Benny Powell Day

March 1, 1930 – June 26, 2010

A tribute to the reliable jazz trombonist

Trombonist Benjamin “Benny” Powell was born on March 1, 1930, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Powell developed quickly as a trombonist, playing professionally when he was just 14 and working with Lionel Hampton during 1948-51.

He is best known for his long association (1952-63) with Count Basie, appearing and sometimes soloing on quite a few famous Basie recordings.

After leaving Basie, Powell freelanced in New York, participated on many sessions, and was a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra during 1966-70.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 where he continued as a session musician, and be enjoyed a longtime association with Randy Weston.

Powell returned to New York in the 1980s, became an educator, and played in many settings up until shortly before his death at the age of 80.

Here is Benny Powell being interviewed about his career and performing “Lester Leaps In.”

-Scott Yanow


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