Ben Wendel Seasons Band
Ben Wendel – tenor saxophone
Aaron Parks – piano
Gilad Hekselman – guitar
Matt Brewer – bass
Eric Harland – drums
The idea and goal of “The Seasons” was a simple one: 12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I’ve ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.
The impetus for this work came through one of my favorite classical composers. I fell in love with a set of twelve piano pieces written by Tchaikovsky called “The Seasons” – each piece was written for a different month in 1876 and at the time published in a music magazine. Inspired by this idea, I decided to compose a twelve-part cycle of chamber duos dedicated to some of my favorite musicians. Instead of a magazine, I am using the medium of video to publish the works.
Grammy nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Los Angeles. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. 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 the artist formerly known as Prince. Ben is a founding member of the Grammy nominated group Kneebody, currently signed with Motéma Music.
As a composer, he has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America “New Works Grant” and most recently was awarded the Victor Lynch-Staunton award by the Canada Council For The Arts. He also co-wrote the score for John Krasinski’s adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.”