MJF2014 Participant: Michel Benebig (Hammond organ, New Caledonia)


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New Caledonia, Nouméa


Michel Bénébig was born in New Calédonia (South-Pacific). He started playing bass, accordéon and électronic-organ (Farfisa) at 11 in differents dancing-bands all around New Calédonia.
Michel started to learn piano and music-theory at 16 at the E.T.M (Ecole Territoriale de Musique de Nouméa), he obtained the “Golden Médal” certificat on Piano in 1988 .
He studied in high level of classical-piano training in France at the ‘National Conservatory of Music of Besançon’.
In june 1992, Michel switched from Classical Piano to Jazz-Organ (Hammond B3 Organ). Michel bought hundreds of CDs of Jazz organ Masters like; Jimmy Smith, Jack Mc Duff, Jimmy Mc Griff, Lonnie Smith, Sheirley Scott, Richard “ Groove “ Holmes, Don Paterson, Rhoda Scott, Charles Earland, Johnny Hammond Smith, Eddy Louiss etc... and as a self taught musician, Michel learnt the Blues & Jazz organ technics, spending hours and hours of practicing the pedals ...
At this time, Michel is a piano teacher at the “ E.T.M “ (Ecole Territoriale de Musique de Nouméa), he started teaching blues & Jazz organ technics from 2001 to 2004..
Michel had a grade-level teaching and performing exam in 2003, he obtained the “D.E “ (Diplome d’Etat / State Diploma) on the Hammond Organ at the “ETM“ now “C.M.N.C“ (Conservatoire de Musique de Nouvelle Calédonie).
Michel left the C.M.N.C in December 2006 to create an association called ‘AMJ-BECA’ (Association des Musiciens de Jazz & Blues pour les Echanges et la Création Artistique). The AMJ-BECA produce concerts, tours, ‘master-class’ etc. all around New Caledonia and overseas.
Michel is performing everywhere in New Calédonia , overseas : Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania), New-Zealand (Auckland, Wellington, Napier, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargil etc..), Fiji (Suva), Vanuatu (Vila), Florida USA (Orlando) & California USA (Los Angeles & San-Francisco), Ile de la Réunion (Indian Océan), France (Paris, Nice, Marseille etc..)
Michel is now recognized as one of the leading Soul-Jazz-organist around the world..
Michel was elected the “Organist of the Month” of may 2006 by “The International Archives for the Jazz-Organ“ and received a certificate – diploma.
He played with Jazz Organists like:
Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Mc Griff, Larry Goldings, Rhoda Scott, Lonnie Smith, Tony Monaco, Melvin Rhyne, Chester Thompson, ‘Papa’ John Defrancesco, Duke Jethro, Dave Matthiew, Stefan Patry, Cole Nolan, Tim Neal, Cameron Scott, Darren Heinrich
Michel also performed with International musicians like:
Bruce Forman, Lewis Nash, Frank Potenza, Paul Kreibich, Ricky Woodard, James Levi, Carl Lockett, Jean-Philippe Fanfant, Joel Taylor, Randy Jonhston, Doug Webb, George Coleman Jr, Andrew Dickeson, Roger Manins, Pete France, Nick Haywood, Rodger Fox , Dixon Nacey, Vaughn Roberts, Ron Samsom, Tony Hopkins, Tom Mawi, Adam Simmons, Cameron Allen, Anthony Baker, Mike Jordan, Phil Collings, Matt Kirsch, Jake Mason, Edward York, Brendan O’Reilly, Paul Williamson, Creag Beard, Eugene Ball, Ronnie Ferrella, Peter Knight, Roger Sellers, Bob Bertles, Nicolas Peslier, André Villège, François Laudet, Gilles Renne, Pierre Achache and many others around the world.
Last CD’s that he released: ‘Live in Melbourne’, ‘Black Cap’, ‘Yellow Purple’.







Michel Benebig (Hammond organ, New Calédonia)
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