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Ben Schachter: Bios

Ben Schachter is a powerful and original saxophonist and composer. He has recorded and performed in the U.S., Europe, and Asia with; Tim Hagans, Conrad Herwig, John Zorn, Gary Bartz, Dick Oatts, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Terell Stafford, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Uri Caine, George Garzone, Marc Ribot, Mark Dresser, John Swana, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Charles Fambrough, James Genus, Jef Lee Johnson, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Jack Walrath, etc. As a composer, Ben has been recognized with grants from the American Composers Forum, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Pew Fellowships in the Arts. A Philadelphia area native, he has been cited in his hometown press as "Best Jazz Artist" and "Best Saxophonist". His critically-acclaimed bands include Trio of Many, Sung/Unsung, Cephalopod, and re:Trio. He has seven recordings on his own label. His current band - QuadraPhilya - features world-renowned Philaldelphia musician John Swana along with Ben's long-time musical partners Leon Boykins and Matt Scarano.  The band is working on a series of new recordings, with the first release expected in early 2017.

Ben holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory and is a passionate and much sought-after teacher. Some of his former students are among the most celebrated artists and educators in modern jazz. He is an Assistant Professor and coordinator of the graduate program in Temple University's renowned Jazz Studies department, where he has taught since 1993. He has also been on faculty at Berklee College of Music, The University of the Arts, and numerous other colleges. He is an active clinician, presenting masterclasses at colleges, high schools and universities in the U.S. and Europe.

More to come...

QuadraPhilya - The Band

I am immeasurably lucky to have as colleagues three people whom I love and admire beyond limit. They are my family, my cherished friends, my musical reason for being. QuadraPhilya -  


John Swana is globally regarded as one of the very greatest modern jazz trumpet players.  Known for his stunning instrumental virtuosity, his beauty of sound, and his flawless, sophisticated melodic/harmonic language, he occupies an elite position in the community of contemporary jazz artists.  He has collaborated with luminaries Chris Potter, Ravi Coltrane and Dave Holland, legends Benny Golson and Mickey Roker, visionaries Uri Caine and Brad Mehldau…the list goes on and on.  He has countless recordings to his credit, as both leader and sideman.  In recent years, due to an injury, John was forced to stop playing the trumpet and began to focus on the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) and valve trombone.  This latest career path has resulted in John becoming the foremost virtuoso on the EVI, as well as a brilliant composer and conceptualist in electronic music, programming and synthesis.  John Swana continues to create new music of astonishing beauty and mastery. He lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Temple University and West Chester University.


Bassist/composer Leon Boykins “strives to positively influence the public through music”. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Leon studied in Philadelphia and New York City, earning a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Leon has become one of the most in-demand bassists in both of those cities, and is at the forefront of the community of new, young jazz virtuosi in New York.  He has played with many notables including George Garzone, David Liebman, John Swana, Terell Stafford, Orrin Evans, Questlove, Jef Lee Johnson, etc. In Philadelphia, Leon taught at the nation's oldest community music school, The Settlement School. Leon lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Drummer/composer Matt Scarano is one of the finest, most versatile drummers in contemporary music. In addition to performing and recording with jazz artists Dick Oatts, John Swana, Terell Stafford, Chris Brubeck, Donny McCaslin, George Garzone, etc., Matt has also worked with original indie-rockers Johnny Neel (of the Allman Brothers), Pepi Ginsberg, and his own wonderfully original bands. He regularly plays throughout the world with the acclaimed classical/jazz crossover artists Time for Three, performing with numerous orchestras in celebrated venues including Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall. Matt currently resides in Philadelphia, and is the most sought-after drummer in town. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Temple University.