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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

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Random Selection Of The Best New Releases From 2020

Read "A Random Selection Of The Best New Releases From 2020" reviewed by Len Davis

A selection of new releases from 2020... including late 2019. Playlist Scott Henderson “Satellite" from People Mover (Self Produced) 00:00 Terje Rypdal “Conspiracy" from Conspiracy (ECM) 05:56 Tom Kennedy “The 70's" from Stories (Self Produced) 11:57 Randy Brecker-Eric Marienthal “Fast Lane" from Double Dealin' (Shanachie) 17:57 Jakob Manz Group “Endless Space" from Natural Energy ...

Nothing Remains Unchanged

Label: First Word Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Complicated Us; Adelaide; 1 East West; Forest Dance; Processional; Woods; Perspectives; This I Give to You; Highway Morning.

Spirit Science

Label: Destiny Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: The Trion Re; Platonic Solids; The Genesis Pattern; Spirit Science; Two Circles; A Reflection in a Reflection (for Kofi Burbridge); Metatron's Cube; Source; Lullyaby for Lena.

High Heart

Label: Edition Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: High Heart; Burning Bright; Kindly; Less; Drawn Away; Fearsome; Darling;

ARTICLE: RADIO

Ben Wendel: going forward with a High Heart

Read "Ben Wendel: going forward with a High Heart" reviewed by David Bixler

High Heart is the latest release from tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel. In this episode of Liner Notes, Wendel discusses the creation of this music as well as the unique position he found himself in when air travel came to a grinding halt in March at the beginning of the pandemic. This episode features ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Guarna: Spirit Science

Read "Spirit Science" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Guitarist / composer Tom Guarna uses geometric concepts and patterns as a starting point on Spirit Science, his eighth album as leader, pairing its mathematical precision with spiritual awareness to more faithfully represent his musical point of view. Be that as it may, Guarna's handiwork must of course be appraised for its perception and effect on ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Randy Brecker: Fusion Pioneer Still Blazing The Trails

Read "Randy Brecker: Fusion Pioneer Still Blazing The Trails" reviewed by Jim Worsley

One of the greatest musicians of the past half century, Randy Brecker, continues to impress with his compositions, his playing, and his endurance. The famed trumpeter has released no less than eight records over the past couple of years! They are all unique on to themselves with only Brecker's familiar and sweet sound in common. That ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Exploring music from 1975 and 1978

Read "Exploring music from 1975 and 1978" reviewed by Len Davis

Exploring 1975 and 1978, plus Mark Egan, Ben Wendel and Yellowjackets. Playlist The New Tony Williams Lifetime “Mr Spock" from Believe It (Columbia) 00:00 David Sancious “One Time" from Forest of Feelings (Epic) 0:06:38 Gong “Soli" from Expresso 2 (Virgin) 13:17 Major Surgery “Beans" from Rare Live Performances (The Last Music Company) 19:47 Mark ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Oz Noy, Ben Wendel, John Scofield, Garaj Mahal and More

Read "Oz Noy, Ben Wendel, John Scofield, Garaj Mahal and More" reviewed by Len Davis

Playlist The Backstage “Can I Get Your Number" from Isolation (Reingold Records) 00:00 Morten Schanz “Martial Arts" from Godspeed (Edition) 06:28 Ben Wendel “Drawn Away" from High Heart (Edition) 12:57 CAB “The Prankster" from Theatre de Marionettes (Brunel Music) 19:26 Garaj Mahal “Witch Doctor" from More Mr Nice Guy (Owlstudios.com) 25:54 Oz Noy “Booga Looga Loo" ...


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Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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