Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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Warren Benbow From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Warren Benbow is a New York-based drummer who has worked and recorded with Nina Simone, Weldon Irvine, Jr.,Larry Willis with Eddie Gomez on the CD "Inner Crisis", Olu Dara, Jimmy Owens with Chris White and Kenny Barron, Rickie Byars-Beckwith, Phyllis Hyman, Michael Urbaniak, Billy "Spaceman" Patterson, Ted Daniel, Sonny and Linda Sharrock,Teruo Nakamura. Theatre and film artists Bill Duke, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Gilbert Moses, Chapman Roberts, Melvin Van Peebles and was an original member of James Blood Ulmer's band 'Odyssey.' While at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City Mr. Benbow studied drums and percussion with Jazz percussionist Warren Smith and with Morris Goldenberg of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Later at The Mannes College of Music he studied with Walter Rosenberger, also of the Philharmonic, and with Korean percussion teacher Dong Wong Park. While studying at the Jazzmobile with Freddie Waits and Albert Tootie Heath, Benbow was introduced by Waits to jazz vocalist Betty Carter, and his career as a professional drummer began. He has toured with Ulmer and played on Ulmer's albums 'Odyssey', and 'Reunion'. Their latest recording is titled 'Back in Time'. In addition to his jazz work, he has also worked as an actor and musician in Broadway musical productions. He has performed on television, in the studio, and in clubs or concert halls around the world with artists Whitney Houston, Gwen Guthrie, LL Cool J, Nancy Wilson, Mavis Stalpes, Brian McKnight, SWV, Mary J. Blige and others. Warren attended the Rutgers Summer Institute on Jazz Education conducted by Lewis Porter, has studied composition with John Corigliano, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music. As a clinician, Warren is available for: 1. Acoustic Jazz performance with Trio, Quartet, or Quintet. 2. Education/Lecture demos: 3. Private Drum lessons, and Drum clinics. Warren Benbow's three CD's are now available at the iTunes, Rhaposdy and Emusic Internet music stores. You can listen to his CD's by visiting the website link below.
You can also check out Warren on MySpace.
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Feature Interview On The Jazz Network
Reaching into the mind of Warren Benbow....
Jaijai: How did the concept of L.A. Odyssey come into fruition?
Warren: L.A. Odyssey is the brainchild of my son Kenn Michael. Kenn, my daughter Kia and I were at Kenn's studio in L.A as his compositions took shape. As the tracks were recorded we would get in the car and go for a drive to listen to playbacks. Going through the canyons we placed the songs in order to take the listener on a musical journey... Odyssey. I think it's great to listen to while on a long drive...
Jaijai: I understand you are working on a new project, can you give us an idea of what's to come?
Warren: Yes, I am working on a project with the working title "Green Music." I'm using drum beats and different world music styles to create a healing, joyful and contemplative listening atomosphere for the listener. Just as doctors heal, teachers heal, holy men and women heal; the musician also adds to the healing process through music. I seek to do this by hitting people in the heartbeat with my drumbeats... Ha!
Jaijai: What genre of music would you call this project?
Warren: If labeled, this music would be under the catagories of World music, New Age or maybe Fusion; for it's concept and the fusing of feelings and emotions utilizing musicians with diverse musical backgrounds and who have big ears for different styles of music.
Jaijai: You have been all over the world many times, playing all genres of music, what do you recall as your greatest musical moment?
Warren: There have been many, but one that cleary stands out is when "Odyssey- the Band James "Blood" Ulmer, Charles Burnham, and I opened up for the Miles Davis band in Warsaw, Poland at the Jazz Jamboree.
Jaijai: I know you believe that music can heal, what is your musical purpose and how does it equate to healing?
Music changes as the world changes. In fact, music can help in change and should have a role in creating peace with one another. As a drummer it's not as easy but there is a way to create an energy and a pulse that can help change. Music can help in making people feel happy, to fall in love, to create fond memories, to fulfill our purposes in life. Music makes people feel better; to dance, to sing can stir emotions that can transform lives.
Jaijai: I heard through the grapevine that you co-wrote a "funk opera" with Billy "Spaceman" Patterson, can you elaborate on that a little and where do you see it presented?
Warren: Ha! Word gets around doesn't it. That's an old story, but true. Billy and I have been friends since we were kids and together we composed a "Funk" opera. Poet/writer Jonnie Sola Roberts came up with the story line based on the songs Spaceman and I wrote. It's about two couples in a funk band on tour, who eventually end up in a ghost town. Sort of like "Scobby-Doo" without the dog...ha! I see it for film but it would also make a great cartoon.
Jaijai: As an educator and after all you've experienced on your musical journey, what is it that you'd like to impart to the younger musical mind?
Warren: That you as a human being are different in some way from anyone else and you can create your own musical "sound." You can listen to all musical styles, have favorite musicians and put this all in a big pot called "your mind." Mix it all up in a gumbo and come out with a style of your own. Just a little bit different. Just a bit your own...
Jaijai: What is it that you would like to accomplish in your career at this time?
Ha! That's a big question. Rickie Byars Beckwith just asked me that the other day. Answer? Everything? Think that's a bit too much? Haa!
Jaijai: Warren, you are quite the 'all around musician', skilled in all genres of music, ever-growing, evergreen...you have played with the best in jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop..list goes on and on. You are even an actor with some notable credits! Coming from a musical family myself, I can appreciate you working with your talented son Kenn Michael (actor, director, producer, filmaker and composer) mixing your life experience with new attitudes of thought through his eyes and ears. You also have a very talented daughter Kia Michelle, dancer, actress, singer... Sounds like you've been mentoring your own clan for years for talent runs through the veins of your family :-) Very inspiring at best!
Warren, Kenn Michael and Kia Michelle
The Jazz Network looks forward to hear how you will conclude the mix of all you are in your current "Green" project... its an honor to have a moment with you on your musical journey, to learn about how you think, what you bring to your music through your own life experiences, as well as the educational wisdom that you offer to the new-up-and-comers. We thank you for your wide-vision and musical rhythms of heart and what you've brought to us musically for years.
What ya know? Your drumming sounds great man! Got back on Wednesday from my 4 week-7 European tour with the Larry Coryell-Joey DeFrancesco-Alphonse Mouzon Trio! I've seen Kenn's work as an actor! I know you are proud of him and your daughter!
Hi Warren, thank you so much for inviting me to be your friend on TJN...your music is brilliant! and you have a beautiful family; it must be such a joy to create music together....love and peace thru music, elaine lucia
Music sounds great man! Hope to talk to you some more. Maybe even get some playing in together. Also, thanks for your posting on my group "our healing power" It is dedicated to discussing the healing power of music and our role as artists in being facilitators for that process. Look forward to talking to you some more.
'Souljourn Music Group
"Inhale Music, Exhale Life"
Thanks for letting me know about The Jazz Network.....
and thanks for checking out "Just Groovin". It was so great to have players like Kirk Whalum, Houston Person and Wycliffe Gordon be a part of it! When you get a chance, please check out some other tracks from my Quartet - straight ahead CD's.
I really enjoyed your interview and videos here....especially your drum solo video...very cool! You live in NYC, right? If you ever pass through near Nashville, please let me know. It would be great to do a gig together!