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Benny Powell <  African Rhythms  >    

Benny Powell - photo credit:  J. Harlaar
Photo credit: J. Harlaar

Trombonist (tenor and bass)
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana,  March 1, 1930
Died  June   26,  2010


Benny Powell one of the most versatile trombonists
and jazz lecturers on the music scene. 
A world-class musician who draws upon his vast experience,
deep roots in the jazz tradition,
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 original compositions. 
For 22 years, he played with pianist Randy Weston's African Rhythms. 
He worked also 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, many, others.........
Benny Powell  "The Gift of Love"As well as on his own recordings:

-The Nextep, 2008  (Origin records)
-The Gift of Love, 2003  (Faith records)
-Why Don't You Say "Yes" Sometime?, 1991 (Inspire Prod.)

-Coast to Coast, 1982   (Trident records)





       Benny Powell Jazz Master on YouTube  >>
       Benny Powell by Peter Vacher guardian.co.uk  >>


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