Photo credit: © J. Harlaar
(tenor and bass)
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 1, 1930
Died June 26, 2010
Benny Powell one of the most versatile trombonists
jazz lecturers on the music scene.
musician who draws upon his vast experience,
deep roots in the jazz
and a driving capacity to expand his concept of modern music.
Jazz critic Nat Hentoff has written:
"Benny Powell's playing has always
had a flowing coherence"
Benny Powell was a favorite with both nightclub audiences and jazz critics.
Sometimes performing alongside pianist Jane Jarvis and bassist Earl May,
Powell and his long-time colleagues have delighted listeners worldwide
with their straight-forward presentation of familiar standards and
For 22 years, he played
with pianist Randy Weston's African Rhythms.
as a solo act and appeared at jazz festivals in Japan, Italy,
France and Los Angeles.
Dedicated to keeping the jazz tradition alive, Powell devoted a large
portion of his time to a broad range of educational endeavors.
He has presented oral / musical history of African American music, has taught at Barry Harris' jazz Cultural Theatre,
Jazz-mobile, and Long Island University; and was a professor at
The New School as well a private teacher and conducts clinics and residencies at high
schools and colleges.
Powell was also a committed activist on behalf of
jazz related causes.
In 1978, he founded the non-profit Los Angeles
Committee on jazz, and has served on panels for die National Endowment for
the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Local 802 of the
American Federation of Musicians.
Born in New Orleans, Powell was a member of Lionel Hampton's big band and
gained national attention during his twelve years with Count Basie.
Since leaving Basie in 1963, Powell has enjoyed a diverse career.
He has worked in orchestras for numerous Broadway shows and was one of the
first jazz musicians to perform regularly on television as a member of The Merv Griffin Show band.
Powell still can be heard on countless
recordings with the likes of Count Basic, the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis jazz
Orchestral, Benny Carter, the Heath Brothers, and Randy Weston, among many,
well as on his own recordings:
-The Nextep, 2008
-The Gift of Love, 2003
-Why Don't You Say
"Yes" Sometime?, 1991
-Coast to Coast, 1982
Benny Powell Jazz Master on YouTube >>
Benny Powell by Peter Vacher guardian.co.uk >>
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