Ben Jansson Quartet

From Michigan: Ben Jansson-Sax

Richard Whiteman – Piano

Steve Wallace – Bass

Sly Juhas – Drums

As well as playing in numerous jazz festivals nationally and internationally such as, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Holland and the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival Ben has played gigs opening up for the Count Basie Orchestra, Eartha Kitt, Dave Brubeck and Ray Charles. Recently, Ben has played with vocal greats Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle and in September 2006 was a featured soloist for jazz great Diane Schuur along with the Wayne State University bigband at the Detroit International Jazz Festival. As a leader, the Ben Jansson Quintet recently recorded its first album at the Firefly Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Dec. 2006). The CD Features New York guitarist Randy Napoleon, Piano great Rick Roe, bassist Paul keller, and drummer Pete Siers. Ben’s playing is Straight-ahead, a mix of fiery bebop and hard driving swing. Ballads and lyricism are also among Ben’s strengths as a jazz musician. He has recorded several of his own compositions and arrangements and continues to compose and progress as a musician. A sound that is unique and which also recalls his influences and heroes: Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins. Originally, beginning on the Alto saxophone Ben switched over to tenor sax at the age of sixteen while attending Community High School in Ann Arbor, MI and studying with multi-instrumentalist and jazz educator Mike Grace. At this time Ben also began to study with Detroit’s legendary saxophonist George Benson and while still in high school Mr. Benson invited Ben to sit in with his quartet at the Botsford Inn Jazz festival in Detroit. In 1996 Ben moved to Toronto, Canada to begin studying exclusively with renowned jazz saxophonist Pat Labarbera at Humber College. While in Toronto Ben had the opportunity to play with many of Canada’s finest jazz musicians including: Pat Labarbera, Don Thompson, Phil Dwyer, Jake Wilkinson, Josh Brown, Mike Murley, Kevin Turcotte, Alex Dean and Bernie Senensky. In 2003 Ben moved back to the Detroit area and has been steadily moving up in popularity and demand among musicians and audiences who like uncompromising, soulful, swinging music.