starts studying classical music in France and Belgium.As a child, he discovers Harlem stride piano and New-Orleans jazz thanks to his Dad, who’s a Dixieland saxophonist, and a Swing lover, but at a time where Jazz-Rock and electronic beatboxes are more hip. Marc is then lulled by James P. Johnson as well as Chick Corea’s Electric Band, among many others.
As soon as he gratuated from the Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris, Marc enters the group Llorca, avant-guard band mixing Jazz with Electronica, with which he starts a long run of concerts around the World. The band will release the album « Newcomer » on Laurent Garnier’s label Fcom in 2001 and sells 170 000 LP’s.
Marc is then hired as a sideman with Jazz artists like Tony Pagano, Jean-Loup Longnon, Frankie Davis Jr, César Poirier, Maxim Saury, BVO or Dj Mao.He also collaborates and records with French Folk Song singers like Diane Tell, Régine,Hugues Aufray or Charles Aznavour.
Marc will also be piano player for silent movies, circus musician, pianist on cruise ships, and will improve his style and technical skills playing Jazz standards.« playing standards is an ideal playground for getting into the strangest adventures while still keeping to the thread of a melody or a recognized series of chords »
On a very solid experience of the stage, Marc decides to dig his Stride vocabulary in a modern direction, first by studying his piano idols’s style, then by writing his own compositions.
His cd « Herbst » is the reflection of his work, melting folk songs with compositions and free improvisations. A ludic and virtuoso piano playing, which can collect the listener’s attention by a music full of imagination and humor, but also with more introspective moments.
“Genuinely nurtured by the entire history of jazz, Marc Benham, at a very high level, has all the skills you’d expect from an authentic musician: technique, feeling, melodic invention and a sense of harmony. His own language is steeped in tradition, and he has managed to incorporate all the stylistic advances that have appeared since. A really fine pianist, the way I like them.” Martial SOLAL