Get super jazzed up for Kneebody

Photo courtesy of Kneebody | Funk-jazz group Kneebody will be playing on Friday as part of the Jazz Music Series. The band, from left to right, is made up of saxophonist Ben Wendel, drummer Nate Wood, keyboardist Adam Benjamin, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar and trumpeter Shane Endsley. Kneebody is well-known for having a sound that can be difficult to define.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that “Putting a finger on a band like Kneebody is a bit like raising it to the wind. At any given moment, the group’s artistic inclinations can whip in an unpredictable direction,” and they’re playing in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre Friday at 8 p.m. as a part of the Music Series.

Kneebody, a one-time Grammy-nominated funk-jazz group, has released eight studio albums and three live albums. Unlike most other bands, there is no leader to the group. As Shane Endsley, the band’s trumpeter, says, “We are a democratic, equally-owned-and-operated band with shared leadership. Everyone brings in music and everyone votes on everything. And it’s always been just the five of us.”

Other than Endsley on the trumpet, the band is made up of drummer Nate Wood, saxophonist Ben Wendel, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar and keyboardist Adam Benjamin. The quintet became friends during their time at The Eastman School of Music and Cal Arts, where they began playing together and eventually formed Kneebody in 2001.

As it seems almost everyone has said in reviews or profiles of this group, they are almost undefinable. They seem to be as familiar with Miles Davis’s electric Bitches Brew as they are with Elliot Smith, giving them a free, innovative sound that listeners can bump to and lose themselves in.

According to Kneebody’s website, “Their live shows are known for intense sonic landscapes of the Radiohead ilk, for the rhythmic bombast of a Squarepusher or Queens of the Stone Age show and the harmonic depth and improvisational freedom experienced at a Brad Mehldau concert.”

Tickets can be bought in the box office or online at for $10 with a student ID or $35 without.

By: Kevin Thomas ~U.S. & World News Editor~