Daniel Bennett (saxophonist)
|Born||November 27, 1979|
|Origin||Rochester, New York|
Daniel Bennett (born November 27, 1979) is an American saxophonist who lives in Manhattan. Daniel Bennett is best known for his "folk jazz" music. Bennett contends that his music is "a mix of jazz, folk, and twentieth century minimalism." The Daniel Bennett Group was voted "Best New Jazz Group" in the New York City Hot House Jazz Awards. Daniel Bennett has performed in Broadway, Off-Broadway and commercial recordings in New York City.
|“||Saxophonist Daniel Bennett airs his lilting, potentially hypnotic composition. -Time Out (magazine)||”|
The Rochester years
Daniel Bennett was born in Rochester, New York. He first picked up the saxophone at the age of 10 and began playing professionally in 1998. At that time Bennett was an undergraduate music student at Roberts Wesleyan College. Daniel Bennett worked with Rochester jazz artists like bassist Ike Sturm, pianist Joe Santora, Sean Jefferson, and drummer Ted Poor. In 1999, Daniel Bennett was introduced to the music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. He began to write music for larger ensembles that infused jazz and minimalism. This led to collaborations with new music artists in Rochester, as well performances at major Rochester venues like Six Flags Darien Lake, the Rochester Lilac Fest, Shewan Hall, and the George Eastman House.
The Boston years
In 2002, Daniel Bennett moved to Boston to receive his Masters in Saxophone Performance at the New England Conservatory. Daniel Bennett studied saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, as well as classical saxophonist Ken Radnofsky. During that time, he also met drummer Bob Moses, who encouraged Bennett to pursue his own path towards "folk jazz" music. In 2004, Daniel Bennett met folk guitarist Chris Hersch. Hersch was performing full-time in bluegrass groups around Boston.
The two began performing Bennett's original compositions in clubs and various hall around Boston. The duo released a self-titled EP in March 2005. Three months later they added bassist John Servo to the group. After a year of travel, the Daniel Bennett Group released "A Nation of Bears", on the Bennett Alliance label. The album was released in April 2007. Bennett used repetitious melodic ideas over shifting, odd-metered chord structures. The compositions were in stark contrast to the atonal music often associated with avante garde jazz.
|“||Ex-Rochestarian Daniel Bennett plays experimental jazz without the detours, wrong turns, and sour notes associated with those who are constantly on the prowl for something new. -Rochester City News||”|
In February 2007, the Daniel Bennett Group expanded into a full quartet. The new lineup featured classical guitarist Brant Grieshaber, as well as bassist Jason Davis. Most notable was the addition of drums to the group for the first time in three years. Percussionist Rick Landwehr joined the group in May 2007. The newly formed quartet found its audience in the Boston art scene, performing at venues like the Cambridge ArtCentral Festival, DTR Gallery, Fox Hall Studios, and the Judi Rotenberg Gallery. The Daniel Bennett Group had considerable success in Boston's jazz club scene, performing regularly at venues like The Beehive and Ryles Jazz Club. In the summer of 2008, the newly formed quartet also collaborated in double bill performances with guitarist Bill Frisell, saxophonist James Carter, and indie rock group Zyrah's Orange. In the fall of 2009, the band began a weekly artist residency at the famed Liberty Hotel (formerly the historic Charles Street Jail) in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood. The Daniel Bennett Group would go on to perform at the hotel for 5 years. Bennett composed the music for Peace and Stability Among Bears during his time at the Liberty Hotel.
The New York years
In the summer of 2010, Daniel Bennett moved to New York City, where he enlisted a new cast of musicians that included guitarist Mark Cocheo, bassist Mark Lau, and drummer Brian Adler. In the winter of 2011, the Daniel Bennett Group organized the popular "Jazz at the Triad" concert series at the Triad Theatre on Manhattan's upper westside. The Daniel Bennett Group currently curates and performs in this ongoing concert series. Supporting artists on the series have included Charlie Hunter, Steve Kuhn, and Greg Osby. The concert series quickly garnered critical acclaim throughout the New York media.
|“||Saxophonist Bennett (who also curates this new Upper West Side series) makes hay with an airy approach that's buoyant enough to conjure notions of East African guitar riffs and Steve Reich's pastoral repetition. -Village Voice||”|
In 2015, The Daniel Bennett Group was voted "Best New Jazz Group" in the New York City Hot House Jazz Awards. Daniel Bennett recently composed and performed the original musical scores for 'Frankenstein' and 'Brave Smiles' at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Manhattan. Recent off-Broadway theater performances include the North American premier of 'Legacy Falls' and a revival of 'Swingtime Canteen' at Cherry Lane Theatre. Daniel Bennett recently played woodwinds in 'Blank! The Musical,' the first fully improvised Off-Broadway musical to launch on a national stage. The show was produced by Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Improv Boston.
- We Are Not Defeated (2004, Tri-Head Productions)
- A Nation of Bears (2007, Bennett Alliance)
- The Legend of Bear Thompson (2008, Bennett Alliance)
- Peace and Stability Among Bears (2011, Bennett Alliance)
- Clockhead Goes to Camp (2013, Manhattan Daylight Media)
- The Mystery at Clown Castle (2015, Manhattan Daylight Media)
Boston Phoenix (June 2, 2010)
The Boston Globe
AllAboutJazz.com (November 22, 2009)
The Village Voice (May 18, 2011)
Virginian-Pilot News (October 30, 2015)
Library Journal (February 2, 2015)
Philly Mixtape (August 6, 2015)
ECM Reviews (December 15, 2015)
Mercury Entertainment (July 23, 2015)
Bandzoogle (May 20, 2014)