Ben Wendel

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Ben Wendel (born February 20, 1976 in Vancouver, Canada) is a Canadian-American jazz saxophonist, composer, bassoonist, and pianist. He is best known for being a founding member of the Grammy-nominated group Kneebody. He has also performed as a leader or sideman with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Ignacio Berroa, Daedelus, Taylor Eigsti, and Tigran Hamasyan.


Ben was born in Vancouver, Canada, and raised in Santa Monica, California by a musical family.[1] He studied at the Eastman School of Music, where he met other future members of Kneebody. After graduation, he returned to Los Angeles,[2] where he freelanced and performed the first shows with Kneebody. Since then, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York[when?]. As a leader, he has released albums on Sunnyside Records, and has appeared on many others. He composes for film and won an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award as well a New Works grant from Chamber Music America[citation needed]. As a producer, he worked with Kent Nagano to produce concerts for the Festpeil Plus in Munich, Germany, and produces a new performing arts series at The Edye in Santa Monica, California. He was an adjunct professor of jazz at the University of Southern California[when?].[3]


As leader[edit]

  • 2009: Simple Song (Sunnyside)
  • 2012: Frame (Sunnyside)
  • 2016: What We Bring (Motema Music)

As sideman[edit]

Collaboration with Dan Tepfer

  • Small Constructions (2013)

With Kneebody

  • Kneebody (2005)
  • Low Electrical Worker (2007)
  • Kneebody Live: Volume One' (2007)
  • Twelve Songs By Charles Ives (2009) (With Theo Bleckmann)
  • Kneebody Live: Volume Two: Live in Italy (2009)
  • You Can Have Your Moment (2010)
  • Kneebody Live: Volume Three: Live in Paris (2011)
  • The Line (2013)

With Todd Sickafoose

  • Blood Orange
  • Tiny Resistors

With Tigran Hamasyan

  • World Passion
  • Arrata Rebirth
  • Shadow Theater

With Taylor Eigsti

  • Lucky To Be Me
  • Let It Come To You

With Otmaro Ruiz

  • Sojourn

With Tony Scott

  • A Jazz Life

With Daedelus

  • Meanwhile...
  • Live Airplane Food
  • Invention
  • Tigerbeats 6 Inc.
  • Adventure Time
  • Spacesettings

With Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra

  • Unfinished Symphony
  • Dakah Live @ Grand Performances
  • Scion Sampler
  • Dakah Live @ The North Beach Jazz Festival

With Adam Rudolph

  • Go: Organic Orchestra: 1
  • Web Of Light

With Good Charlotte

  • Good Morning Revival

With Marco Antonio Solis

  • Trozos de Mi Alma

With Michael Whittaker

  • Modern World

With Atlantiquity

  • Kleeer

With Jason Mraz

With Austin Peralta

  • Endless Planets


  1. ^ Orenstein, Doron. "Ben Wendel -- Saxman, Composer, Freak of Nature". 
  2. ^ Murph, John (August 2009), "Ben Wendel: Intertwined Coasts", Downbeat, p. 24 
  3. ^ "USC Catalogue: The Schools: USC Thornton School of Music". Retrieved 2012-03-04. 

External links[edit]