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Ben Wendel

Grammy nominated performer, composer and producer Ben Wendel was educated at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Since graduating he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer, producer and most recently, conductor. Highlights 
include multiple domestic and international tours with such artists as Cuban drumming legend Ignacio Berroa, Thelonious Monk Piano Competition Winner Tigran Hamasyan and Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg. Ben is a founding member of the Grammy nominated group Kneebody. In addition to playing saxophone and bassoon, Ben also doubles on the piano.

 As a composer he has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, was a winner in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition and received the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America “New Works Grant.” A frequent writer of film music, he co-wrote the score for John Krasinski’s 2009 adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men." Ben was honored to work with conductor Kent Nagano in producing a series of concerts for the Festpeil Plus in Munich, Germany


Loyal Returns

Label: Sunnyside Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: The Flaw (In My Business Model); Hawks; Blues In Muri; St. Lawrence; Visitor From Everywhere; Party Song; Loyal Returns; Brighter Places; Night Circle.


All One

Label: Edition Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: I Loves You Porgy; Wanderers; Throughout; Speak Joy; Tenderly; In Anima.


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Roni Ben-Hur, Nicole Zuraitis, Andrew Cyrille and Others

Read "Roni Ben-Hur, Nicole Zuraitis, Andrew Cyrille and Others" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This program features recent recordings by Roni Ben-Hur and Nicole Zuraitis, older tracks from Andrew Cyrille and Bobby Hutcherson, and much more. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) 00:00 Andrew Cyrille Quartet “Go Happy Lucky" from ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Big M's Grab Bag

Read "Big M's Grab Bag" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The theme this episode is--got ya!--there isn't a theme. What we do have are two mildly historical piano-led recordings by musicians who couldn't be more different if they tried, and two new releases by musicians also pulling in different directions. Get a large group together and go for eclecticism? Or just multi-track yourself and add a ...


Article: Album Review

Wasted Generation: Introducing Wasted Generation

Read "Introducing Wasted Generation" reviewed by Neil Duggan

The Italian group, Wasted Generation can often be found playing the clubs and festivals around Rome. They usually play straight ahead jazz but their first album Introducing Wasted Generation, reveals a totally different side of their character. This album shows a young band focused on free contemporary jazz, melodic explorations and an avant-garde approach to improvisation. ...


Article: Play This!

Ben Wendel High Heart: Drawn Away

Read "Ben Wendel High Heart: Drawn Away" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Michael Blake, Ben Wendel, Bjork and Others

Read "Michael Blake, Ben Wendel, Bjork and Others" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This eclectic show has music from saxophonists Michael Blake and Jeff Coffin, vocalists Hailey Brinnel and Bjork(!), and much more. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) 00:00 Wally Cirillo “Smog L.A." from Explorations (Fresh Sound) 1:04 ...


Article: Live Review

Jazzkaar 2023

Read "Jazzkaar 2023" reviewed by Martin Longley

Jazzkaar Tallinn, Estonia April 23-30, 2023 Jazzkaar has now lost two days, this exceptional Estonian festival running at eight rather than ten, but still remaining epic when compared to most others. The opening Sunday might have only featured a single concert, but as the fresh week progressed, the scale incrementally increased, hitting ...


Article: Album Review

Ben Wendel: All One

Read "All One" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Saxophonist Ben Wendel came up with a unique approach for this album of duets. He plays with a different musician on each of these six tracks, but while his guests stick to their primary instruments, Wendel fills in the space around them with multiple saxophone and bassoon parts, electronic effects, and percussion. The most ...


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