The Hank Johnson Trio
available for fund raisers, concerts, work-shops, jazz clinics,
promotional events, fashion shows, industrial shows, and just about
any place good music is required.
The trio consists of Hank Johnson on piano, Gary Smith on drums, and
"Cool" Mike Fitzbenjamin on bass. We invite you to let us know the
musical requirements of your event, so we can prepare an exclusive
musical package for you. In addition to the basic trio, other
instruments and vocalists can be added to lend another dimension to
Live music always adds class to an affair. It will leave an
impression of distinction, and memories that will last for years.
The Hank Johnson Trio is available in the New York City metropolitan
area and elsewhere by special arrangement. For bookings and concert
90 East 46th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11203-1815
Phone: (718) 756-3000
Pager: (917) 269-0564
Here are some places Hank has played recently: This is what you missed!
Now let's meet the other
members of the Hank Johnson Trio. On the right is the bassist,
"Cool" Mike Fitzbenjamin. Below is the drummer/percussionist, Gary
Mike Fitzbenjamin, also known as "Cool Mike", is an
exceptional, versatile bassist with "elephant ears"! Like a chip off
of the old block, Mike was greatly influenced by his father, the
late Morris Fitzbenjamin, an accomplished, professional bassist. Mike
began studying the bass violin when he was in junior high school,
and continued to study and play professionally throughout his
college years. When Mike was 15, a well known bassist, Peck
Morrison, heard him play at the Village Door Supper Club in Jamaica,
Queens, NY, and asked him to fill in when his dad could not make the
gig. Mike's ears were so accurate that everywhere jazz pianist Hank
Edmonds went harmonically, Mike was there with the correct notes,
and provided wonderful bass lines that could complement any pianist.
Lloyd Buchanan, the regular bassist with the Hank Edmonds Trio,
always smiled and allowed Mike to sit in to give Lloyd "some jelly".
Some fine musicians that Mike has performed with include: Isaac ben
Ayala, Gilly Coggins, Al Walker, Hank Johnson, Hank Edmonds, Stuart
H. Tresser, John Hicks, Ron Brown, Walter Perkins, Count Staten,
Doug Gould, Butch Bateman, Charles I. Williams, Lee Green, Albert
Daly, Jason Lindo, Don Sands, Billy Mitchell, Wes Belcamp, Goosey
Celestine and many, many others. Mike has recorded for the Jazzbone
Records label, and his fine work on bass is illustrated when he
plays, and swings, and grooves with THE HANK JOHNSON TRIO!
Back to the Jazzbone Records Main
Gary Smith started his musical career
during the early 70's. Popular groups during that time which were a
great influence were Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood, Sweat
& Tears and James Brown. For two decades, groups like these
influenced and shaped the direction for various artists in the 90's.
During the 70's and 80's, Gary worked with such groups such as
Kashmir, The African Poetry Theatre and the Starlight Orchestra,
which were a reinforcement of his early influences. In 1984, he
started a group called JAZZ IMPROMPTU which would change his ideas
and direction in music. JAZZ IMPROMPTU was a traditional straight
ahead jazz ensemble. The idea of the group was to play straight
ahead standards, but give all of the members an opportunity to
express themselves and contribute to the music. This project became
a catalyst for other associations such as with pianist DUKE PEARSON,
GILBERT (Gilly) COGGINS and tenor saxaphonist COLEMAN HOPPIN. By
1990, jazz became his central focus and continues with his
involvement and association with THE HANK JOHNSON TRIO.