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The Danemans

Ashley Daneman

Photo: Nich Mueller (

Date, Location

    • Wednesday, January 16, 2013
    • 7 pm - 8:30 pm
    • Central Library
    • Free event; open to the public. No ticket required.

    “World-class intimate jazz!”

    Enjoy the musical marriage of trumpet player Benje Daneman and his wife, Ashley Gonzalez Daneman, “a fine young jazz vocalist” ~USA Today. Rich harmonies, a love of lyrical storytelling, and a willingness to take interpretive risks provide the backdrop for this modern jazz band. The Danemans earned masters degress in jazz at Manhattan School of Music. While in New York, they performed in noted jazz venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Zinc Bar, and Cornelia Street Café.

    Ashley Daneman

    A native of Toledo, Ohio, Ashley relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan after spending ten years on the East coast.  Most recently, she performed with her group in New York City jazz clubs (Zinc Bar, Cornelia Street Café), other venues (St. John the Divine, American Folk Art Museum), and at special events working together to touch audiences with a compelling listening experience.

    While in New York, Ashley also completed a masters degree in Jazz Vocal Performance at Manhattan School of Music under the direction of Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, and Theo Bleckmann.  Her music is also heavily influenced by Dianne Reeves, Betty Carter, and Joni Mitchell.

    Ashley is a two-time arts grant recipient and was a resident artist in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (2003: Washington, DC) and at The Banff Centre’s Jazz and Creative Workshop (2010: Alberta, Canada).  She performs regularly with her band, which includes her husband, trumpet player Benje Daneman.

    Benje Daneman

    Trumpeter/composer, Benje Daneman’s musical upbringing began in West Michigan before attending the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) in Los Angeles, CA. Later, while attending Manhattan School of Music for a master’s in jazz trumpet, Benje joined the ranks of New York City jazz musicians performing in noted jazz venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Zinc Bar, Kitano and Cornelia Street Café.

    Professionally, Benje has toured with trumpeter Doc Severinsen, placed as a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition, recorded a GRAMMY nominated album "Elevation" with the HMI Big Band and performed with the Jose Limon Dance Ensemble. As a composer/arranger, Benje has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band in Europe, Spark & Echo Arts and Centerpoint Church, in addition to working as a copyist for Roger Treece, Dr. Steve Zegree, Pete Prochnow and Lutheran Music Missions.

    Currently, Benje lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his wife, jazz singer/songwriter, Ashley and two daughters, Elise and Rivi. He seeks to find an artistic connection between music and real-life through his performing and compositions.