01.07.17"One of a Kind" debut album recording session a success! Show dates added...
Happy New Year everyone! I'm extremely excited to share that we had a great time in the studio last week, and I can't wait to share this awesome music with all of you.
For my friends in NYC, my band has a couple shows in town this week where you'll get a preview of the music we've been working on!
We'll be at SMOKE Jazz Club on Jan. 12, and the Django on the 14th - come see for yourself what's got me so stoked for 2017.
More info on upcoming shows can be found at the Itinerary page, and I hope you'll leave your info in the Guestbook and sign up for our mailing list/newsletter.
The link below leads to my Facebook Artist Page - give it a "Like" if you want to stay current on what's new with all things #bb3.
Hope to bring the band to a venue near you in 2017! Stay tuned...
10.09.16Autumn in New York - Fall 2016
It's no secret my favorite time of year is "Pumpkin Spice Latte" season - I've been busy with my band, preparing for my first album recording in January 2017, and we've been working up a storm! We've got some club dates in and around NYC to fill out the year, and once we get in the studio, I plan to hit the road - let me know a place near you that would love to have us!
You'll notice a slew of slick new photographs, courtesy of the lovely & talented Tayla Nebesky Photography. We recently had a photoshoot at dusk all around my neighborhood of Morningside Heights, in Harlem, NYC. I'm thrilled with how they turned out, and hope you enjoy them as well.
Stay in touch with our mailing list! If you're interested, just leave your name and e-mail on our Guestbook page, and I'll make sure you stay in the loop for all things #BB3 related :)
Enjoy the foliage and mild weather - catch you soon!
05.02.16New Gigs & New www.bennybenackjazz.com Digs!
Happy Springtime to all of you! As the calendar rolls into May, there's a lot of exciting developments happening for me in 2016. If you're just browsing and haven't been added to my Newsletter/mailing list, you can find my newest update at the link below: http://eepurl.com/bZ7WmH.
I've given the site a fresh look with some recent photoshoot material, as well as updated "Gigs" itinerary, new clips to listen to and watch, and I also just released a new music video: .
Hope you enjoy looking around, and if you'd like to stay in touch, leave a note in the "Guestbook" with your e-mail and I'll add you to my list!
See you at a show sometime soon...
12.23.14Happy Holidays from Benny Benack III
Home in Pittsburgh for a few days to relax and catch up with my family, I also had a moment to catch up with all of you! 2014 was a great year, and 2015 promises to be a memorable one as well...Check out the Itinerary with upcoming performances, as well as my mailing list for updates.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
Benny Benack III
08.27.14Newsletter from Mailchimp!
Follow the link for the latest newsletter! Or send me an e-mail at email@example.com to be added to my mailing list so you get the next update sent straight to you!
01.07.14Happy New Year! - New Year Newsletter
Above is the link to the latest newsletter sent off! Highlights include the upcoming week at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola w/my band, as well as info on some albums I'm featured on, and a tour coming up! Click above, and subscribe to keep up-to-date - happy 2014!
I'm feeling especially festive everyone, having come off of consecutive days of "Holiday Gigs" where you play nothing but seasonal specialties such as "Winter Wonderland" or "Frosty the Snowman". I hope you're all equally stoked for the holiday season as I am! There's lots to be thankful for in my case - check out some of the links below! In addition to that news, I also have some great shows coming up finishing 2013 and starting off 2014, so stay tuned to the "Gigs" page on my website to see performances such as:
Benny Benack Band: *Dec. 11 - Jazz Room at The General - New York, NY
*Dec. 17 - Backstage Bar @ Theatre Square - Pittsburgh, PA
*Feb. 22 - Last Chance Cheese & Winery - Tannersville, NY
*Feb. 25 - The Bar Next Door (Night Series) - New York, NY
Chris Massey's NJP: *Dec. 23 - Nighttown Jazz Club - Cleveland, OH
*Jan. 15 - Smoke Jazz Club, 3 sets - New York, NY
Steven Feifke Septet: *Jan. 23 - Regatta Bar - Boston, MA
That about sums things up for now - I hope everyone enjoys the wintery season, stays warm & dry, and comes out to support live jazz music (third part mandatory). As always, remember to check http://www.bennybenackjazz.com for the latest updates on gigs, clips, and much more. If you'd like to subscribe your friends to the mailing list as a holiday present, send me a message with their e-mail! Nothing like the gift of BB3 for the holidays...
10.17.13Fall Update - Vocalist Competition!
Hey everyone, hope things are well for you all as we reach the peak of Autumn in New York (yes I just quoted a tune cornily). Things are in full swing for me, performing actively around NYC, starting to lecture for Jazz @ Lincoln Center as a bandleader for their Jazz For Young People assembly series in schools around NY. This kind of advocacy is huge, and it's an honor to be exposing kids to jazz for in many cases, the first time!
I'm mostly dropping in this update as there's ONE WEEK left to the online voting period for the "Gentlemen Sing Vocal Jazz Competition", which I'm currently in the top 3 for. I've received many comments from friends on my audition video so far, and in case you haven't got the chance to see it and vote yet, here's the link:
It's simple - to help, just "Like" the video (thumbs up icon) on Youtube and you're golden! The top 3 vote-getters will have a Sing-Off in December to decide the ultimate winner who receives prizes including a headline concert at the Manchester Craftmen's Guild concert series in Pittsburgh; one of national-acclaim.
Feel free to check the Gigs page for the latest places I'm playing at next, would love to see you there!
08.20.13Major Updates to Website
Hey everyone - Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it, but life has been busier than ever since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in May. I've moved into a new apartment in the Upper West Side w/my partner-in-crime, bassist and good friend Raviv Markovitz. I've been making the rounds going out to all the clubs nearly every night, trying to take advantage of all that NYC's rich jazz culture has to offer! I've re-vamped my mailing list using Mailchimp to make spiffier newsletters, and added updated pictures, audio clips (and links to buy the CD's they're featured on), as well as uploading my EPK videos to Youtube and the site. I'll be sending out another newsletter soon and updating with more news, thanks for stopping by and see you soon!
10.10.12News for September 2012
Welcome to the latest edition of my monthly news updates! I apologize for the delay to those of you who've come to expect, strike that, those who're absolutely YEARNING for my updates each month (ha, right). As school kicks into gear I find myself balancing more work than ever and while it's a hectic time, it's also an exciting one!
September began with me back in NYC, but was marked by frequent weekend trips for gigs. One weekend I'd be back in Pittsburgh playing a gala at Consol Energy Center (home arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins for you non-hockey fans), then the next weekend I'd be in Monterey, California (more on that later!). It's certainly helped me develop my "road chops" - Being able to perform on a high level regardless of how much sleep you've had or whether you were in a different city just a few hours earlier.
In the middle of the month, I had the chance to be a part of a new trend in reaching fans: The online concert! Through the website www.stageit.com, along with my friends from the AMAZING band "4Core" (google them if you're not familiar!), we performed a live streaming show from MSM and broadcast it to family and friends all over. Stay tuned as this first attempt was a success and we may be staging another one soon!
As I previously mentioned, I had the opportunity to play at this year's Monterey Jazz Festival with the band COL (aka "Elevations") due to our winning the Open Combo Division at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival back in the Spring. I had last been to the MJF as a member of the Next Generation Big Band back in 2009, so it was wonderful to be back! The weekend was filled with inspiring performances by a number of my musical heroes, and as for the COL crew and myself, we played for a packed house and had an amazing show!
Also this month, I had the pleasure of a record date with Chris Massey and the Nue Jazz Project. For this album, the NJP plays a mix of Chris' really cool music, as well as some carefully chosen standards given a fresh reading. Be on the lookout for "Whosoever" as the post-production business gets finished and the record is released. As Chris would say, "Behold the Power Cosmic!"
The rest of the month was filled with some other great musical experiences. I was back at the Bar Next Door w/my trio (the BB3), and we're playing again in October/November/December so NYC friends can check that one out. Performances in Mike Dease's Big Band, and Aaron Johnson's Factotum Jazz Orchestra prove big band music is alive and well in 2012!
Before I officially close the books on September, I want to look ahead to November for one very special reason - Friday, November 2nd, I'm having the debut of my band at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. This gig is the culmination of years of composing, and selecting some of my greatest friends (and most exhilarating musicians) to bring it to life! Just like with any of my shows, you can expect to hear a little bit of everything; Some of my original music, some swinging standards, and a vocal tune sprinkled in here and there.
Here's more information on the gig on facebook:
And most importantly, if you'd like to reserve your seat online (which I recommend; space is limited!) you can do it here at this link:
I don't foresee the mailing updates getting any shorter as things go on, so thanks for sticking it out to the end. As always, keep swingin' and don't be a stranger here at www.bennybenackjazz.com!
09.10.12News for August 2012
Greetings from NYC friends and family! I'm officially back in NY for my senior year at the Manhattan School of Music. August brought an exciting summer to a close, and I'm now looking ahead to a busy September and a brand new school year!
The month started with the official CD Release Tour for a band I'm in called COLONY. We had a great show at the Cornelia St. Cafe in NYC and the record has been a success! If you're interested in a copy, write me back with your address and I'll send one your way (10$/copy). Here's a clip of my tune "Rima" from our gig:
I had a couple more gigs at the Bar Next Door w/the BB3 trio - here's a clip of me singing the standard "Close Your Eyes" from our most recent gig w/my buddies Raviv Markovitz on bass and Jimmy Macbride on drums:
I enjoyed my last few gigs in Pittsburgh for the summer, performing for "Irwin Jazz Nites" duo w/my good friend drummer George Heid III. This was a particularly fun gig for me as I got the rare chance to play keyboard and sing! Someone caught some of the tomfoolery on tape, check it out:
After one more round of gigs at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, NOLA, the Heinz Hall Courtyard (duo w/pianist Jeff Lashway) and the closing set at the Wheeling Wine & Jazz Fest w/my dad, it was back to NYC!
I've hit the ground running since the moment I stepped foot back in NY, and after being here for a couple weeks I'm ready to get back to the grind! For those interested - MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 I'm streaming a gig online for the first time ever through a website called www.stageit.com. They let you host shows and have people all over the world watch, for only a suggested donation! The shows are at 9:30 & 10:30pm, here are the links, would love to see you there (on the other side of the computer screen!).
I hope everyone's summer is closing down nicely and is ready for the fall foliage! Take care, stay tuned, and until next time -
Benny Benack III
08.07.12News for July 2012
Hello friends, happy August! I'm finally able to sit down and write a summary of July...It's been a hectic start to the new month and I'm glad to be able to get everyone up to speed while I have a moment.
July began with my return from Amsterdam and immediately I was back in NYC for some gigs. I had the pleasure of playing w/the Mike Dease Big Band again at the Garage, also played a fun dixieland gig in Williamsburg at "Maison Premiere" for the 4th of July, followed by the first "Emerging Artists" trio gig at the Bar Next Door I've done featuring organist Emmet Cohen. A great few days and all very different musical settings, something I truly covet!
I spent the rest of the month home in Pittsburgh working a good bit, highlights including the Monroeville Jazz Festival, Irwin Jazz Nites, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, NOLA, and CJ's w/Roger Humphries & RH Factor.
At the end of July, I made the yearly pilgrimage to Pawley's Island, SC w/my father's side of the family for a week of the beach and golf! While the golf scores were a bit higher than I liked, the R&R was much appreciated.
After vacation, I flew straight to PA to join my COLONY bandmates for our CD Release Tour! For those of you that ordered copies last summer, your patience will be rewarded as the album will be mailed out this week! It's been a long process for COLONY to get our debut record completed, but we're thrilled to have it in our hands now and get it out to the fans! Those interested in a copy feel free to write back with a mailing address and we'll send one your way, autographed (10$/copy).
COLONY just played the Deerhead Inn and Musikfest, and our NYC CD Release Party is TONIGHT at Cornelia St. Cafe! This closes the tour and for those of you that can't attend, we've filmed the entire tour and gig clips will be posted online soon!
Kudos to my good friend, saxophonist Adam Larson - Adam wrote a feature article on me in the "Fresh Takes" section of the August issue of Hot House Jazz Magazine! The article outlines some of my musical background and compositional ideas, as well as publicizes the upcoming gigs at the Bar Next Door and COLONY's Cornelia St. gig tonight. Check out Adam at www.adamlarsonjazz.com and hear his KILLING band at Small's next week (August 15) for the "Round Midnight" series.
Here's a link to the whole issue w/the article below:
Looking ahead this month, I've got another Bar Next Door trio gig this week on August 9th 6:30-7:45pm featuring Mark Whitfield Jr. on drums and Linda Oh on bass. After that it's back to Pittsburgh for a short couple of weeks before moving back to NYC for the schoolyear and beyond!
Keep swingin everyone, catch up again soon!
Benny Benack III
05.13.12News for May 2012 - Summertime!
Hey everyone, here's wishing you a pleasant start to the summer - I just finished up my junior year at the Manhattan School of Music this weekend so my summer's officially begun! I'm a week or two behind on my "May News" update because things were crazy hectic as the school year came to a close, and now that I'm back in Pittsburgh I finally have some time to catch up.
April was highlighted by my continued residence at the Bar Next Door in NYC as part of their new "Emerging Artists Series". I was fortunate to have a weekly gig there for the entire month with the "BB3" (my trio), and I relished the chance to play some of my own music, as well as my favorite tunes! Here are some links to clips from various weeks of the gigs, musicians may vary:
My original tune "London Towne" -
The Duke Pearson ballad "You Know I Care" -
Singing a favorite ballad of mine "My Ideal" -
I also performed w/COLONY at the new 92Y Tribeca Theatre as part of a spectacular "Triple Bill" concert w/the Adam Kromelow Trio & the Steven Fiefke Septet - This was a special night to have that many friends together on one gig!
On Monday, April 16th, I performed with Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the celebration for Arts Advocacy Day! This opportunity came courtesy of YoungArts, a wonderful program promoting talented youth all over the country, and one that I participated in as a high schooler. This was an unforgettable experience, and thankfully it was captured on film:
On top of all this, I played on a number of excellent Senior and Graduate Recitals at MSM. It's always a privilege to be asked to play with a friend on their culminating performance. I also (quite nervously) performed some Prokofiev at the Honors Piano Recital from my piano elective course at MSM. I also sat in on a tune with Garry Dial & Dick Oatts during their concert at MSM w/the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, what a thrill that was! April also included a year-end performance with Bobby Sanabria and the MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola!
Heading into May, I played some "hot jazz" (dixieland) for Maison Premiere's Kentucky Derby celebration, I love getting the chance to stretch out the trad jazz chops! Continuing in that style, I just completed a 3-show run of "Ragtime" playing lead trumpet in the pit orchestra for the MSM Opera Department's production. A totally different mentality playing in the pit, but I loved the experience and look forward to working on some more shows soon!
Looking ahead, I'll be shuttling back and forth from Pittsburgh to NYC this month as gigs dictate, check the "Gigs" section of the site for the latest on where I'll be playing next!
For those interested, take note on the front page of the website for "Facebook Artist Page" and "Twitter" buttons...Feel free to "Like" my artist page on facebook, and follow me on Twitter (@BbjazzIII).
Talk to you soon everyone, thanks!
Benny Benack III
04.06.12News for April 2012
Hello everyone, hope your spring is coming along as nicely as mine! As the weather warms up, things have seemed to get busier and busier! I'm pretty much pedal to the metal for the next month and a half getting to the end of the school year in May - Hectic, but exciting!
The end of March featured some fun things, including gigs w/guitarist Alex Sugerman and a recital performance w/MSM Pre-college graduate and drummer, Ryan Sands. Before departing for Monterey, CA (I'll tell you about that in a moment) I had another exciting MSM Afo-Cuban Jazz Orchestra concert at school on March 27th. It's always a thrill to perform for such a raucous crowd, and when maestro Bobby Sanabria has me scat in front of the band, I hardly know what to do with myself - great fun however!
As for Monterey, I spent the last week of March competing in the NextGen Festival w/some mates from Pittsburgh as part of the C.O.L. Jazz Band. We were fortunate to have won our the Open Combo Division in the competition, and along with the prize money, we were awarded a performance slot as an artist in the actual festival in September! This quintet will be performing in the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival this summer, and will also be putting out a CD - stay tuned for that!
Here's a clip of our award-winning performance. The tune is "Battle Cry" written by our pianist, Brett Williams:
Upon returning from Monterey (and before getting the chance to get back to east coast time, ha), I had the pleasure of playing w/the Mike Dease Sextet at the Garage back in NY. Mike is undoubtedly one of the titans of the trombone on the scene today, and it was an honor to play some of his music!
The next day, my trio had our first of four weekly gigs at The Bar Next Door as part of their new "Emerging Artists Series". We play each Wednesday this month from 6:30-7:45pm - NY friends would love to see you there!
Here's a clip of me singing and playing on the tune "I'll Never Be the Same" with the BB3:
Apart from that, I'm playing on a number of recitals this month for friends, as well as some other fun gigs - Check out the "Gigs" page if you're interested in checking out any of those!
Stay tuned, keep swinging, and talk soon!
Benny Benack III
03.15.12- Bonus News -
Greetings everyone! I know you might be asking yourself, "Why am I receiving an e-mail from Benny Benack III, it's neither the end nor beginning of a month...?"
Well, it turns out I've been very busy while home in Pittsburgh on spring break these past couple weeks, and I have a number of special announcements I thought were worth bringing to your attention now instead of waiting until the next monthly update.
First of all, when you visit the front page of www.bennybenackjazz.com, you'll notice a couple differences. Just above the [Enter] button, there are now a couple of additions.
Firstly, the large box mentioning "Benny Benack III on Facebook" is a link inviting you to "Like" (and subsequently follow) my new facebook artist page. For those of you on facebook, this page is a great way to stay up to date with upcoming gigs, as well as check out links, articles, pictures, etc. that I find interesting. This page helps to differentiate between my personal profile, and my artist page - Separation between business and pleasure, if you will.
Secondly, just beneath that box is a smaller button encouraging you to "Follow BbjazzIII". This link is for those of you on "Twitter", which I just joined this past week. Twitter is great for quick thoughts and additions that pop up last minute, as well as any other observations I may have.
There are also links to these sites on my "Links" section, as well as a new link taking you to my "Youtube Channel". Subscribe to this and you'll find all of the videos of myself performing that I post on Youtube.
The second large order of business, is a number of upcoming performances. This weekend, I'll be traveling to George Mason University, in D.C. to compete in the 2012 National Trumpet Competition (Jazz Division). The finals are being streamed live on the web starting at 7:30pm this Saturday, March 17th. If you'd like to watch me perform, follow this link:
Finally, quickly approaching in the month of April, is a series of gigs in NYC I'm very excited about. The Bar Next Door, one of NYC's premiere venues, has started a brand new "Emerging Artists" series - Giving young, deserving artists the opportunity to play in one of the city's most intimate, worthwhile clubs. I've been given a weekly residency there for April playing every Wednesday from 6:30-7:45pm. There's no cover (a rarity in NYC these days!), and only a 1 drink minimum - However, the foods fantastic so why not enjoy some fine Italian cuisine as well? I'll be performing standards, original material, AND singing w/my trio each week. The rhythm section changes each week, but the musicians involved are Raviv Markovitz, Mark Whitfield Jr., Jimmy MacBride, and Linda Oh. I have special guests planned for each week to sit-in and join us, it should be a lot of fun! For those of you in NYC, keep April 4, 11, 18, and 25 marked in your calendars!
Here's a link to the facebook event page about "The BB3 @ BND":
Thanks for putting up with some bonus news, as always stick to the website for the latest gig info and updates. Hope to see you all soon - thanks!
Benny Benack III
03.05.12News for February 2012
Hello everyone! 2012 has been as busy a year for me as ever, and February picked up where January left off.
Earlier in the month, I made my first gig with the Michael Dease Big Band at the Garage in NYC. Mike is a virtuoso trombone player, and has rapidly ascended to the top of the jazz community not only in NYC, but around the world. I was unable to make a couple earlier gigs with the band, so was very glad to be a part of things this time.
I also had the opportunity to perform in a concert at the longest running jazz series in NYC, "Highlights in Jazz". Presented by producer Jack Kleinsinger, the show featured luminaries such as Houston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mickey Roker, and Nicki Parrott among others. I was included in the "New Generation All-Stars" group, along with some other up-and-comers like Steve Frieder, Alex Raderman, and Joe Alterman. To hear my vocal feature "There Is No Greater Love" from this concert, head to the "Audio Clips" section at www.bennybenackjazz.com - It's the first clip at the top of the page.
I had the opportunity last month to play at the renowned club "Joe's Pub" for the first time since moving to NYC a few years ago - It's currently being renovated but even in that state is a wonderful room. I was performing in the horn section backing up singer Mark Anthony Lee at the 4th annual "Three of Hearts" benefit concert for The Family Center foundation.
Celebrating Mardis Gras on Fat Tuesday, I played a dixieland-themed party in Stuyvesant Town in NYC with the fantastic Mike Webster. I grew up around some of that music performing with my dad carrying on my grandfather's legacy, so it was great to be able to stretch out the trad-jazz chops!
I ended the month with a couple club dates. I played a fun gig at Tutuma Social Club with the Alex Sugerman Group. Alex's bands are great because not only is it always stellar musicians, but a lot of us are good friends and that always makes the music even more fun! The last weekend of February I got to play in the J@LC atrium w/the Javier Nero Septet. Javier writes some beautifully tight charts, and plays great trombone so that was a fun way to close out the month!
With March already here, I start the month back in Pittsburgh for 2 weeks while the Manhattan School of Music is on spring break. Check out the "Gigs" section on my website - I'm playing quite a bit while I'm home! At the end of spring break, I'll be at George Mason University outside of Washington, D.C. competing as a finalist in the Jazz Division of the National Trumpet Competition. Wish me luck!
As always, thanks for keeping in touch through the newsletter - Check back on the site from time to time as I'm always making additions to the audio/video clips, as well as an up-to-date gig itinerary!
Benny Benack III
01.03.12News for January 2012
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to 2012 as much as I am. I've had a reinvigorating Winter Break from school while back in Pittsburgh and am eagerly anticipating an exciting 2012.
From January 7th-15th I'll be in Miami as the Jazz RA for NFAA/Youngarts Week 2012. This was an incredibly memorable experience for me as a participant just a few years ago, and it's an honor to be brought back as a member of the staff to help make it memorable for this year's finalists. The finalists will be participating in week-long masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals, culminating in an exciting performance opportunity in front of the rest of their incredibly talented peers. For more information on this incredible program, visit their website: (http://www.nfaa.org/)
As I return from Miami back to NYC for the second semester of school at the Manhattan School of Music, I have a number of musical endeavors.
January 20th - Playing at the Vagabond Cafe 8-9pm with the Alex Sugerman Quintet
January 21st - Guest performer/clinician at the prestigious Lagond Music School in Westchester, NY.
On January 26th, I will be back in Pittsburgh for a very special one-night-only concert. I'm very excited to be performing duo with guitar legend Joe Negri as a part of "Sean Jones Presents...Duets: Generations of Jazz". This concert is at 7pm at the August Wilson Center and tickets are available for 25$. This will be a very significant night for me as Joe and I will be bridging the generation gap as only jazz can, whether it's trumpet, piano, or some singing as well!
For more information, check out the event page: (https://www.facebook.com/events/156786124429044/)
For online tickets, follow this link: (http://trustarts.culturaldistrict.org/production/30014/sean-jones-presents%252E%252E%252Eduets:-generations-of-jazz)
As always, check the Gigs page on the site for information on everything I'm doing, I'll be summarizing the rest of January's events in next month's mailing. Thanks for your support and interest, hope to see all of you in 2012!
Benny Benack III
12.15.11News for November/December 2011
Greetings friends and family, hope the holiday season is treating you well! As the new year approaches, I decided to give you a summary of the conclusion to my 2011.
November was an incredible month, as I celebrated my 21st birthday (Nov. 23) and continued to be very busy musically! Below is a summary of my endeavors for the month:
-Shrine Bar w/Chris Massey's "Nue Jazz Project"
-Village Bistro w/Will Rachovsky Quartet
-Shrine Bar w/Alex Sugerman Group
-Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola w/MSM Jazz Orchestra "Celebrating West Side Story 50th Anniversary"
-Blue Note w/Chelsea Baratz
-Lagond Music School - Part of a panel on a lecture about "Applying to Music Schools in 2012"
-Small's w/Chris Massey's "Nue Jazz Project"
-MSM Composer's Concert performing a piece by Miho Hazama
-Somethin' Jazz Club w/Alex Sugerman Group
December marked the end of the semester at MSM, so I was busy studying for Finals and preparing to be back home for a well-deserved winter break.
While I'm home in Pittsburgh, I'll be performing at the Backstage Bar on Dec. 20th from 5-8pm with George Heid III, and then from 8-11pm with my quintet. I'll also be performing at D'Imperio's Restaurant on January 3rd solo piano w/vocals 7-10pm, and again on January 6th w/Tony DePaolis and Tom Wendt 8pm-12. Hope to see my Pittsburgh friends there!
Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year everyone, stay tuned in 2012 as it's already shaping up to be an exciting year!
Benny Benack III
11.02.11News for October 2011
Hello everyone, thanks again for following things here at www.bennybenackjazz.com! October was another crazy month filled with school, gigs, and lots of music! I started the month back in Pittsburgh performing at my alma mater, Upper St. Clair High School, along w/fellow alumnus Chelsea Baratz. Chelsea and I were brought back to help celebrate the first annual gala event for the USC Hall of Fame.
After getting settled back in NYC, I began my first real teaching gig as part of the Manhattan School's Outreach Program where students are interviewed and selected for teaching group lessons at various public schools in the city. It's been a learning experience for myself, as well as the kids, but overall it's extremely rewarding and I look forward to hearing my classes perform at their year-end concert in the spring!
I had a number of exciting performances this month, playing with a wide variety of musicians and styles. I was fortunate enough to open for the Winard Harper Sextet at a concert series in Mt. Vernon, NYC playing w/the Greg Chen Quartet. It was a real treat to stick around after our set and hear Winard's band tear it up, it felt like I was listening to Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers!
Some other notable gigs I played this month:
*Luke Celenza Quintet - 55 Bar
*Dave Zaks Quintet - Smoke Jazz Club
*Bobby Sanabria & the MSM Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
*MSM Combo - Cafe Jazz Concert @ Manhattan School of Music
*NYJA Manhattan Big Band - "Big Band & Salsa" Concert in Jackson Heights, Queens
The month of November should be equally exciting as I'll be turning 21 right around Thanksgiving! I already have a number of fun things coming up in November so check the "Gigs" page on the website for info, I'd love to see you there! As always, keep checking www.bennybenackjazz.com to stay up-to-date with things!
~Benny Benack III
09.30.11News for September 2011
Hey everyone, thanks again for checking in on www.bennybenackjazz.com and staying up to date with things! September was an incredibly busy month as I returned to NYC for my junior year at the Manhattan School of Music. Upon arriving in town, I was immediately back to work.
Apart from school, I performed a number of wonderful gigs! I was at Somethin' Jazz Club w/the Alex Sugerman Group, the Moldy Fig w/the Lucas Pino Quintet, Drom w/the Danny Rivera Orchestra, and COLONY performed at St. Peters Church for their Jazz Vespars service.
I then had to switch gears and head to Springfield, Missouri for the 2011 Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. I met some incredible trumpet players who became good friends, and was inspired by the judges Randy Brecker, Dick Oatts, and Conrad Herwig. I'm truly humbled to announce I won the competition, and along with the 10,000$ first prize, I will be a performing artist at the 2012 ITG Conference! The Caruso Competition was an incredible experience, and I'm fortunate to have been a part of it.
After the Caruso Competition, I continued to perform, jumping back and forth from Pittsburgh to New York City for a number of engagements. I played and sang w/my dad's big band at the Pittsburgh Jazz Society's "Jazz Day in the Park", and the next day was back in NYC performing the jazz ballet "Rooms" w/the MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble and the Limon Dance Company. I now will close the month back in Pittsburgh performing at my alma mater Upper St. Clair High School at a Gala honoring the school's Hall of Fame.
As always, check back on www.bennybenackjazz.com for the latest gig itinerary, as well as new pics, clips, news, etc. I recently updated the site with new pictures from my CarolBrass Endorsement Photoshoot, which came out great!
Thanks for your support, stay tuned!
Benny Benack III
08.27.11News for August 2011
Hello friends, thanks again for checking out www.bennybenackjazz.com! August was a great month for me and a nice close to the summer as I prepare to go back to NYC for school at the end of the month.
I'm very excited to announce my new flugelhorn endorsement with CarolBrass! (www.carolbrass.com) I play their professional model flugelhorn and am thrilled with the performance of the horn! I will be recording a promotional CD for them and also have a photo shoot planned to show off the new horn.
I spent the first two weeks of August on vacation in Pawley's Island, South Carolina with my family. It was hard to worry about the trumpet while on the beach and the golf course, but the R&R was perfect to recharge my batteries for NYC!
I continued to perform actively in Pittsburgh both as a sideman and leader, performing at Little E's Jazz Club, Jazz @ Andy's at the Fairmont Hotel, the Hurricane Lounge, as well as some private engagements.
A highlight of the month was rejoining my COLONY bandmates for a performance at the Deerhead Inn (www.deerheadinn.com) with jazz legend Dave Liebman. Lieb sounded incredible and we made a recording of the gig so don't be surprised if some of the music (including the debut of a new piece "Suite for Lieb") ends up in your headphones one day!
September is sure to be a busy month as I return to the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. Stay tuned and check the site for the latest info on gigs, news, etc.
Benny Benack III
07.26.11News for July 2011
Hello everyone, thanks again for checking in on www.bennybenackjazz.com! July has been an incredibly busy, productive month and I'm looking forward to the rest of summer before returning to MSM in the fall.
The beginning of the month marked the conclusion of the COLONY CD Release tour culminating in a gig at the famous Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Our debut CD will be ready for release by the end of summer, so if you'd like to purchase a copy (10$) submit your mailing info at the Contacts page!
My quintet was busy this month, performing a concert for the Washington Jazz Society in Washington, PA and also headlining at the Monroeville Jazz Festival this past Saturday. It's always a pleasure to share the stage with friends and great musicians!
I've continued to gig at many of Pittsburgh's premier clubs this month including NOLA, Jazz @ Andy's at the Fairmont Hotel, and played w/Roger Humphries at CJ's. I also performed at Kennywood Amusement Park for Italian Day w/my father's band, which was a real treat!
This month I was excited to be announced a finalist in the 2011 Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition! The Caruso Competition is the premier competition for jazz trumpet, and it's truly an honor to be included with 4 other wonderful players! I will be heading to Springfield, Missouri in late September to compete in front of judges Randy Brecker, Dick Oatts and Conrad Herwig! Wish me luck!
Another piece of news from late July was the release of Wynton Marsalis' list of the "Next Generation of Jazz Greats" that accompanied an article in the August 1 issue of JET Magazine. I'm incredibly humbled and honored to be included on a list that includes many friends and colleagues with bright futures ahead!
As always, I appreciate your support and thanks for following things here at www.bennybenackjazz.com, stay tuned for more updates!
Benny Benack III
06.27.11News for June 2011 & Mailing List Opportunity!
Hello everyone, thanks for visiting my website! I've had a busy month of June since I got www.bennybenackjazz.com up and running at the beginning of the month. I've been gigging quite a bit in Pittsburgh, as well as traveling a good bit for some performances. I just returned from a week in Boise, Idaho for the 3rd Annual "Jazz at the River" festival as a member of "5NY" - A band of friends and schoolmates of mine from MSM in NYC brought together by Keelan Dimick our piano player. It was an incredible hang and we made some great music! I'm looking forward to heading back to NYC on the 28th to finish another leg of the "COLONY" CD Release summer tour, we'll be in NYC for a couple days and then off to Buffalo to play a few hits before I return back to Pittsburgh on the Fourth of July. If you'd like to order a copy of COLONY's debut album, write me on the Contact page with your mailing info and we'll send you a copy when it's finished!
The other order of business is the newly formed "www.bennybenackjazz.com Mailing List". I'm still compiling friends, family and others who want to be included on the list, so I want to have that solidified before I send out the inaugural e-mail. If you'd like to be added to the mailing list just leave your e-mail for me on the Contacts page, I'll be writing monthly updates with the latest on gigs, news, etc.
Thanks for checking things out, come back soon!
Benny Benack III
06.08.11Welcome to www.bennybenackjazz.com!
Hello everyone and welcome! It's been a long time coming for me to finally get my website together but I'm happy with the result and hope you enjoy it! I'll be updating the website with fresh videos, photos & sound clips, an up-to-date itinerary of my gigs, and checking the guestbook/mail frequently so feel free to come by often. You can now reach me at my e-mail here "firstname.lastname@example.org" for any engagements.
It's been a nice summer for me so far since finishing up my sophomore year at the Manhattan School of Music in mid-May. I'll be in & out of my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA until September and am just trying to stay active playing! I recently came back from the ITG conference in Minneapolis, MN having won 1st place in the jazz competition! I also had some friends from a collective of mine come to Pittsburgh last week and play in the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, celebrating the upcoming release of our debut self-titled album "COLONY". I'm excited to be traveling some this summer playing with all sorts of groups made up of my friends, stay tuned on the website for info about where I'll be next!
Thank you everyone, keep swingin'!
~Benny Benack III