martes, 13 de mayo de 2014


aka : Benjamin Myers
Earthday : April 6, 1968

Musician, Vocalist, Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Recording and Performing Artiste

“A fine line separates musicians who play music to live and those who live to play music. I live to play music…it is my life” ~ Benjy Myaz

Benjy Myaz was born in a little town called Haddington, Hanover, on the island of Jamaica. He and his other seven musical siblings were exposed to music at an early age, playing with the band in their father's church. Benjy quickly learned the guitar and was always eager to play at devotions in primary school and do rehearsals with the church groups. He went on to study music at Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay. After leaving school in 1984, Benjy taught music for two years at the high school level and began further studies with private tutors earning tertiary accreditation from the London Royal School of Music.

Benjy’s professional musical career began when he started working in Jamaica’s tourist industry, playing in most of the north-coast hotels for nearly eight years. During that time, Benjy applied and received a scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Faith, in its divinity, wouldn’t have it that way. He, however, went on to develop skills in bass playing, arranging, songwriting, and music production; and his career as a musician is credited to his vast knowledge about music.

This musician has command of at least seven instruments, with his first love being the Bass. This he owes to diligent studies and an innate love for music. According to Benjy, “When a musician is formally trained, it allows him, or her, to appreciate the origin and growth of music. It gives you a deeper perspective about your craft.”

As a producer, he got his first big break in 1986 when he arranged and produced a remake of Brooke Benton's classic, “So Many Ways”, performed by Dennis Malcolm, which went to the number one position in Jamaica, England, and New York. With hopes of touring as a bassist, Benjy became a member of the Rhythm Kings Band, touring with several artistes including: Jimmy Cliff, Culture, Toots and the Maytals, Shinehead, and J.C. Lodge. His other credits include: appearing as a bassist for the chorale, Sounds of Blackness, and also Jimmy Cliff.

During this period, he realized his other dreams: singing, writing, and arranging music. The nineties afforded him the opportunity to produce, write, arrange, and collaborate with top Reggae/Latin/Pop/Gospel/Folk/Urban recording artistes such as: Third World, Garnet Silk, Ken Boothe, Joan Myers, Joanna-Marie, Pam Hall, Michael St. George, Bankie Banx, Freddie McGregor, and Jazz Pianist Onajae Allan Gumbs. Myaz has written and co-produced several projects with ace producer, Bobby Digital, including tracks on Sizzla’s album, “The Real Thing” and Capleton’s “Reign of Fire”, among others. He has also produced several musical projects for Fyah Wyah.

As a solo act, he performed alongside international artistes: Jeffrey Osbourne, James Ingram, Gladys Knight, Angie Stone, Kevon Edmonds, Bankie Banx, and Peabo Bryson at the Buzz Production’s “To Mom With Love” concert series held in Jamaica. He performed at “World Food Day” (November 2000) at James Bond Beach, St Mary; “Reggae Sumfest” (Jamaica’s premier music festival); and the “Jamaica Jazz Festival”. In 2010, Benjy delivered memorable performances at the annual “Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival” – both in Kingston and at the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny.

Benjy says one highlight of his career, was performing his first single, a cover of “Love You Higher” at the Prime Minister's Ball in 2000, alongside international recording artiste Randy Crawford (who had originally recorded the song), to her surprise and delight. Prior to that memorable performance, having released the cover in 1995, it had been receiving massive airplay and has become a classic in the annals of Reggae music.

On the international scene, Benjy toured Japan following the launch of his album “Time Together” to promote its release. He also performed at “Midem ‘97” (France); and Anguilla's annual “Moonsplash”, held in March 2007, where he appeared as bassist and musical director for Bankie Banx, and has been since 1997; taking a break in 2008 and 2009; and returning in 2010 for a special 20th Anniversary concert when he received a Long Service Award.

In 1999, he received a Nomination Medal & Certificate from the Grammy Committee for being a part of Toots and the Maytals Grammy-nominated album, “Ska Father”.

To date, Benjy has released four albums. His debut album, “Intimate Relationship” was released in the U.S. in 1997. “Time Together” was released in Jamaica and Japan in 1998; and the U.S. in 2000 (VP Records). His own label, My’ Werks Music, released “Long Story Short”, the third vocal album, in November 2005.

Prior to completing “Long Story Short”, Benjy produced an instrumental album titled, “You’ve Got Me”…the first of its kind ever produced in Jamaica – featuring the sound of the Bass as the lead instrument up front. “You’ve Got Me” – also on his My’ Werks Music label – was officially released, in Jamaica, in October 2009.

Music lovers are going to love experiencing this side of Benjy Myaz. In order to accomplish the variations, he utilized his knowledge of other instruments to transform the bass’ melodies. He states, “The Bass was always an accompanying rather than a lead instrument; and the concept was to create melodies and not make them sound repetitious or monotonous.”

This instrumental album he says, “was strongly inspired by fusion musicians like: Herbie Hancock, George Duke and, in particular, bass players Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Jaco Pastorius.” It has international appeal, but does not leave out the ‘Reggae feel’, which, Benjy says “…brings back the album to its grass roots."

Benjy continues to tour and perform in Jamaica and on the international scene, always creating new music and recording new sounds. According to Benjy, “I am about chasing creativity, not the competition."

Rockers 'n' Blues: A twist Blues, with a strong reggae base, enhanced by inspiring lyrics. That's the defination of the new sound by none other than Benjy Myaz.

Benjy Myaz has proven to be, not only one of the top bass players worldwide, nor a prolific composer, producer and songwriter, but also a promising singer and performing artist. With the release of his first CD/album, "Intimate Relationship" (VP) , the world got a taste of who Benjy Myaz was. With songs like, "Love You Higher" ,"Show Your Love" and the title track "Intimate Relationship", he made a burst onto the music scene as a well respected singer and performing artist. At midem '97, being one of the reggae artist representing the Jamaican contingent, he made a lasting impression on the audiencewith a stellar performance.

After completing "Intimate Relationship", Benjy said, "This has been my most rewarding project thus far, becauseit has reinforced my confidence in myself". He now displays more of his innate music talent on his new CD.album, "Time Together".

The concept behind "Time Together" was to produce more original-sounding compositions and more musical arrangements to enhance the production. It is a blend of different sounds and players. "My compositions will always reflect the fusings of all musical forms", states Benjy.

Time Together was released in Japan in June, 1998. In fact, Benjy recently returned from a promotional tour of Japan featuring Yeshemabeth and Freddie McGregor, along with Gumption Band. The CD/album did so well on its release that by the time Benjy got to Japan the audiences were practically singing along on every song he performed. The CD is now ready for release in the Caribbean and North American regions and will be distributed by Benjy's own My Werks recording label.

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