Voted 'Rising Star' flutist in Downbeat Magazine's 62nd Annual Critics Poll

Nineteen-Eight Holiday Sale and end-of-year wrap-up 

Hello friends, and seasons' greetings!

In the spirit of the season, the good folks over at Nineteen-Eight Records are offering a sweet deal on all of their records, including "Crossing" released this year by your's truly. For a limited time only, they are offering every single cd in their catalog for only $7 each. This special holiday pricing will last through the rest of December only and will end on January first. You can see the limited-time pricing adjusted on each artist page. This pricing only applies to physical CDs and is only available at Nineteen-Eight. If you already have "Crossing", perhaps you know some else who may enjoy it (…just saying'…!) or perhaps check out some of the other fantastic releases from this year. Either way, can't go wrong with great music!

"Crossing" has had some fine reviews over the year including some recent end-of-the-year press:

'CROSSING' TOP DEBUT ALBUM OF 2011--Jazz Journalists Association

BEST OF 2011

"The first time I listened to "Crossing" (Nineteen-Eight), the debut CD by multi-reed player Ben Kono, the music stopped me cold. Not only does Kono play a slew of instruments (oboe, english horn, flute, alto flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone and shakuhachi), his compositions and arrangements are strikingly good. Supported by the rhythm section of John Hollenbeck (drums) and John Hebert (bass) plus the fine keyboard work of Henry Hey and soaring electric guitar of Pete McCann (his acoustic work is also excellent), Kono creates an aural auto-biography that is as moving as it is musical. His wife, Heather Laws, adds vocals and french horn to several tracks. What a debut!"--Step Tempest


"Kono is one of the stal­wart ses­sion men on the New York scene, from Broad­way to the stel­lar big bands of Darcy James Argue and John Hol­len­beck. His ver­sa­til­ity as a player comes through on Cross­ing in a rich range of musi­cal think­ing; all the pieces are his own, and his writ­ing makes excel­lent use of word­less voice, french horn, and his own ter­rific flute and double-reed play­ing. His writ­ing makes the band, with Heather Laws the afore­men­tioned singer/horn player, Henry Hey on piano, gui­tarist Pete McCann, John Hébert on bass and drum­mer Hol­len­beck, sound enor­mous. The musi­cal ideas come out of the con­tem­po­rary legacy of sophis­ti­cated, inter­na­tion­ally tinged jazz com­po­si­tion and orches­tra­tion, make use of the best lessons from the likes of Pat Metheny as well as his own col­leagues. Kono places an empha­sis on melody, and is a real crafts­man, shift­ing his lovely lines through dif­fer­ent tex­tures and har­monies, com­bin­ing sec­tions that seem like bits of songs into larger forms and never los­ing track of where he has come from and where he is going."--The Big City Blog

Looking forward to some great things in 2012 and I hope to see you at some of them! Thanks for listening and for your continued support, I wish you all the best for the holidays and the new year.

Ben Kono Group at Shapeshifter Lab, 6/24/14

Ben Kono Group: Simon and the Monk/River of Fire

Previous events


Miggy Miyajima Big Band recording

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Sear Sound Recording Studios, New York, NY


Ben Kono Group@Pro Musica Joplin, MO

Corley Auditorium, Missouri Southern State University, 3950 Newman Rd, Joplin, MO 64801

The Group features long-time musical collaborators Henry Hey on piano and Fender Rhodes, Pete McCann on guitars, Ross Pederson on drums, Matt Clohesy on bass, and . In 2013 Kono was awarded the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to write and premier a suite for the Group entitled DON’T BLINK.

The appearance of the Ben Kono Group in Joplin is sponsored, in part, by Annette Thurston and Charles Keeter.

While in Joplin the Ben Kono Group will present a clinic for jazz students at MSSU and area high schools at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, 4/29/17. The public is invited to attend the clinic.

Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students. Tickets can be purchased online (click on the Tickets section of this website) or from the Pro Musica office, 9:00-1:00 (call first 625-1822).


Jeff Fairbanks' Project Hansori

The Secret Theatre , 4402 23rd St, Long Island City, NY 11101

Project Hansori, meaning one sound in Korean, encapsulates Jeff Fairbanks large scale work fusing Jazz and the music of various cultures, drawing heavily from certain East Asian traditions. This group reflects his vision for combining different cultural elements into a contemporary, orchestral Jazz setting. Its debut album Mulberry Street won major grants from the American Music Center and the Aaron Copland Fund. This event is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Jazz Composer's Showcase vol. 7 curated by Miho Hazama

The Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, 5th Fl , New York, NY 10001

Composers: Joel Harrison, Michael Thomas and Christopher Zuar Ben Kono, Michael Thomas, Jeremy Powell, John Lowery, Andrew Gutauskas – saxophones Sam Hoyt, Jonathan Powell, Matt Holman, Dave Smith – trumpets Matthew McDonald, Nick Finzer, Nick Grinder, Max Seigel – trombones Joel Harrison – guitar Martha Kato – piano Even Gregor – bass Jared Schonig – drums sets at 7.30pm + 9.30pm each set: $15/$10 members


Scott Reeves/Jay Brandford Tentet

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Silvana, 300 W 116th St, , New York, NY 10026

Scott Reeves/Jay Branford (w/John Bailey/Andy Gravish - Trumpets, Ben Kono/Lance Bryant - Saxes, Mark Patterson - bpne, Roberta Piket - Piano, Rusty Holloway - Bass, Scott Neumann - Drums


Ted Nash Big Band: The Presidential Suite

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The Jazz Standard, 116 E 27th St , New York, NY 10016

In researching and writing his eight-part "Presidential Suite," saxophonist Ted Nash found that "great political speeches combine three elements: a prominent orator, a significant statement and considerable eloquence...A sub-theme, a thread common to all of these, is the idea of freedom. For most movements I have used the intonation - the ups and downs and cadences of the voice - to form the thematic material." Nash found inspiration in orations by U.S. President John F. Kennedy ("Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You"), Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi ("Freedom From Fear"), and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ("We Shall Fight On The Beaches"), among others, and he "allowed the spirit of their messages to shape the intensity of the arrangements." This Jazz Standard engagement celebrates the CD release of Ted Nash Big Band Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom, with a recording cast that includes the voices of Glenn Close, Deepak Chopra, and Sam Waterston. On election night, the audience will be presented live election updates by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan and Peabody Award-Winning journalist Brooke Gladstone.

Ted Nash – tenor sax Sherman Irby – alto sax Charles Pillow – alto sax Ben Kono – tenor sax Dan Block – tenor sax Paul Nedzela – baritone sax

Kenny Rampton – trumpet Marcus Printup – trumpet Greg Gisbert – trumpet Alphonso Horn – trumpet

Vincent Gardner – trombone Elliot Mason – trombone Chris Crenshaw – trombone

Dan Nimmer – piano Carlos Henriquez – bass Ali Jackson – drums

Fred Kaplan – live election coverage (11/8 only) Brooke Gladstone – live election coverage (11/8 only)

Plus Special Guests