Joe Benjamin
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Joe Benjamin

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Pop Funk




"Joe Benjamin in Portland"

After a sold out show celebrating the release of their debut single “Unframed Paintings” this past February at Brooklyn Bazaar in New York, the neo funk band Joe Benjamin is embarking on their “Swing Migration” tour of the Northeast.

About Joe Benjamin
Originally hailing from Munich Germany, Joe Benjamin spent the last nine years in New York where he polished his skills as a composer, vocalist, lyricist and bandleader. After he found six talented musicians for his band, they filled some of the best venues in New York City including Brooklyn Bowl, BAM and Rockwood Music Hall. In May 2015 he toured Europe with his former project, Joe Benjamin & A Mighty Handful.

After Joe’s past work in swing music, this new funk odyssey pushes peoples’ feet onto the dance floor. The album “Rock Dust Light Star” by Jamiroquai is one of Joe’s biggest influences, which becomes inevitably clear after hearing the warm sound of the background singers. Joe’s new approach in horn writing is another evidence for the evolution of his sound, Joe Benjamin 2.0.

Tour Dates:

May 9 at Empire in Portland, Maine
May 11 at the Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, NY
May 18 at the Way Station in New York City
June 8 at Nietzsche’s in Buffalo, NY
June 11 at the Groove in New York City
June 15 at the Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill, NY
July 12 at the Skinny Pancake in Burlington, VT
July 13 at the Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, NY
July 14 at Funk’n Waffles in Syracuse, NY
“Unframed Paintings” is one of three other singles that will be released before the album drops late summer 2019 which showcases the band’s new repertoire. For more information on the band visit or follow the action on Facebook. - Maine Art Scene

"Joe Benjamin - Unframed Paintings Review"

There are plenty of ways to bring the funk. You can bring it down ’n’ dirty. Or, if you’re Joe Benjamin, you can bring it nice ’n’ easy. The Brooklyn singer-songwriter and bandleader’s Unframed Paintings — the first single from his forthcoming album I’ll Never Die — is the very picture of precision, sophistication and taste, with spry rhythms, crisp horns, bouncy electric piano and enthusiastic backup vocals buoying melodic, charming vocals reminiscent of classic Squeeze. Colour me impressed. - Tinnitist

"Superman of Swing: Joe Benjamin & a Mighty Handful"

Joe Benjamin is"the superman of swing," (not really sure if anyone else calls him that but they should)! Although, swing is never the genre long associated with stuffiness, it is also not particularily known for its coolness factor. Already a fan of the Harry Connick, Jr.'s and Judy Garlands of the music world, I was even more excited after experiencing Joe Benjamin and a Mighty Handful at Drom Friday night!

Honestly, the first 30 seconds of the performance had me nervous. Joe walked on stage among his massive big band crew and seemed slightly timid. Since this was my first time hearing of him, let alone, seeing him performing I wasn't sure if he could take the stage and win over, the fairly crowded lounge/restaurant/bar. Once he began to introduce his second song he had the whole crowd into his off the beaten path, edgy swing routine.

Each song came with an introduction that made the music more personal and that much more enjoyable. Mr. Benjamin, the German born singer/songerwriter, now living in NYC, riffed on Brooklyn, regaled romantic mishaps and conducted his 11 piece band of brass, piano, drum and upright bass players with authority and suavity.

When Joe donned sunglasses for the last few numbers; particularily during the Spice Girls and Jamirofquai songs, his superhero costume of jeans, button down and personality for days, was complete. Wearing the eyewear he introduced his latest "swingle" which the concert was thrown in release off, and hit iTunes and Soundcloud that night. "That Text," continues the new age of Swing that Joe and his big band are bringing to the genre. Sending a text too fast to the wrong recipient is something everyone can relate to nowadays. The song had a beat you could move to and a nice build up.

Joe Benjamin and a Mighty Handful will be missed in this city as they take their show overseas to Germany this Spring. The whole group is full of risk takers and they push the limits of their creativity in ways that are still relatable. Joe is the ring leader of this big band and can take himself and the group to new heights of swing and performing! Look out for their new album set to be released early 2016!

Visit their website for more information -


The wonderful guys of Joe Benjamin and a Mighty Handful were lovely enough to give us the pleasure of debuting their new video for the song, “That Text.” This will be first single off the group’s new album due to hit the airwaves early next year.

Joe Benjamin and a Mighty Handful are a NYC band that’s putting a new swing on an old familiar sound. Think of them as an indie rock version of Michael Bublé and his band. One part rock, one part pop, one part swing, one part jazz…shaken, not stirred for something totally unique. Joe, a native to Germany, is backed by 11 stellar musicians from all over NYC.


Image via

Here’s what Mr. Benjamin had to say about the video: “The video to “That Text” was produced in Passau, Germany during our ‘Imma No Do’ Tour 2015 that led us though Germany. It tells the story of the song whilst also showcasing and introducing the entire band. This is our first music video and it was important for us to especially highlight the size of the band and the particular characters in it.”

The band will be performing tonight at Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St) on Stage 2 just after midnight. They will be screening the video for all before they hit the stage. The show is free for those 21 and up. - Broke Ass Stuart

"New Age Swing with Joe Benjamin & a Mighty Handful Read more: Queens Ledger - New Age Swing with Joe Benjamin a Mighty Handful"

Joe Benjamin and a Mighty Handful wants a new generation to fall in love with meaningful swing music. But this isn’t the type of swing music that your grandparents listen to. The musical marriage of swing and pop rock targets a younger audience, especially through lyrics regarding social situations that we’ve all been through. Fresh off a European tour, this quirky new age swing band can be a huge hit in years to come.

I spoke to band leader, Joe Benjamin, about his interest in swing, how the band creates music and those sensational lyrics.

The band will be performing at the Way Station at 683 Washington Ave in Prospect Heights on May 29.

So how did you get involved into new age swing? Did you listen to a lot of swing music growing up? My parents never really taught me any of this stuff. It was kind of up to me to find out about it. I remember when I was ten years old, on Christmas Eve, my parents gave my sister a CD by Robbie Williams. He was a pop artist who was bing in Europe and actually did a swing album but my sister didn’t like it all. She threw it away but I listened to it and it became this big moment in my life. I completely fell in love with this kind of music and the CD. I’ve been playing piano since I was three years old so I started playing it on the piano. It was love at first hear.

I was absolutely attracted to the music, it sparked something in me that nothing else have sparked. Starting then, I wanted to learn more about it and I started listening to Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble a few years later.

Were you involved in bands in Germany or did you pursue the music when you moved to New York?

I started in Germany, where I started singing in big bands at the age of 14. I did a few big bang gigs. When I was 16, I wrote my first musical theater which was successful for about a year in Germany. All the national publications picked up on it because I was so young and I didn’t go to school for a couple of months. Basically I did this musical by myself and it was this crazy thing that I did. Once that was done, I was in another musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I finished school and went to New York. There, I really serious started pursuing it.

So how did the band come together? I moved here in 2009. It was always my goal to move to New York and I thought to myself, ‘Okay, I’ve made it this far and I’ve got what I wanted so I need a new goal.’ I wanted something to work for so my new goal was to get a traditional big band with 18 instruments. In November 2010, I started performing for three years with another band but it was mediocre, not really successful.

It was a time when I was just learning how to lead a band and I needed to see how to deal with musicians and how to conduct a score. I terminated that band and sat down for a year and half to just write music as much as I could. In February of 2013, I got 11 people together. Some of them were from my old band and others were recommendations. In the past two years, so much has happened. The band is great. We definitely love each other and we’d do anything for one another.

Do you guys come up with the music altogether? Because that is a lot of people and opinions.

True. It’s not me as the performer with some back up band. We are like a large rock band almost. I write all the music myself and when I’m done with the composition, I sit together with my friend Martin Seiler. He’s my closest collaborator. He sits down with me and helps me arrange each song for the band. He’s the one who tends to put it all down on paper and writes down what each instrument has to play. The rest of the band is then involved in rehearsals. They give ideas or tips on how we can perform better.

Do you think there have been any challenges in getting people to listen to music beyond pop and electronic?

Absolutely. We just came back from tour in Europe last week. The tour was successful, more than we thought it would be. Eighteen-year-olds, 25-year-olds, 35-year-olds all came to our shows.They actually sat down and listened. They were very curious about the music. In Europe, it’s not difficult to get through to people. Here in America, it’s very different. We live in an EDM age and if you look at the current pop trends that we are in, all the pop songs that are written and played on the radio are all built the same way. They all sound very similar. It’s definitely more difficult here. Once everybody comes to our shows, everybody loves it. They come back and compliment us. But getting them here is difficult.

Describe the relationship between your song lyrics and the music, it’s not a combination many people would expect. Walk me through the process of your songwriting. If you look at lyrics from stars like Beyonce or Rihanna, it’s very unpoetic. That stuff is a lot of shaking and boom-boom. Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who was successful in America during the 70s, 80s and 90s, wrote lyrics that were deeply poetic but not very abstract. They were to the point and had nice meaning. Music is really important to tell a story and give a message.

Usually my songs are very funny and they remind people of musical theater because I have these anecdotes that I talk about. These are stories that happen to all of us. My song, “That Text” happens to all of us all of the time. We send the wrong text to the wrong person. The song that I am currently writing is about an Uber driver. I saw this guy twice. The first time, he was a horrible person and on the second ride, he picked me up again. It’s suppose to be funny and satirical with usually a deeper meaning behind it. It’s easy to understand. I’m not writing very abstract poetry. My music definitely jives on the lyrics.

What are your future plans?

We are just getting started. We have a music video coming out at the end of June for “That Text” which we just finished filming in Germany. We also have another single coming out in the summer. Our first full length album is coming out early next year. We hope to take tour Europe again with the album. Next year is going to be a very big year for us.

Read more: Queens Ledger - New Age Swing with Joe Benjamin a Mighty Handful - Queens Ledger

"America's New Swing - a conservative thing [transl.]"

The band is a swinging stunner: Drums, Bass, Keys, four saxophones, two trumpets, two trombones and Joe Benjamin's perfectly phrased voice. When these musicians give themselves some freedom, they surely raise the roof!


Die Band ist eine swingende
Wucht: Drums, Bass, Keyboards,
vier Saxofone, zwei Trompeten,
zwei Posaunen und Joe Benjamins
blendend phrasierende Stimme.
Wenn diese Musiker sich Freiheit
gestatten, bebt die Hütte! - Passauer Neue Presse



Active as bandleader in New York City since the mid 2010s, Joe Benjamin has built many different worlds for his music to live in. Until only a few years ago, he led a massive, genre-bending 11-piece orchestra, whose sheer mass was its own spectacle. As Joe’s style has evolved, his arrangements have become more streamlined, and his new music replaces the cacophony of reeds and brass with a tight three-piece horn section and back-up singers, just as it replaces the bombastic and madcap swing rhythms of his former project with irresistibly danceable grooves and earworm hooks. 
While his newest work is heavily influenced by funk and soul bands such as Jamiroquai and Earth, Wind & Fire, Joe Benjamin has a sound all his own, and it is his intoxicating and idiosyncratic style that has brought him on sold-out tours throughout Europe and the United States (the most pertinent of which is his forthcoming summer 2019 tour) and given him a dedicated fanbase at home in New York City. Together with his rhythm section (Ray Cetta, Tom Wilson and Michael Gordon), Joe has written a new album that showcases his previously under-displayed talent for creating searing, insistent grooves, catchy hooks and expansive soundscapes with no frills or pretensions- just the raw, captivating power that Benjamin has always been known for.

Band Members