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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

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.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kneebody: Chapters

Read "Chapters" reviewed by Emmanuel Di Tommaso

Chapters è il nono disco in studio degli americani Kneebody, il quartetto fondato nel 2001 fra le aule della Eastman School of Music di Rochester dagli allora studenti Adam Benjamin, Ben Wendel, Shane Endsley e Kaveh Rastegar, a cui si aggiunse successivamente Nate Wood. A tre anni dal solido Anti-Hero, un disco rassicurante nella misura in ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 5

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 5" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Back to popular demand! Here's some more musical therapy for these trying times, the fifth installment of this popular mix-tape series, featuring selections by Tim Berne, Theo Bleckmann, Stefano Bollani, Tommaso Cappellato, Taylor Ho Bynum, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Mats Gustaffson, Maya Keren, Brad Mehldau, Aaron Parks, Rosa Brunello and Ben Wendel. Happy listening! Stay safe ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ross McHenry: Nothing Remains Unchanged

Read "Nothing Remains Unchanged" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Electric bassist Ross McHenry has been a highly-regarded presence in the Australian jazz scene since the release of his 2013 debut record, Distant Oceans (First Word Records). His recognition outside of his home country has been limited, although that may change with his 2020 release, Nothing Remains Unchanged. Eschewing some of his larger-ensemble tendencies for a ...

Chapters

Label: Edition Records
Released: 2019
Track listing: Spectra; What's My Name; Seaworthy Native; Wounds Let in the Light; Chapters; Hearts Won't Break; Ombre; The Trip; When It All Comes Down; The Non-Profit Prince of Lexington.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kneebody: Chapters

Read "Chapters" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Chapters--the title of Kneebody's 2019 release--has a certain appropriateness, as it definitely marks several new ones for the band. One being that lyric-oriented songs account for nearly half of the material on the album. Technically, vocals are nothing new to Kneebody. The band included one track with vocals on their 2002 proto-Kneebody album Wendel. Its 2009 ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Master Drummer Jason Harnell Breaks New Ground With Experimental CD And Multimedia Experience, Total Harnage

Master Drummer Jason Harnell Breaks New Ground With Experimental CD And Multimedia Experience, Total Harnage

When Jason Harnell was six years old, his father, Grammy winning composer and arranger Joe Harnell, invited Louie Bellson to their house to hear the budding prodigy play. After playing a 15-minute solo, the legendary drummer handed the sticks to Jason and said, “Your turn.” When Jason finished, an impressed Bellson gave the boy his drum ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Alvas Showroom: The Art of Listening

Read "Alvas Showroom: The Art of Listening" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Allan Holdsworth was a giant, a genius, a gifted guitarist who had a great gauge for sound. An upper level musician can become less than that playing in a room, club, or hall that is beneath the caliber of their artistry. Holdsworth played the intimate and superbly sound engineered Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA many ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Dan Tepfer & Kirk Knuffke: Generous Versatility

Read "Dan Tepfer & Kirk Knuffke: Generous Versatility" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Dan Tepfer and Kirk Knuffke are two musicians that, despite being being only in their thirties, have already become reference players on their respective instruments. Known for their versatility, which allows them to be equally at home with the repertoires of Johann Sebastian Bach or Erik Satie as well as with all-out improvisation, they have a ...


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