Benjamin Boone’s critically hailed 2018 release The Poetry of Jazz (Origin Records), a singular collaboration with the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine, is at the forefront of the remarkable wave of recent projects and recordings that have rescued the jazz/poetry connection from Beat-era clichés. With ecstatic reviews from both jazz and literary outlets such as Jazz Times, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” The Paris Review, and Downbeat (one of their “Best Albums of 2018”), and with a ranking of #3 “Jazz Album of the Year” in the latter publication’s 83rd Annual Readers Poll, just behind Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, The Poetry of Jazz has emerged as one of this genre’s most captivating and compelling voices. “You hold in your hands jazz history,” says producer/pianist Donald Brown. “This is a CD that must be heard!” The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two will be released in January 2019, and then The Poet Are Gathering, featuring Pulitzer Prize winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Tyehimba Jess, as well as US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, in 2020.
A U.S. Fulbright Scholar to the University of Ghana (2017-18) and to Moldova (2004), Boone’s music has garnered 18 international awards/honors from organizations, appear on twenty-seven CDs and have been performed in over twenty-seven countries. As a Professor at Fresno State since 2000, he has received the Provost Award for Excellence in Teaching, the President’s Award of Excellence, the Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the University Faculty Spirit of Service Award.
As a saxophonist, Boone has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. His debut jazz CD, The Benjamin Boone Quartet: Live broke into the national airplay charts and remained in the top 100 for three weeks and was in the top ten for internet play.
Boone is currently a Professor of Music at California State University Fresno where he has taught since 2000. He has received the University’s President’s Award of Excellence, the Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the University Faculty Spirit of Service Award.