Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Bennington, James, (Arnold)

Bennington, James, (Arnold), drumset, bandleader, composer, arranger, educator; Columbus, OH, 22 May 1970. His parents were Wanda Lee Bennington (b. 1932- d. 1997) and Arthur James LeMaster(b. 1919- d. 1983). Bennington is the youngest of six children. He and his older brother Roger(b. 1961) were adopted by an uncle and raised in Detroit, MI. At age nine, Bennington's family moved to Houston, TX and it was there that he began music studies on the clarinet, which he played for three years in Elementary School advancing to Jazz Band.

Primarily self-taught, he began playing drums at age twelve and performed in concert and marching band and small combo groups throughout his middle and high school years. Although an admirer of the music from an early age, Bennington became serious about Jazz while in his late teens. He was soon working and remained a force on the Texas Jazz scene from 1990-1998. Bennington's musical experience has come from private study, countless Jazz and Blues sessions, work as a sideman and as a leader. While in Houston, he learned from friend and mentor Malcolm Pinson (Billy Harper, Arnett Cobb) as well as G.T. Hogan (Randy Weston, Ernie Henry) and Ben Turner. Bennington has also been fortunate to meet and learn from Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones. In fact, after eight years of informal study with Jones, Bennington worked as drumtech and band manager for the late Coltrane drummer, from 2000-2002, touring the U.S. and Europe. Other drummers he has studied with include Billy Mintz, James Zitro, Mel Skinner, Rusty Jones, and longtime friend Ron Enyard.  Based in Chicago, after an eight year residence on the West Coast (1998-2006), Bennington works as a sideman or leader with his group Colour and Sound. He has played and recorded with many notable artists including saxophonists Bert Wilson, John Gross, Michael York, Graham Ord, Phillip Greenlief, and longtime collaborator Seth Paynter, trombonists Julian Priester, Michael Vlatkovich, Andre Hayward, and Dave Dove, trumpeters Farnell Newton and Jim Knodle, cornetist Josh Berman, flutists Bob Chadwick, Nancy Curtis, and Rob Piilonen, clarinetist Perry Robinson, guitarists Susan Alcorn, John Stowell, Tom McNalley, Shin Yameda, Bill Horist, Ava Mendoza, Ultra Electro-Man Mark Barth, Dave Miller, and Ken Aldcroft, pianists Gordon Lee, Craig Hoyer, Doug Haning, David Haney, and Jim Baker, bassists Jeff Johnson, Dave Captein, Michael Bisio, Joscha Oetz, Paul Blaney, Eric Warren, and Mark Van Ziegler, and vocalists Horace Grigsby, Joanne Klein, Stephanie Porter, and Kuki Boatwright.Bennington tours the U.S., South America, Europe, and Canada performing in a variety of settings that include nightclubs, cafes, recitals, festivals, public schools, universities, and hospitals as part of his longstanding relationship with the Children's Cancer Association. Bennington teaches privately and is also a freelance writer who has been published in Modern Drummer Magazine, Jazz Profile, and Cadence Jazz and Blues Journal.

1. Contemplation (1996),
2. Midnight Choir (1998),
3. Jazz Music; Live at the Tugboat, vol. I (2003),
4. Springtime at the Tugboat, vol. II (2004),
5. No Goodbye's; Live at the Tugboat, vol. III (2004),
6. The Cocktail Hour; Live at the Tugboat, vol. IV (2004),
7. Our Dialogue; Live at the Tugboat, vol. V (2004),
8. We Meet to Part (2004)
9. Convergence; Live at the Blue Monk (2005)
10. North Mississippi (2005),
11. Another Friend; the Music of Herbie Nichols vol. I (2005),
12. Two Drums and Eighty-Eight Keys, the Sound of the Underbrush; Live at Gallery 1412, vol. I (2005)
13. Last Rites for Jelly Roll; Live at Gallery 1412, vol.II (2005),
14. Jazz Kaleidoscope; Live at On The House (2005),
15. Blue Veils and Bright Stars (2006),
16. Chicago Here I Come (2006),
17. Gallery Cabaret (2006).
As Co-Leader:
1. Jimmy Bennington/Seth Paynter: That Swan (1998)
2. Jimmy Bennington/Seth Paynter: Favorite Chairs (2004)
3. Jimmy Bennington/Michael York: Two Fascinations (2005)
3. Jimmy Bennington/Michael York: Live at the Bitter End (2005)
4. Jimmy Bennington/Graham Ord/Paul Blaney: Grand Compliment (2006)
5. Jimmy Bennington/Michael Vlatkovich: Parallel Waltz (2006)
6. Jimmy Bennington/Julian Priester: Portraits and Silhouettes (2006)
7. Jimmy Bennington/Paul Blaney with guest Tom Swafford: We're Not in Brazil (2006)
8. Jimmy Bennington/Jim Knodle with guest Wendy Martin: Fine-Tooth Comb (2006)
As Sideperson:
1. Doc Peters: Doc Peters (1995)
2. Seth Paynter: Spice (1996)
3. Kinney Abair: Live at the Alabama Ice House (1997)
4. David Haney: Trios, vol. III (2004)
5. Bert Wilson: Bert Wilson Trio; You Can't Stop Spring (2006)
6. Julian Priester: The Julian Priester Trio; Live at the Velvet Lounge, volumes I and II (2007)

KTSU-FM    (Texas Southern University, 1998)
KALX-FM    (Oakland, CA, 2000/2006)
KBOO-FM   (Portland, OR, 2000/2002)
KPFT-FM    (Houston, TX, 2000/2001/2002/2003/2004/2005)
KMHD-FM   (Gresham, OR, 2002/2003/2004)
KUNM-FM   (Albuquerque, NM, 2005/2006)
KEXP-FM    (Seattle, WA, 2003/2004/2006)
KPFA-FM    (Alameda, CA, 2006)
KBCS-FM    (Seattle, WA, 2006/2007)
KFAI-FM     (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, 2006/2007)
WDCB-FM   (Glen Ellyn, IL, 2007)
WNUR-FM  (Chicago, IL, 2007)
NPR (2005- )
XM Radio (2005- )
Sirius (2005- )

Portland Jazz Jams, Episode #23 (2005)
KEXP, Sonarchy Radio (2006)

Black Entertainment Television, 'Jazz Discovery' (1997)
F3 Films Festival, Austin, TX, (1998)
Jimmy Bennington Trio, Live at Notsuoh (2001)
George Kawaguchi (d): Japanese Public Television Documentary (2002)
'Scrum', film by Vincent C. O'Brien (2003)
Nargis-Dutte Cancer Foundation Documentary (2003)
Jimmy Bennington/David Haney- Our Dialogue, Live at the Tugboat, vol. V (2004)
Jimmy Bennington/Seth Paynter/Michael Vlatkovich- Portland Jazz Jam's T.V.  (2006)
Roger's Park Oral History Project  (2007)
Jimmy Bennington's Colour and Sound at Black Koffee, Chicago (2007)
Churchbells; Solo Drums at Ennui (2007)
Jimmy Bennington/Julian Priester- "Nashira", Live at Ennui Cafe, Chicago (You Tube, 2007)

Liner notes to recording "James Bennington, Contemplation" by Delfeayo
Marsalis (1997)
"James Bennington" by Derek Taylor, Cadence Magazine, (Oct. 1999)
"Jimmy Bennington Quartet" by J.M., Willamette Week  (Sept. 20, 2000)
"Texas Jazz Drum" by Kyle O'Brien, The Oregonian (Mar. 3, 2000)
"Jimmy Bennington Trio" by Zach Dundas, The Willamette Week (Aug. 1, 2001)
"A New Jazz Age" by Inara Verzemnick, The Oregonian (Aug. 6, 2001)
"Jimmy's Jams" by Stan Hall, The Oregonian (Jan. 24, 2003)
"Jimmy Bennington, Midnight Choir"  Cadence (2003)
"Jimmy Bennington" by Ben Ohmart, Muses Muse (2003)
"Jimmy Bennington's Colour and Sound"  Earshot Jazz Magazine, Seattle, WA (2004)
"Jimmy Bennington- Our Dialogue+Midnight Choir" by David DuPont, One Final Note (2005)
"Jimmy Bennington Midnight Choir" by All About Jazz, New York (2005)
"Meet Drummer Jimmy Bennington" by Jack Gold, All About Jazz (2005)
"David Haney y James Bennington- Jazz Contemporaneo en Miraflores" El Comercio, Peru (2005)
"Must Happen Shows in Vancouver" Zula Productions, Vancouver, Canada (2006)
"Jimmy Bennington, Who's Who in Chicago, Centerstage (2006)
"Jimmy Bennington, Chicago Jazz Magazine (2007)
"NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada (2007)
"Julian Priester- Return to the South Side" by Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune (July 9, 2007)

Contact information:
James Bennington & ThatSwanProductions
Chicago, IL- USA

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