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What would Mondriaan Jazz Festival be without a specially curated super group? This year’s dream team consists of American saxophonist Ben Wendel, vocalist and improv star Michael Mayo and renowned Israeli pianist Shai Maestro. With global consciousness as guiding theme, this newborn trio will present completely fresh compositions and improvisations, building on and reacting to eachother’s strengths. Most of the performed tracks are exclusively made for Mondriaan Jazz Festival… yes, we feel honored.

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Ben Wendel

Grammy nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Los Angeles. Currently living in Brooklyn and Amsterdam. Ben has performed and toured with artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Eric Harland, Moonchild, Louis Cole, Snoop Dogg and the artist formerly known as Prince. Ben is a founding member of the Grammy nominated group Kneebody.

Shai Maestro

Shai Maestro is one of the most promising and talented pianists of his generation. Since his debut with his own trio in 2011, Shai has shaped a strong and unique personal identity and has portrayed an incredible musical fluidity, making Shai and his band one of the most powerful and harmonious groups in the jazz today.

Michael Mayo

Michael approaches his voice as a musical instrument, but in often unexpected ways and influences— with pop harmonies, Stevie Wonder-like R&B, drum and bass riffs and hip-hop boom baps. Even with his classical training, Mayo’s music is a seamless blend of alternative, hip hop and neo-soul, a unique combination that defies genre. It must be the genes: Michael’s parents are “first-call” session and touring musicians, Michael’s dad Scott Mayo was a saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire and is currently the musical director for Sergio Mendes, while his mom Valerie Pinkston, is back-up vocalist for Diana Ross and sang with BeyoncĂ©, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston and even alt icon Morrissey.




Line-up:

Ben Wendel: tenor saxophone
Shai Maestro: keys
Michael Mayo: vocals