As a jazz instrumentalist and bassist, Benjy Myaz has made his mark in Jamaican music by composing music, producing, writing, arranging, collaborating and singing. Most fans would identify him with the lovers’ rock genre of reggae music, but he is far too talented and versatile to be pigeonholed. He has forged his own signature blend of reggae, urban soul, and jazzy harmonies into something soulful, romantic, stylish and classy. One of our very favorite artists, Benjy Myaz makes some of the most beautiful music!
Benjamin (Benjy) Myers was born in Haddington, Hanover, Jamaica on April 6, 1968. The surname of Myaz came from the patois pronunciation of his last name. The last of eight children, Benjy’s first outlet for his budding musical talent was playing with the band at Holiness Christian Church where his father was the preacher.After studying music while attending Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay, Benjy Myaz went on to teach music at the high school level for two years.
Playing Jamaica’s North Coast hotel circuit for eight years, Benjy Myaz continued to cultivate his musical career. During this time he received a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but the complexities of life got in the way. However, he never stopped developing his bass playing, songwriting and singing skills.
Benjy Myaz’ diligence and passion for music havehelped him become proficient with at least 7 instruments, but his first love is the bass. His first big break as a producer came in 1986 when he arranged and produced a cover of Brooke Benton’s So Many Ways which was performed by Dennis Malcolm and made it to number one in New York, the U.K. and at home. He also became a member of the Rhythm Kings Band, hoping to tour as a bassist. This internationally recognized and accomplished bassist has collaborated with top artists including Toots and the Maytals, Ken Boothe, Garnett Silk, Third World, Jimmy Cliff, Freddie McGregor, Buju Banton, Morgan Heritage and Bankie Banx, among others. He has also co-produced with influential reggae and dancehall producer, Bobby Digital, including tracks for Sizzla and Capleton.
Benjy Myaz broke through with the release of his first single, Love You Higher, in 1995.The single received massive airplay and has become a classic which he continues to perform today to the enjoyment of his fans. In 1999, he received a Nomination Medal and Certificate from the Grammy Committee acknowledging his participation in a Grammy-nominated Toots and the Maytals album.
With strong influences by musicians like Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius, he continues to go wherever his beautiful music takes him, making his mark internationally and doing what he loves most. He performs regularly in Jamaica and continues to tour around the world, performing in Japan, France and Anguilla, among others, alongside international acts like Jeffrey Osborne, Angie Stone, Gladys Knight and Peabo Bryson.
Benjy Myaz has to his credit three wonderful vocal albums to date: Intimate Relationship (1997 in the U.S.), Time Together (released in Jamaica in 1998 and the U.S. in 2000), and Long Story Short, released on his own label, My Werks Music (2005). Prior to completing Long Story Short, Benjy produced an instrumental album entitled You've Got Me -- the first of its kind ever produced in Jamaica - featuring the bass as the lead instrument. Available in Jamaica, he is in the process of getting this long-awaited album released globally.
He is also very involved in supporting The Maia Chung Autism & Disabilites Foundation and The Save Darfur Movement, donating proceeds from the new instrumental You've Got Me to those organizations which are dear to his heart.
Benjy Myaz is one of my very favorite artists. Lovers’ rock fan that I am, I impatiently look forward to his albums. But the intelligence of his music and the extent of his creativity are an inspiration no matter the genre. Keep up the great work Mr. Myaz and stay true to your vision!
Visit Benjy Myaz’ websites at: MySpace.com/mywerksmusic, MySpace.com/BenjyMyaz, Facebook. Among other great tunes, there is a BRILLIANT instrumental there of Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Going On" featuring the bass. It is well worth a listen!