Curtains for ‘23, APAP ‘24, House Concert, & West Coast Tour

alon benjamini dean johnson deer head inn jim ridl Dec 15, 2023

This weekend I will be playing my last concert of the year at the famed Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be playing with three great musicians: Jim Ridl on piano, Dean Johnson on bass, and Alon Benjamini on drums.

Jim Ridl, a New York City-based jazz pianist, composer and teacher, performs and records worldwide with a variety of jazz artists, including The Joe Locke Quartet, The Paul Jost Quartet, and The Dave Liebman Big Band. Jim’s tenure with jazz guitar legend Pat Martino included performances around the world in quartet and duet, and produced 4 outstanding recordings: Nexus, Interchange, Night Wings and The Maker.Jim has 9 recordings of his own, including Ask for the Ancient Path (May 2022), and Standards Live (August 2022), and he has been featured on hundreds of recordings of other artists. Jim is on the faculty at New York Jazz Workshop and The City College of New York, and maintains an active private studio.

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1956, Dean Johnson studied Bass Violin with a number of bassists, including the renowned Gary Peacock. Dean also studied piano and composition at the Cornish Institute, in Seattle, with James Knapp and from 1974 to 1976, attended the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, studying with bassists Rich Appleman, John Neves, and studying theory, composition, and arranging with John LaPorta and Herb Pomeroy. Gerry Mulligan however is Dean's most prominent association. Dean spent over 10 years with Mr. Mulligan until his passing in 1996 in a variety of musical situations including the Quartet, Nonet, Big Band, and with symphony orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  Dean performed in these Mulligan ensembles in concerts and jazz festivals all over the world as well as numerous recordings along with a number of well-known pianists that were in the group over that time including Harold Danko, Bill Mays, Bill Charlap, and Ted Rosenthal.

Alon Benjamini, drummer, composer, sound & mix & master engineer, was born in 1996. He is a graduate of the jazz department at Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts & The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. In 2014 and 2016 he received scholarships from the America Israel Cultural Foundation. Alon currently lives in New York and continues to collaborate with elite musicians around the world such as Reggie Workman, Avishai Cohen, Gilad Hekselman, Takeshi Ohbayashi, Eli Degibri, Yotam Silberstein, Omer Avital, and many others. Benjamini is also a sound engineer at Big Orange Sheep Studios where he records, mixes and masters records. Benjamini is an endorser of Canopus Drums.

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