Witness of the Sun
BEN SCHWENDENER Pianist, composer, and educator Ben Schwendener has been a part of the vital Boston music scene since the early 1980's. A former student of jazz legends George Russell, Ran Blake, Jimmy Guiffre, Miroslav Vitous and Joe Maneri, Schwendener is currently on the jazz faculties of both New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music. In addition to his jazz teaching and work as a leading lecturer on Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, Schwendener teaches courses on Creative and Critical Thinking at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and directs the arts education non-profit, Gravity Arts, which he founded in 1997. Gravity Arts provides customized music and dance education opportunities for individuals, communities and corporations, and oversees the independent label, Gravity Records. As a performer, Schwendener has appeared throughout the United States, Europe and Japan with his group, as a sideman and solo pianist, produced commissioned works for dance companies, independent film, and television commercials and released three recordings as a leader. He is currently supporting his two newest releases, Road Trips, with his quintet, Falling Objects, and a recording of piano duets with fellow Boston pianist Marc Rossi, Living Geometry, while working on forthcoming recordings in preparation for Gravity Arts' fifth anniversary in the fall of 2002.