Tenor and baritone saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff (b. 1974) grew up in Washington, D.C. He began piano lessons at the age of five, and switched to saxophone at age ten. Ben studied saxophone at the University of Michigan, the New School for Social Research, and Bennington College, where he earned his Master’s degree. Ben has studied with: Reggie Workman, Roscoe Mitchell, Charles Gayle, Donald Sinta, Matthew Shipp, Roswell Rudd, Rob Brown, Gary Louie and Charlie Persip. At Bennington College, Ben studied intensively with master drummer and healer Milford Graves.
In 2001, Ben moved to Berlin, Germany, where he has been active in the city’s jazz, funk, and african music scenes. He performs regularly with Karl Hector & the Malcouns, Plan B, the Baltic Soul Orchestra and performs in Othello at Berlin’s Schaubühne. He is a founding member and musical director and producer of the Afrobeat Academy, who are currently on tour and in the studio with the legendary Ghanaian guitarist Ebo Taylor.Last but certainly not least, Ben is the saxophonist in the band of Xavier Naidoo, Germany’s number one soul superstar.
Ben has performed with:
Gwen McCrae, Marva Whitney, Tony Allen, Kurtis Blow, Ebo Taylor, Patrice, Jan Roder, Maze, Daryl Taylor, Kalle Kalima, Joyce Sims, Torch, Antonis Anissegos, Xavier Naidoo, Melba Moore, Philip Sindy, Henry Taylor, Frank Schellenberger, D Flame, Nosliw, Oghene Kologbo, Robbee Mariano, Ann Sexton, Michael Griener,Toni L, Max Weissenfeldt, Ekow Alabi Savage, Jimi Tenor, Sirone, Maria Raducanu, Maurice de Martin, Tony Buck, Osei Tutu, Christian Weidner, Beckmann, Neil Palmer, Derek Shirley, Michael Thieke, Henrik Wahlsdorf, Andrew McGuiness, Sebastian Duwelt, Eric Owusu, Kwame Yeboah, Stu Krause, Eric Schaefer, Oliver Steidele, Mircea Tiberian, Ralf Gustke, Alex Auer, Ade Bantu, Don Abi, Maurice de Martin, Jan Weissenfeldt, Thomas Myland, Giuseppi Coppola, Zdenko Curulija, Franck Biyong, Oleg Rovner, Uli Bartell, Germ, Sammy Quist, Patrick Frankowski, Akinola Famson, Pal One, John Schroeder, Christian Weber, Danny Fresh, Dede, Addo-Nettey a.k.a. Pax Nicholas, Ono, Tone, Soehne Mannheims, Ulrich Gumpert…too many to mention all–hopefully many more to come!