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Origin New York City, New York
Los Angeles, California
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, jazz-funk
Years active 2001–present
Labels Colortone, Greenleaf, Winter & Winter, Low Electrical
Members Adam Benjamin
Ben Wendel
Kaveh Rastegar
Nate Wood
Shane Endsley

Kneebody is an American band formed in 2001, consisting of Adam Benjamin on keyboards, Shane Endsley on trumpet, Ben Wendel on tenor sax, Kaveh Rastegar on bass, and Nate Wood on drums.


Ben Wendel, Shane Endsley, Adam Benjamin, and Kaveh Rastegar met in the late 1990s as students at the Eastman School of Music. Benjamin later transferred to CalArts, where he met Nate Wood. After graduating Eastman, Wendel and Rastegar moved to Los Angeles, and the band got its start at the Temple Bar and The Vic in Santa Monica, California, where they played a weekly residency.[1] The name of the band was a nonsense word invented by Wendel's girlfriend, so that the band had no clear leader and no clear musical connotations.[2]

In 2005, the band's self-titled debut album was released on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label. In 2007, they released their next album, Low Electrical Worker, to further critical acclaim (Joshua Redman declared it one of his favorite albums of 2007).[3] Since then, Kneebody has worked on a variety of projects with other musicians and organizations, as a band and as individual members. These collaborations include work with musicians in multiple genres such as Wayne Krantz, Daedelus, and Busdriver. For their 2009 album with Theo Bleckmann, in which they arranged and interpreted songs by 20th-century American composer Charles Ives, they were nominated for a Grammy. Other projects include teaching at the Banff Centre and a residency with Search & Restore and the Manhattan New Music Project,[4] as well as clinics at high schools and colleges across the country. Members of the band currently reside in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, where they each also maintain active solo careers.

Style and influences[edit]

According to Nate Chinen, writing in The New York Times, Kneebody is "a resolutely un-pindownable band"[5] acclaimed for their eclectic style, which "uses a common jazz instrumentation to make a somewhat less common amalgam of urban-signifying genres, from electro-pop to punk-rock to hip-hop."[5]



Studio albums[edit]

  • Wendel (2002)
  • Kneebody (2005)
  • Low Electrical Worker (2007)
  • Twelve Songs by Charles Ives (2009) (with Theo Bleckmann)
  • You Can Have Your Moment (2010)
  • The Line (2013)
  • Kneedelus (2015) (with Daedelus)
  • Anti-Hero (2017)

Live albums[edit]

  • Kneebody Live: Volume One (2007)
  • Kneebody Live: Volume Two: Live in Italy (2009)
  • Kneebody Live: Volume Three: Live in Paris (2011)


  1. ^ Arabian, Aaron Nicholas (December 16, 2007). "Kneebody Brings Fresh Sound to San Francisco Jazz Fest 2007". All About Jazz. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Aaron Cohen - Downbeat "Kneebody Creating a New Language"
  3. ^ "Kneebody : Press Kit" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  4. ^ "Kneebody | Manhattan New Music Project". Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  5. ^ a b Chinen, Nate (February 18, 2010). "Tinges of Electro-Pop and Some Ives, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]