Ben Wendel: Kneebody, Daedelus & Beyond

Video interview with the innovative saxophonist during the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival

Kneebody made its first Newport Jazz Festival appearance, July 2015 image 0
Ken Franckling

Kneebody made its first Newport Jazz Festival appearance, July 2015

During the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio backstage inside the old barracks of Fort Adams. During three afternoons, a succession of artists-including Mike Stern, Bria Skonberg, Arturo O’Farrill, Wayne Escoffery, Jacob Garchick, Chris Dingman, Kate McGarry, Billy Childs and many others-came in to talk about the festival, jazz education, their creative process and their own projects. You can also see more of these video interviews hosted on the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

In this video interview taped on-site at Newport, saxophonist Ben Wendel talked about his evolution as a jazz musician, from his first musical instrument to his formal and informal education. He also discussed his creative process and music he’s rediscovered recently. Wendel, who was performing at the festival with Kneebody-a group he co-leads-discussed that group’s genesis and concept. And he talked about their cross-genre collaboration with Daedelus, who comes from the electronic music scene.

The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival will be held July 29-31, 2016.

Interview by Irene Lee. Video production by Paul Park. Editing by Lee Mergner.

Ben Wendel on his musical education and development:


Ben Wendel on his creative process and music he’s rediscovered:


Ben Wendel on Kneebody and Daedelus: