Benjamin Boone has garnered remarkable attention in recent years for two critically acclaimed albums featuring his compositions written to accompany recitation by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Philip Levine. The first of these two albums was 2018’s The Poetry of Jazz (followed by 2019’s The Poetry of Jazz, Vol. 2), widely recognized as a milestone poetry/jazz project. Praised in leading musical and literary publications, voted the #3 “Best Album of 2018” in DownBeat Magazine’s annual Readers Poll (just behind Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis), featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, referenced by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, and an Editor’s Pick in The Paris Review, The Poetry of Jazz volumes 1 & 2 established Boone as one of the most compelling voices exploring the intersections between poetry and jazz.
Boone served as a US Fulbright scholar to Ghana during the 2017-2018 academic year, where he collaborated with numerous Ghanaian musicians. This culminated in the album, JOY, recorded with The Ghana Jazz Collective, just before he returned to the U.S. With a love for world music, he has formed this group with Jim Karagozian (Kanun), LA drummer Jaz Sawyer, pianist Craig von Berg, bassist Kevin Hill, and special guests, to explore the connections between world music and jazz.