Ben Jansson is quickly becoming a highly sought after tenor saxophonist on the national and international jazz scene. As well as having played in numerous jazz festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Netherlands and the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival Mr. Jansson has played gigs opening up for the Count Basie Orchestra, Eartha Kitt, Dave Brubeck and the late Ray Charles. At the 2006 Detroit International Jazz Festival Ben played the first tenor book with jazz great Diane Schuur and was featured as a soloist throughout the performance. As a leader, Ben fronts his own Quintet featuring stellar New York guitarist and longtime band mate Randy Napoleon. Other members of the Quintet include the great pianist Rick Roe, bassist Paul Keller and Drummer Pete Siers. The Ben Jansson Quintet recently recorded live at the Firefly Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan and will be releasing its first CD in the spring of 2007 on the PKO record label. Ben’s playing is Straight-ahead, a mix of fiery bebop and lyrical west coast cool. Originality and the spirit of jazz are at the heart of Ben’s playing. He has recorded and composed several of his original compositions and arrangements.
Beginning on the Alto saxophone Ben switched over to tenor sax at the age of sixteen while attending Community High School in Ann Arbor, MI and studying with multi-instrumentalist and jazz educator Mike Grace. At this time Ben also began to study with Detroit’s legendary saxophonist George Benson and while still in high school Mr. Benson invited Ben to sit in with his quartet at the Botsford Inn Jazz festival in Detroit. In 1996 Ben moved to Toronto, Canada to begin studying exclusively with renowned jazz saxophonist Pat Labarbera at Humber College. While in Toronto Ben played with many of Canada’s finest jazz musicians including: Pat Labarbera, Don Thompson, Phil Dwyer, Jake Wilkinson, Josh Brown, Mike Murley, Kevin Turcotte, Alex Dean and Bernie Senensky.