Ben Wendel

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Ben Wendel
Ben Wendel performing in 2022 Photo: Tore Sætre
Ben Wendel performing in 2022
Photo: Tore Sætre
Background information
Born (1976-02-20) February 20, 1976 (age 47)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Instrument(s)Saxophone, bassoon
LabelsMotema, Brainfeeder, Concord, Sunnyside

Ben Wendel is a grammy nominated jazz saxophonist, bassoonist, and pianist who is a founding member of the band Kneebody.[1] He has worked with Snoop Dogg, Ignacio Berroa, Daedelus, Taylor Eigsti, Gerald Clayton, and Tigran Hamasyan. [1]


Wendel was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and raised in Los Angeles. [2] 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. [3] As a composer, he has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award,[4] the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America New Works Grant, [5] and the Victor Lynch-Staunton award by the Canada Council for the Arts. [6] 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. [7] 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. Wendel has taught jazz at USC and the New School in New York City. [8]


As leader [9][edit]

With Kneebody [10]

  • Kneebody (Koch, 2005)
  • Low Electrical Worker (Jazz Engine, 2007)
  • You Can Have Your Moment (Winter & Winter, 2010)
  • The Line (Concord, 2013) – recorded in 2012
  • 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 Adam Rudolph

  • Go: Organic Orchestra 1 (Meta, 2002)
  • Web of Light (Meta, 2002)

With Todd Sickafoose

  • Blood Orange (Secret Hatch, 2006)
  • Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone, 2008)

With Linda Oh

  • Sun Pictures (Greenleaf Music, 2013)
  • Walk Against Wind (Biophilia, 2017)

With others


  1. ^ "Kneebody Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  2. ^ "Ben Wendel's Big Love of Community". 2023-08-29. Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  3. ^ Jazz, All About. "Ben Wendel Musician - All About Jazz". All About Jazz Musicians. Retrieved 2023-09-08.
  4. ^ Ruzinskaite, Gintare. "Ben Wendel (USA)". Good Music Company. Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  5. ^ "Ben Wendel Group". Chamber Music America. Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  6. ^ "Ben Wendel, saxophone | University of Chicago Presents". Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  7. ^ "ASCAP jazz composer award ben wendel - Google Search". Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  8. ^ "Ben Wendel Quartet". Festival Internacional de Jazz (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-09-08.
  9. ^ "Ben Wendel". Ben Wendel. Retrieved 2023-09-08.
  10. ^ "KNEEBODY". KNEEBODY. Retrieved 2023-09-08.

External links[edit]