Born: April 6, 1978 Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3
As one of Chicago’s premiere Hammond B3 jazz organists, Pete Benson has been praised by renowned organ greats, Joey DeFrancesco and Chris Foreman. Many will recognize Pete as the organist in the late-night band Sabertooth, a long running staple at the legendary Green Mill Lounge. Led by saxophonists Pat Mallinger and Cameron Pfiffner, with Ted Sirota on drums, Sabertooth has been a long time after hours favorite for over 15 years.
Pete has made a name for himself as both leader and sideman and can be seen regularly at Chicago jazz hot spots: Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, Pete Miller’s Steakhouse, Shaw’s Crab House, The Peninsula Hotel, among a variety of other venues.
Pete frequently plays with Sabertooth, Jeff Parker, Kyle Asche, Scott Burns, and Dave Specter. Having performed with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Pete had the opportunity to play a concert with saxophonist, Phil Woods in 2006. He has also shared the bandstand with Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Joey DeFrancesco, Joe Lovano and Roy Hargrove.
In August of 2007, Pete led his organ trio in the Chicago Jazz Festival.
In the Summer of 2008, Pete played the piano chair in the Fats Waller musical, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, showing his love and expertise of the stride piano style.
On September 4, 2009, Pete will perform with the Jeff Parker Organ quartet at the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Besides working extensively in Chicago, Pete has performed for enthusiastic audiences across the United States and Europe. He is featured on recordings by Sabertooth, Kyle Asche, Andrew Distel, The Mighty Blue Kings, and the Typhanie Monique/Neal Alger duo.
Born in Sycamore, Illinois, Pete developed a love for music at an early age. He began his studies at the age of eight after his family was given a piano by his grandfather, a designer for Wurlitzer. With the support of his family, Pete decided to pursue a career in music as a pianist and organist. Since then, he has been on the forefront of the Chicago jazz scene for over 10 years.