Born: July 21, 1952 Primary Instrument: Bass
Gerald Benson has played with many musicians throughout US east coast, most notably, Monette Sudler, Charles Gayle, Odean Pope, David Murray, Marlon Simon and Mitch Avery. He is one of the most sought after bass players in the Philadelphia area where he resides. For the past 10 yrs. Gerald has been playing and singing jazz at the well known club and restaurant, Sotto, located on the Avenue of the Arts in Philly.
Gerald Benson was born in Camden New Jersey. He started playing the Tuba in Elementary school and High School During high school Gerald started playing the upright bass. In his junior year he began his classical studies with Robert Riccardi, Bassist from the Pennsylvania Ballet. After a couple of years of studying Gerald joined the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. received a scholarship to attend the Red Fox Music Camp. A few years later Gerald Attended The New School of Music in Philadelphia, Gerald studied there for five years. He Graduated in 1980, Certificate of Double Bass. Before going to music school Gerald began playing Jazz gigs around South Jersey and Philadelphia. In the seventies Gerald recorded with the well known female jazz guitarist Monnette Sudler. [ Time for a change ] on the Steeple Chase Label. Later he joined the Change of the Century Orchestra, featuring Archie Shepp, David Murray , Philly Joe Jones, Grechun Moncure, Sunny Murray, Robin Eubanks, Monnette Sudler, Kahn Jamal, Odean Pope, and Romalus Franchescini Conductor. In 1980 Gerald was invited to the National Black Music Colloquium & Competition, which took place at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Gerald was asked to perform the solo bass work [ Seven Situations For Double Bass ] written by Composer Aurther Cunningham.
Gerald’s performance was later broad cast on public radio stations throughout the nation. Gerald’s love for playing all styles of jazz continued throughout the 80’s. Joining the Mitch Avery Trio, Gerald worked the finest restaurants and hotels in Center City Philadelphia. Gerald says working with Mitch Avery and Al Ipri was some of his most memorable experiences. Learning all those different jazz standards and listening to all the great stories about different jazz players and how they got their start and what they had to go through to make it in the business. In the nineties Gerald started experimenting with singing and playing the bass, The Pen & Pencil. Audiences encourage Gerald to sing more.
In the nineties Gerald met Charles Gayle . Charles invited Gerald to come to New York to play at the Knitting Factory, In 1997 Gerald made his European Debut with Charles at the [ Total Music Meeting ] in Berlin, Germany recorded the CD. Precious Soul on the FMP label. Gerald recorded Live at the Glenn Miller Café on February 12, 2006, with Charles Gayle Trio, Charles Gayle Alto Sax, Michael Wimberly Drums, Gerald Benson Bass, recorded by Ayler records, Stockholm, Sweden. During 2006 and 2007 Gerald performed with the Charles Gayle Trio, throughout Europe. Making stops in Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Portugal, France, Austria, Hungary, and London, England. For the past nine years Gerald has been playing and singing jazz at the well known jazz club and restaurant Sotto located on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia. Audiences are captivated by his smooth sound and his repertoire.