Smooth Artist Interviews

Bennett B
Bennett B
Bennett B
Bennett B
Bennett B

Who were your musical influences and do you have any who specifically inspired you directly?

Here in Los Angeles as a teenager, I was able to see Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Lee Ritenour, etc. One night, I asked Robben, "How come you don't waste any notes," and he said "It's all melody, right?" That was a good reminder.

You attended Berklee, any others who influenced you during that time?

In Boston, I stood in the snow for 3 hours to see Pat Metheny with Roy Haynes and Miraslov Vitous. Pat wasn't just playing notes, he was telling a story. That was something I hadn't seen before.


How do you see the future of Smooth Jazz as a musical genre?

I think Smooth Jazz has to be able to grow and embrace artistry. All music has to evolve. Stay open as a listener as well as a musician.


What is your favorite part of performing and touring?

One of the best things about being a musician is performing in different cultures. For example, Brazilians clap and sing along while Japanese want to hear every note in silent reverence. I like both.

Big stages or intimate venues?

Playing for a big crowd is nice, but playing for a tuned-in audience is the best. I need to feel a connection with people.


Besides music, what turns you on?

I really enjoy being in nature. That's church.There is a great sense of harmony there. Melody and rhythm too, if you listen.