A native of Berkeley, California, Bennett Friedman is Director of Jazz Studies at SRJC, where he has taught full-time since 1977. Bennett has been a professional woodwind player for many years, performing with artists such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, and many others. He has written commissioned works for the University of California Bands, many colleges, and the National Association of Jazz Educators. His arrangements and compositions are published by the University of Northern Colorado Press, and he is the recipient of a grant for jazz composition from the National Endowment for the Arts. Bennett has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
From 1973 until it’s closing in the 90’s, Bennett was a member of the Circle Star Theater Staff Orchestra. In the 80’s and 90’s Bennett often appeared with Smith Dobson at San Jose’s Garden City.
Friedman has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and the Russian River Jazz Festival.
A graduate of Berkeley High School, Bennett received BA and MA degrees in music from San Francisco State University. He studied at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, for one year. Bennett served three years in the US Army Band in Washington, D.C.