Ben's Friends Jazz Orchestra

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Ben's Friends Jazz Orchestra, now called Ben's Friends Legacy Jazz Orchestra with the passing of Ben Pruitt in October 2017 is a big band consisting of 19 musicians was formed in 1990. Besides their love of jazz, the only thing the musicians had in common was their friendship with Benjamin "Cat Daddy" Pruitt.
So they agreed to call themselves Ben's Friends. The size of the gifted group grew "because once a Friend, always a Friend. There are more than 70 members in the jazz orchestra--recording artists, music educators, performers and songwriters/arrangers among them. They represent 817 collective years of musical experience. Whenever they play, past members are invite to sit in and jam.
Great talents are on the list of members, including Marcus Belgrave, Ernie Rodgers, Skip Pruitt, "Big Bill" Carter, Charlie Hill and Joe A. Williams. The group has two vocalists: Shiron Denise & Deanna Weeden. Ben's Friends Legacy Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to keeping big band music alive in the Detroit area.


Ben Pruitt.jpg
The Band Leader of Ben's Friends Jazz Orchestra was Benjamin "Ben" Pruitt, who came to Detroit from Little Rock, Arkansas in 1966. He retired from the Detroit Public Schools System, having served as department head for the Detroit Public Schools system, and previously, director of Cass Technical and Henry Ford High schools. Ben Pruit held a Master's of Music Degree and was accomplished on the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. He toured with such notables as Joe Simon and Charlie Gabriel. He has also served as the Minister of Music at Plymouth United Church of Christ. Sadly Ben passed away in October 2017

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