Trumpeter/composer, Benje Daneman’s musical life began through a supportive music program in the public school systems in Grand Rapids, MI. After touring with the International Blue Lake Band in high school, he experienced the intensity of music and decided to pursue the art further. After graduating high school, Benje moved to Kalamazoo, MI where he attended Western Michigan University and majored in both Music Education and Jazz Studies. During his time there, he toured internationally and nationally with WMU's Gold Company (South Africa & New York)/Symphonic Band (China) and began working as a freelance musician in the area.
In the summer of 2006, he was attended the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, CA. While there, he studied with trumpeter Charley Davis and recorded the album “Elevation” with the HMI Jazz Orchestra (featuring Tom Scott and Eddie Daniels) which was later nominated for two GRAMMY awards. In the year to follow, Benje toured with the Doc Severinsen Big Band, competed in the National Trumpet Competition, attended the JAS Aspen Seminar (Christian McBride – musical director) and graduated from Western Michigan University.
After graduating, Benje worked as a music educator in Michigan teaching on the jazz faculty at Lake Michigan College and as a middle school band director, in addition to working as a freelance trumpet player in the Midwest. In 2008, Benje made the move to New York City to begin work on his Master's Degree in Jazz Trumpet at Manhattan School of Music (MSM). While there, he had the privilege of studying with Scott Wendholt and Laurie Frink, as well as freelancing in the city in such noted jazz venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Zinc Bar, Kitano, The Tea Lounge and Cornelia Street Café, and performing with the distinguished José Limon Dance Company.
Following his graduation from MSM, Benje returned to Michigan with his family. Benje performs regularly throughout the region/nation, teaches privately and works as a composer, arranger and music copyist. As a composer/arranger, he has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band in Europe, Spark & Echo Arts and Centerpoint Church, in addition to working as a music copyist for Roger Treece, Dr. Steve Zegree, Pete Prochnow and Lutheran Music Missions. Currently, Benje lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his wife, jazz singer/songwriter, Ashley and two daughters, Elise and Rivi. He seeks to find an artistic connection between music and real-life through his performing and compositions.