John Benitez - acoustic and electric bass
Grammy award-winning bassist John Benitez, born in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico, started playing gospel music in church at the age of thirteen. Already a gifted musician, John began his formal education at Escuela Libre de Musica followed by study at the University of Puerto Rico and later the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music with master bassist Federico Silva.
By age nineteen, John was the first-call bassist in San Juan's thriving Jazz and Latin music scenes. He performed with, among others, such well-known artists as Chick Corea, Lucecita Benitez, Batacumbele, Lalo Rodriguez, Cuco Peña, Roberto Roena, and Justo Betancourt. In his early twenties, he toured with Batacumbele to Columbia, South America where he continued to play and study music. Always in demand, John was asked to play with some of the top names in the country like Joe Madrid and often accompanied international touring artists like trumpeter Chocolate Armenteros.
In 1993, John move to New York and attended the City College of New York where he studied with the legendary acoustic bassist, Ron Carter and later with the contra bass guitarist Anthony Jackson. His education, however, was not limited to formal classroom study. John learned on the bandstand performing with some of the finest Jazz and Latin musicians including, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente, Michele Camilo, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Watson, David Sanchez, Jeff Tain Watts, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Danilo Perez, Kenny Kirkland, Will Calhoun, Vinny Valentino, Chucho Valdez, Don Pullen, Dave Samuels, and Mongo Santamaria, to name just few.