This summer I celebrated my 30th year of involvement with the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. I started as a student at the Workshop in 1984 and I’ve only missed two summers along the way – now I’m a senior faculty member. This year I taught ensembles, masterclasses, musicianship and more, and played a handful of fun concerts and sessions. Thanks to my fellow faculty, as well as the staff and students for the inspiration, the camaraderie and all the great music and conversation.
Longtime Workshop friend (and astounding pianist/composer) Taylor Eigsti and I co-led a concert at this year’s Stanford Jazz Festival. We played together and apart with a band of SJW friends old and new that included Ben Flocks, David Hart and Steven Lugerner in the frontline, Josh Thurston Milgrom, Steve Rossi and Tupac Mantilla in the rhythm section. We each selected a few songs that we’d learned at and/or associated with the Workshop in past years and added a few new and old original tunes of our own. The result was a diverse program of entertaining music for ensemble sizes from classic piano trio to 2 pianos plus percussion to full-blown septet blowout!
Saxophonist and composer Yosvany Terry Cabrera, who I first met at SJW his very fist summer in the USA was back at the Workshop and we got an opportunity to play some of our original music at a noon concert that featured one of my all-time favorite drummers Peter Erskine along with Dana Leong, Dayna Stephens and David Wong. What a band- we had a blast! In addition to his sweet tenor sax, Dayna busted out his EWI (electronic wind instrument) for some silky, syrupy synth lines while Dana whistled(!) in addition to playing his trombone. Good times were had by all!
Other notable highlights (there are way too many to list them all) included:
Student ensembles full of bright young musicians, many of whom I expect to see in NYC and on the scene in the years to come.
Memorable concerts by and hangs with: Fred Hersch, George Cables, Richard Sears, Jeb Patton Trio, Dena DeRose, Fly, Jack DeJohnette and a special appearance by Chick Corea.
Spring and Summer 2014 have been full of interesting and diverse projects at Benny’s Wash n’ Dry. Recent studio and recording project highlights have included:
- Composer/guitarist John Cabàn recording keyboards, strings and sax for the soundtrack to indie-documentary “Drill Baby, Drill”
- Italian saxophonist Biaggio Copa: new CD with Rob Garcia and Arùan Ortiz
- KJ Denhert recorded 3 new 2014 summer singles with me on piano, plus Jim Whitney and Joe Strasser
- Tracking for Dane Terry’s new disc with producer Matt Katz
- Singer/songwriter Michael Harren tracking strings, piano and oboe
- Work on a 25-song French educational project with singer/songwriter Vincent Lebrun
- Jazz singer Kim Cameron’s new CD, produced by Paul Beaudry
- Piano tracks for 2 new Fringe Festival shows by singer Melanie Gall
- Keyboards for legendary remixer/producer/DJ Joe Clausell
- Keyboards for Lipbone Redding’s new CD with producer Jeff Eyrich
- Piano tracks for Music & The Brain, a piano education program for public schools
I’m excited to announce that my personal artist website, bennettpaster.com, and the Benny’s Wash n’ Dry Studio site, bennettpasterstudio.com, have been totally re-designed, updated and integrated. It’s now easier then ever before to get complete information about my original music and projects and also about my recording studio and production services all in one place. My artist site features promo info, press, photos and streaming audio from all of my recordings, as well as some rare and unreleased recordings. The studio site has a complete gear and services lists, audio samples of projects we’ve recorded and keyboard tracks I’ve played as a sideman, plus client testimonials and more. Web Guru (and swinging pianist) Matthew Fries, from Equal Temperament Solutions, designed and programmed the WordPress template based on original design elements by Tom Beckham (designer and vibraphone master). Have a look and let me know what you think!
My Latest CD
I’m delighted and proud to announce the release of my new CD Relentless Pursuit of the Beautiful. The disc is a broad-based modern jazz recording showcasing my latest compositions and arrangements for jazz quintet and sextet. Recorded one sweltering July day after a series of performances, the album vividly captures snapshots in our development. The band effortlessly integrates swing with Latin and Brazilian rhythms to forge a contemporary, accessible style. Our group interplay and unwavering melodicism render a rich, eminently listenable music that will draw you in and bring you along on our journey.
Benny’s Wash n’ Dry studio, located in Kensington, Brooklyn, is owned and operated by Bennett Paster. We are committed to the recording and production of music in a creative environment featuring excellent instruments and a mixture of vintage and modern gear in a relaxed yet professional setting. As a versatile and experienced producer, engineer and performing musician, Bennett’s goal is to inspire you to express yourself and to help bring your musical vision to life….
Lately some of my students and fellow musicians have asked me where they can get scores and lead sheets of my original music for performance and study.
I’m excited to offer for purchase pdfs of virtually everything I’ve ever written and recorded. Lead sheets in concert, Bb, Eb and bass clef as well as scores/full arrangements (where applicable) are available. All files are generated in Sibelius and are super-legible and clearly laid-out. As soon as my web-store is set up here, I’ll start to post links to them. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any specific requests. Thanks!