first album (LP) as leader on Vision Records in 1987. A trio date with Kent Glenn on piano and Jack Ranelli on drums. In 1993 Ed started Saphu Records, an independent record label. There are currently 20 releases in the Saphu catalog. In Portland, Ed has been a member of the Mel Brown Quartet for the last 15 years. He also has been the bassist for the Tony Pacini Trio since 1999. Ed also performs with his Quintet focusing on his original compositions. In a professional career spanning over 45 years, Ed has performed at major jazz clubs and events nationally and worldwide: Tel Aviv Opera House (Israel), Newport Jazz Festival (NY), Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, Mt Hood Jazz Festival, Britt Festival (Oregon), Jazz at Wolftrap (VA), Centrum Jazz Festival Port Townsend, Anacortes Jazz Festival (WA), Blues Alley (Wash. D.C.), Jazz Alley (Seattle,WA), Concord Jazz Festival, Laguna Beach Jazz Festival, Concerts by The Sea, The Light House (CA).