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Benjamin May

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Benjamin May is an american jazz bass player, arranger, and music educator.

Benjamin May - bass bow solo.jpg

Summary[edit]

Raised in the Midwest from a musical family with strong roots in classical music, Benjamin May made his move to Los Angeles in 1987. Some artists he has performed with include: Joe Pass, Anita O’Day, Rosemary Clooney.[1], Annie Ross, Frank Sinatra Jr, Seth MacFarlane, Bill Henderson, Ernie Andrews, Barbara Morrison, Llew Matthews, Johnny Crawford, Bill Elliot, The Jimmy Dorsey Big Band, Al Viola, Ben Vereen, Red Holloway, Ray Brown, Bonnie Raitt, and Rob Mullins.

In addition to performing on numerous recordings and live concerts throughout the greater LA area, Benjamin has toured United States, Europe, Japan, and Thailand. Benjamin has also opened for Joe Zawinul and Tony Bennett, to name just a few. Today, Benjamin makes his home in Long Beach, CA where he continues to perform actively and teach all levels of music.

As a recording artist, Benjamin has recorded on over 40 CDs for various artists and projects. His musical experience counts over 30 years and 14,000+ performances[2][3][4]

Early Years[edit]

Benjamin May was born on March 3rd, 1967 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His father, Walter Bruce May, served on the music faculties at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, the State University of New York at Cortland, Eisenhower College, and, from 1975 until 2001 he was Professor of Music at Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD)[5]. Benjamin's mother, Mary Eleanor May, taught cello and piano lessons for over 60 years; she was also a chaplain at Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford Hospital) for 10 years[6]. Benjamin was the youngest of the seven children in the family.

Education[edit]

Augustana College[7][edit]

Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Deferred June 1987.
Benjamin May completed 3.5 years at Augustana College as a scholarship student, winning a Pro-Musica scholarship. His first teacher was David Miller, formerly from Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He then won a scholarship to study with the esteemed James Klute of Minnesota Orchestra. Once he moved to Los Angeles, he studied with John Clayton, upon personal recommendation of Ray Brown, who he participated in some master classes with. Benjamin also studied briefly with bassist, Rufus Reid.

Washington High School[edit]

Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Graduated January 1985
As a high school student, Benjamin was principal bass 2 years in a row in All-State Orchestra, and 1 year in All State Band. He was also principal cello of his high school orchestra for 3 years. In addition, Benjamin was a member of the Sioux Empire Youth Symphony Orchestra for 4 years.

Multi-instrumentalist[edit]

Benjamin May plays piano.jpg

Benjamin's musical hobbies include being a multi-instrumentalist, collecting instruments, arranging and composing, and expanding his musical horizons to new influences and opportunities to learn and grow as a musician.

Discography[edit]

The Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra featuring Vocalworks & Amy Weston[8]

  • Released: 1994
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Wayland Records

Dan St. Marseille - Retrospection[9]

  • Released: 1995
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Resurgent Music

Barbara Morrison - I Know How to Do It[10]

  • Released: 1997
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Chartmaker Records
  • Producer: Barbara Morrison

Charles Rutherford - Collage[11]

  • Released: 1997
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Sea Breeze Records

Sherwood Sledge - Love Me By Name[12]

  • Released: 1999
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Maywood Records

Ron Escheté - The Beatles: Instrumental Jazz Tribute[13]

  • Released: 2000
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Sugo Records

Dewey Earney - Christmas Time is Here[14]

  • Released: 2000
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Resurgent Music

Beth Fitchet Wood - Silos[15]

  • Released: 2001
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Maywood Records
  • Producer: Beth Fitchet Wood, Steve Wood

Judy Chamberlain - Road Trip[16]

  • Released: 2002
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: JazzBabyRecords

Dragana - I Still Feel You[17]

  • Released: 2002
  • Format: mp3
  • Label: CD Baby

Dewey Earney - Standards of Excellence, Volume 1, Dearly Beloved[18]

  • Released: 2003
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Resurgent Music

Dewey Earney - Standards of Excellence , Volume 3

  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: Resurgent Music

The Baroqueleles - Meet the Baroqueleles[19]

  • Released: 2005
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: CD Baby

The Baroqueleles - A Baroquelele Christmas[20]

  • Released: 2005
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: CD Baby

Rick Blessing - I'm Just The Guy For You[21]

  • Released: 2007
  • Format: CD, Album

Janice Anderson - The Sweetest Sounds[22]

  • Released: 2013
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: CD Baby

Brynn Stanley - Classic[23]

  • Released: 2017
  • Format: CD, Album
  • Label: SonoPath Productions

Filmography[edit]

Boiling Point[24], film produced by StudioCanal in 1993
Norma Jean and Marilyn[25], film produced by Home Box Office (HBO) in 1996

References[edit]

  1. "CalJAS Presents: Lia Booth, Bradley Young, Benjamin May HOUSE CONCERT February 19". CalJazz - The California Jazz Arts Society.
  2. "Benjamin May - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  3. "Benjamin May - Discography - Discogs". Discogs.
  4. "Benjamin May - Musician - Music Database - Radio Swiss Jazz". Radio Swiss Jazz.
  5. "Obituary - Walter May - Miller Funeral Home".
  6. "Mary May 1930 - 2015 - Obituary". Argus Leader.
  7. "The May Brothers in Concert — An Evening of Jazz". Augustana University.
  8. "Elliott, Bill, The Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra - Swing Fever". Amazon Music.
  9. "Retrospection by Dan St. Marseille - Amazon.com Music".
  10. "Morrison, Barbara - I Know How to Do It - Amazon.com Music".
  11. "Rutherford, Charles Jazz - Collage - Amazon.com Music".
  12. "Sherwood Sledge - Love Me By Name - Amazon.com Music".
  13. "Ron Eshete - The Beatles: Instrumental Jazz Tribute - Amazon.com Music".
  14. "Dewey Earney - Christmas Time is Here - Amazon.com Music".
  15. "Silos by Beth Fitchet Wood on Amazon Music - Amazon.com".
  16. "Chamberlain, Judy - Road Trip - Amazon.com Music".
  17. "Dragana - I Still Feel You - Amazon.com Music".
  18. "Dewey Earney, Brian O'Rourke, Benjamin May - Standards of Excellence, Volume 1, Dearly Beloved - Amazon.com Music".
  19. "Spotify - Meet the Baroqueleles".
  20. "Spotify - A Baroquelele Christmas".
  21. "I'm Just the Guy for You by Rick Blessing on Apple Music".
  22. "Janice Anderson - The Sweetest Sounds (2013) [Vocal Jazz]; mp3, 320 kbps - jazznblues.club".
  23. "Classic y Brynn Stanley on Amazon Music - Amazon.com".
  24. "Boiling Point (1993) - IMDb".
  25. "Norma Jean & Marilyn (TV Movie 1996) - IMDb".


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