Ben Wendel

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Ben Wendel
Ben Wendel with Gilad Hekselman and Joe Martin at Unterfahrt, Munich (2019)
Ben Wendel with Gilad Hekselman and Joe Martin at Unterfahrt, Munich (2019)
Background information
Born (1976-02-20) February 20, 1976 (age 45)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
InstrumentsSaxophone, bassoon
LabelsMotema, Brainfeeder, Concord, Sunnyside
Associated actsKneebody, Tigran Hamasyan, Gerald Clayton

Ben Wendel is a jazz saxophonist, bassoonist, and pianist who is a founding member of the band Kneebody. He has worked with Snoop Dogg, Ignacio Berroa, Daedelus, Taylor Eigsti, Gerald Clayton, and Tigran Hamasyan.


Wendel was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and raised in Los Angeles. Highlights include multiple domestic and international tours with artists such as Ignacio Berroa, Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Eric Harland, Taylor Eigsti, Snoop Dogg, and Prince. Ben is a founding member of group Kneebody. As a composer, he has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America New Works Grant, and the Victor Lynch-Staunton award by the Canada Council for the Arts. He co-wrote the score for John Krasinski's adaptation of David Foster Wallace's "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men". He worked with conductor Kent Nagano in producing concerts for the Festspiel Plus in Munich, Germany. From 2008 to 2015, he produced a multi-genre performance series at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. During that time he was appointed the head of their Jazz and Blues initiative. As part of this appointment, he helped to create an artistic council which included Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert and Luciana Souza. Wendell has taught jazz USC and the New School in New York City.


As leader[edit]

  • Simple Song (Sunnyside, 2009)
  • Frame (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • Small Constructions (Sunnyside, 2013)
  • What We Bring (Motema, 2016)
  • The Seasons (Motema, 2018)
  • High Heart (Edition, 2020)

With Kneebody

  • Kneebody (Koch, 2005)
  • Low Electrical Worker (Jazz Engine, 2007)
  • You Can Have Your Moment (Winter & Winter, 2010)
  • The Line (Concord 2013)
  • Kneedelus (Brainfeeder, 2016)
  • Anti-Hero (Motema, 2017)
  • Chapters (Edition, 2019)

As sideman[edit]

With Daedelus

  • Invention (Plug Research, 2002)
  • Of Snowdonia (Plug Research, 2004)
  • Love to Make Music To (Ninja Tune, 2008)

With Tigran Hamasyan

  • Red Hail (Plus Loin Music, 2009)
  • World Passion (Plus Loin Music, 2009)
  • Shadow Theater (Verve, 2013)
  • Mockroot (Nonesuch, 2015)

With others


  • Matt Collar. "Ben Wendel | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  • "BIOGRAPHY". BEN WENDEL. Retrieved 29 August 2021.

External links[edit]