Benje Daneman

Benje's Newest Album "Light in the Darkness"
Now Available!


About Benje

Photo: Grant Beachy

Photo: Grant Beachy

A musician known for his personal approach, creative musicality and strong versatility, Daneman got his start professionally in 2007 on a national tour with with Doc Severinsen’s Big Band.  Since then he has performed with the world renowned Jose Limon Dance Ensemble, recorded for the Grammy nominated album "Elevation" (HMI Big Band) and has appeared as both a leader and sideman at prestigious venues across the country including The Kennedy Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Festival of New Trumpet Music and The Iridium.  

Daneman is equally passionate in the classroom as he is onstage. He has led clinics and workshops throughout the country at such institutions as McNally Smith College, Western Michigan University, Luther College, Concordia University and for the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association. He has worked as a faculty teaching artist for The New York Pops, Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (NYC) and Western Michigan University’s SEMINAR Program, in addition to being the Education Manager for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Benje is the co-director of the Jazz & Creative Institute, directs the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, and is co-founder/director of the Kalamazoo Trumpet Workshop.

An avid composer, arranger and music copyist, Daneman has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band (in Europe), Spark and Echo Arts (2015 Artist/Composer in Residence) and Redeemer Presbyterian Church (NYC). Additionally, he has collaborated with many composer/arrangers including Dr. Steve Zegree, Peter Prochnow and Roger Treece.  In addition to his music and teaching, Daneman works as an arts administrator creating opportunity and managing creative endeavors all across the nation. He has worked with The Festival of New Trumpet Music, jazz pianist Pascal Le Boeuf, Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Record Label.

Daneman has attended and holds degrees from Western Michigan University, The Henry Mancini Institute (Los Angeles, CA), and Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY). He lives in Kalamazoo, MI with his wife, jazz singer-songwriter, Ashley Daneman and three daughters.



Photo: Casey Spring

Photo: Casey Spring

Benje Daneman Group at Dakota Jazz Club (Minneapolis, MN), 2014 (Photo: Andrea Canter)

Benje Daneman Group at Dakota Jazz Club (Minneapolis, MN), 2014 (Photo: Andrea Canter)

On tour with the Doc Severinsen Big Band, 2007

On tour with the Doc Severinsen Big Band, 2007

notable Venues & Festivals

The Kennedy Center (Millennium Stage), Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, The Iridium, ShapeShifter Lab, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, Cornelia Street Cafe, Rockwood Music Hall, Constellation (Chicago), Dakota Jazz Club (Minneapolis), Cezanne (Houston, TX), The Elephant Room (Austin, TX), Festival of New Trumpet Music Festival,  Elkhart Jazz Festival, 

notable Commissions

Spark & Echo Arts (NYC) - Artist in Residence (2015), Commissioned Artist, Curator
United States Air Force Band (Ramstein, GR) -  Commissioned Arranger

notable Bands, groups & Collaborations

Doc Severinsen Big Band - National Tour, Jose Limon Dance Company (NYC) - Performer, Gustavo Moretto Sextet, The Awakening Jazz Orchestra, Western Jazz Quartet,

awards & features

National Trumpet Competition - Jazz Finalist
"Elevation" (Concord Records - GRAMMY Nominated) - Performer

Guest Artist/Featured soloist

Western Michigan University Jazz Lab Band
Kalamazoo Concert Band - Guest
Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra - Jazz Soloist



Photo: Grant Beachy

Photo: Grant Beachy

He is an expert when it comes to performance, which was evident to us at the onset, and just as impressive is his ability to impart his knowledge joyfully, enthusiastically, and effectively to my group of high schoolers.
— High School Band Director, North Harford High School Pylesville, MA

Private Instructor

Teaching a busy private studio for over fifteen years, Benje is a personal and inspiring educator.  He has taught all ages and levels of students, from five years old to senior citizens; from the first time player to professionals.  He is available to teach all over the world via Skype and in person in the West Michigan area. He has also taught privately and/or directed ensembles for the NY Pops, the NYC Dept. of Education, the Bronx-based Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, Lake Michigan College, and Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo Trumpet Workshop, 2013 Photo: Morgan King

Kalamazoo Trumpet Workshop, 2013
Photo: Morgan King

JazzStart Summer Workshop, 2015 Photo: Nich Mueller

JazzStart Summer Workshop, 2015
Photo: Nich Mueller


A former NY Pops Teaching Artist, Benje is a sought after clinician and adjudicator all across the nation.  From presenting clinics at universities (Luther College, McNally Smith College, Concordia University) to working with elementary aged musicians, Benje’s excitement for music and education and unique ability to reach all levels.

    Guest Artist/Clinician Appearances:

    • Luther College (Decorah, IA)
    • Concordia University (Seward, NE)
    • North Harford High School (Pylesville, PA)
    • Forest Hills Central High School (Grand Rapids, MI)
    • Alvin High School (Houston, TX)
    • Downers Grove South High School (Chicago, IL)
    • McNally Smith College (St. Paul, MN)
    Directing Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, 2018 Photo: Colin Howe

    Directing Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, 2018
    Photo: Colin Howe

    Jazz & Creative Institute

    Benje is Co-Director/Founder of the Jazz & Creative Institute (JCI) and is deeply involved in much of it's educational programming. He directs the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra, teaches in JCI's Private Lesson Program and oversees small and large ensemble programming.



    Benje Daneman - Trumpet/Flugel
    Greg Ward II - Alto Saxophone
    Ashley Daneman - Voice
    Rob Clearfield - Piano
    Andrew Vogt - Bass
    Jon Deitemyer - Drums

    Released August 31, 2018
    Recorded August 3rd, 2017 at Overneath Creative Collective, Kalamazoo, MI
    Produced by Benje Daneman
    Co-Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Gordon van Gent
    Mastered by Garrett Gagnon

    Music that easily glides across borders and that illustrates how words and musicians can heal.
    — Richard Kamins (Step Tempest)

    "Estelle's Farewell Gift"

    Benje Daneman - Trumpet/Flugel
    Andrew Rathbun - Tenor Saxophone
    Jeremy Siskind - Piano
    Ashley Daneman - Voice (on "Floating On") 

    Recorded Live in Kalamazoo, MI on October 12, 2012
    Recorded, edited and mastered by Gordon van Gent (GvG Productions) 


    Benje Daneman Quartet @ Constellation

    "The Loud" 

    Benje Daneman - Trumpet
    Rob Clearfield - Piano
    Andrew Vogt - Bass
    Jon Deitemyer - Drums
    Produced by: Cameron Crosson
    Sound Engineer: David Zuchowski
    Videographer: Joseph Lim

    Recorded Live March 12, 2015 at Constellation, Chicago

    Kanola Band

    An all-star band from Midwest US, paying homage to the diverse music, unique culture and fun of New Orleans

    Kanola Band (L to R): Matthew Fries (piano), Chance Huiet (tuba), Benje Daneman (trumpet), Jeff Moehle (drums), Seth Ebersole (woodwinds) Photo Credit: Casey Spring

    Kanola Band (L to R): Matthew Fries (piano), Chance Huiet (tuba), Benje Daneman (trumpet), Jeff Moehle (drums), Seth Ebersole (woodwinds)
    Photo Credit: Casey Spring

    Hailing from Kalamazoo, MI (the “KA” in Kanola), Kanola Band brings together some of the most experienced and diverse musicians on the international music scene to pay tribute to the great music and heritage of New Orleans, LA (the “NOLA” in Kanola). Diving into New Orlean’s diverse musical history, Kanola’s exciting shows include everything from traditional dixieland to groovin' zydeco to soulful funk and even blasting brass bands. Audiences of all ages will leave feeling just a bit happier than when they came. Bring your dancing shoes, leave your worries behind and be ready for some fun, because Kanola Band is always a good time!

    Kanola members have performed all across the world at some of the most prestigious music venues including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ronnie Scotts (London), and the Kennedy Center for the Arts and have recorded and toured with some of the top musicians/bands including the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Etienne Charles Big Band, Curtis Stigers, Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Orchestra, Tri-Fi, Knee Deep Shag and more.  In addition to being veteran musicians, they are also passionate music educators who currently teach at Western Michigan University, Purdue University (Ft. Wayne), Saginaw Valley State University and Jazz & Creative Institute. Their unique and engaging approach to performing will leave all ages of audiences having fun while learning about jazz, improvisation, music history, alongside the rich history of New Orleans and its music.

    Personnel: Benje Daneman (trumpet), Seth Ebersole (woodwinds),
    Matthew Fries (piano), Chance Huiet (tuba), Jeff Moehle (drums)

    For special occasions, and upon request, our “expanded” Kanola Band includes:
    Ashley Daneman (voice), Rufus Ferguson (keyboards), Nathan Durham (trombone)

    Upcoming Kanola Band Shows

    August 18, 2019 - Music in the Parks Series (Flesher Field - Oshtemo, MI)
    August 24, 2019 - Kalamazoo Community Arts Awards Ceremony (Balch Playhouse - Kalamazoo, MI)
    February 4, 2020 - Purdue University (Ft. Wayne) Music Residence (Fort Wayne, IN)
    February 5, 2020 - Saginaw Valley State University (Saginaw, MI)
    February 6, 2020 - St. Clair County Community College (Port Huron, MI)
    February 17, 2020 - West Michigan Jazz Society Mardi Gras Party w/ Ashley Daneman (Casino Club - Grand Rapids, MI)

    Benje Daneman's SearchParty

    Benje Recording Session - 67.jpg

    Photo Credit: Overneath Creative Collective



    SearchParty was born out of Benje Daneman's 2015 Artist in Residence with Spark & Echo Arts, a New York City based arts organization. Comprised of some of the best jazz talent on the scene, the band performs and tours Daneman's original compositions and arrangements. Their first album, "Light in the Darkness" will debut in Summer 2018.

    Personnel: Greg Ward (sax), Ashley Daneman (voice),
    Rob Clearfield (piano), Andrew Vogt (bass) and Jon Deitemyer (drums). 



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