The Warren Benbow Band

About Warren Benbow

Warren Benbow From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Warren Benbow is a New York-based drummer who has worked and/or recorded with Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, LL Cool J, Betty Carter, Phyllis Hyman, Weldon Irvine, Jr., Larry Willis with Eddie Gomez on the CD “Inner Crisis”, Olu Dara, Ted Daniel, Linda and Sonny Sharrock, Jimmy Owens with Chris White and Kenny Barron, Doug and Jean Carn, Rene McLean, Rickie Byars-Beckwith, Michael Urbaniak, Billy “Spaceman” Patterson, Junko O’Hashi, Teruo Nakamura and Super Friends, and was an original member of James “Blood” Ulmer’s “Odyssey” band. Theatre and film work with Ernest Dickerson, Spike Lee, Bill Duke, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Gilbert Moses, Chapman Roberts, and Melvin Van Peebles. In addition to his jazz work, he has also worked as an actor and musician in Broadway musical productions, and in film. He has performed on television, in the studio, and in clubs or concert halls around the world with artists Mary J. Blige, Gwen Guthrie, Nancy Wilson, Mavis Stalpes, Brian McKnight, SWV, and others… 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’. About Warren Benbow. I was born in New York City and I’ve been a musician ever since I knew there was such a thing called music.I started at an early age and I’ve studied, known and performed with some of the best musicians in my generation.I am an artist.My canvas is music.My brush – sticks, and mallets.I create in a place of unknowing, to hopefully provide growth and healing for the listener and for myself.The way I see it, to create music, to play music, is to be in a place of greatness.We are all here for a reason.It’s no accident that I’m a musician… Ha! Wb Interview by Michele Andree Lemieux. Warren, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project.  You are a man of few words but words well chosen full of wisdom… let us begin. No.1)  What is music to and for you?  (personally and generally). Music is one way I can communicate my inner feelings to the outer world. To connect to others in a non- verbal language. No. 2)  What inspires you? My children, and my Mother and Father. And just the fact that music is my gift. No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, where does it take you?  Where does your mind travel? When I play music sometimes I am praying. I go inside my soul to everywhere I’ve been on my path. And in a musical performance I travel along with my fellow musicians wherever there minds are taking them. No. 4)  Do you feel music, visual art and health are related and if so, how? I think that we all paint pictures as human beings and as musicians, we try to share our art to try and give the listener a pleasurable experience. Maybe to help them feel good for that moment or the moments ahead. I think that we all paint pictures in whatever craft we are gifted in. In my case, I am a musician, and I hope to give the listener of my music a pleasurable experience in the moment. No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing for yourself, not performing? Every time I touch a musical instrument, whether it’s when I’m alone or in front of an audience I feel that there must be a reason for me doing this. Hopefully to uplift and inspire others. No. 6)  When do you do your best work?  (under what circumstances or conditions)When I’m relaxed and comfortable. That’s when I’m excited, and the music flows. No. 7)  Do you identify with your music and if so, on what level?I am a musician, pure and simple. I was born to walk and talk in rhythms. I do what I love and love what I do… No. 8)  Do you find playing music helps you connect with your “Higher Self” whatever that is for you? Yes. When I play I’m silent.  In my own place of solitude. Yes, I  feel connected. I go beyond the limits of my body. No. 9)  Many people feel the school systems tend to kill creativity.  How do you feel about that? No. I don’t feel that way. The artist will always find the way to create. It’s their gift and no ’so-called’ system can take that away. No. 10)  What is jazz to you? Sometimes I wish I knew…Ha! Reaching into the mind of Warren Benbow…. Interview by Jaijai Jackson – The Jazz Network. 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? Warren: 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: What is it that you would like to accomplish in your career at this time? Warren: 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? Ha!


  1. Hi Warren,
    So glad we share much of the same values!
    Best always!
    Michele Andree

    Comment by Michele Andree | December 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Warren,
    You’ve really made my day and I feel we can establish a nice collaboration!!! What we could do is put into practice a real pro Audio Mastering to make your recordings sound the way your music deserves: impressive, dynamic, competitive and with much better impact! Actually, even the best recorded and mixed music benefits to a fantastic degree from real Hi-End Audio Mastering!
    Right now I am in Europe but still working with all my US-based clients – modern communications allow us to exchange files fast and safe!

    Take care and keep up the excellent job!

    Best regards,


    Borislav Dimitrov (a.k.a. Boro)
    HiZ Productions
    Cell Phone: +359-898-916928

    Comment by Boro | February 23, 2013 | Reply

  3. Really enjoyed reading all of this, your introspective take on music. Looking forward to reading more after mainly looking at your photos over the years. Much love always. #musiclove, #grateful Tracy Mal

    Comment by Tracy Mal | February 21, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you very much, Tracy. Your pictures are very nice as well…

      Comment by warrenbenbow | February 21, 2016 | Reply

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