Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Strauss, Benjamin

Strauss, Benjamin, drums;

From 1971-1977, he attended "Finow Grundschule Berlin." From 1977-1983 he attended "Marie-Curie-Gymnasium Berlin"; Graduation in Dec. 1983. From 1984-1986, he was a student at "Freien Universitat Berlin", majors philosophy and history. From 1984-1992, he had regular private lessons in drums and music theory; classes at HdK (College for the Arts) Berlin and participation in several Jazz-Workshops (for example with John Abercrombie und Ray Anderson). From 1992-1996, he was a student at Berklee College of Music, majors drumset, arranging und orchestral percussion. In December 1994, he got his diploma (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music/USA. In May 1996, he got his degree/B.A. (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music/USA.

From 1984-1992, he was a freelance-musician in and around Berlin. From 1986-1992, he was a private instructor for drums. From 1988-1992, he was music teacher for children at Sozialpsycholodischen Arbeitskreis Berlin/Charlottenburg. From 1990-1992, he was in the funk band "Deep Talk" playing regular gigs in Berlin. In April 1990, he played a concert with Ray Anderson in Bielefeld. From 1994-1995, he did regular performances with the R&B Band "The Essence" (R&B, Pop, Funk) in the US. From 1996-1997, he was assistant to the Manager "Global Media Enterprises" (NYC Music agency und CD distribution company). From Dec.1996-Feb.1997, he was drummer in the orchestra of the MS "Westerdam" / Holland Amerika Line, playing musical shows live with Clicktrack, accompanying guest stars and playing jazz sets. From Jan/Feb 2001, he was drummer for Renaissance Cruise Lines / Paramount Productions, playing musical shows live with C licktrack, accompanying guest stars and playing jazz sets.

After attending Berklee College of Music, Strauss moved to NYC to "study life" and perfect his musical skills. There he took private lessons with John Riley (Village Vanguard and Bob Mintzer Big Bands) and Tommy Campbell (Manhattan Transfer and Kevin Eubanks Band), and performed in various clubs. Previous to moving to the US he performed and taught drums in and around Berlin. After returning to Germany, Strauss founded the "Berlin Big Band" which gives regular concerts in Berlin. Besides that he works as a freelance musician in studios, live and on tours (musical "The Beauty and the Beast", "Cats", small and large Jazz-ensembles, various show-band engagements on cruise ships in the USA and Europe, etc.)

Recordings:
Kenneth Posey: If I Sing (2000)

Theater:
Drums and percussion for "A Little Wonder" (about Stevie Wonder's life) at Munchener Philharmonie (1990), One Is, The Other Isn't (1995), "Anything Goes (1995), "My Fair Lady" (1996)

Contact information:
Phone: +49-30-8909-5858
bstrauss@cityweb.de
http://www.berlinbigband.de

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