As the "hip-hop" or "acid jazz" movement of the mid-1990s gained momentum in the United States, Charlie Hunter was leading it in the San Francisco Bay Area. Young groups of avant-garde jazz musicians were mixing traditional jazz with hip-hop, funk, and rock. Hunter was the first out of the pack of groups of the area to be released on CD. "We study the past and practice the present," Hunter told Down Beat in 1994. That blend of past and present was what Hunter used to push several incarnations of his own bands, including his trio, quartet, and T.J. Kirk--a separate Hunter group altogether--through a number of successful releases and tours. His inventive use of a custom guitar earned him astute musicians as fans, and his talent for creating infectious hip-hop dance grooves made Hunter's live shows guaranteed good times for college crowds.
Avante-Folk" Saxophonist Daniel Bennett is most known for his trance-inducing musical mix of jazz, folk, and minimalism. Bennett has traveled the country, performing at venues like Lincoln Center, Merrill Auditorium, Eastman Theatre, George Eastman House, Jordan Hall, Hale Auditorium, Open Fest, Six Flags Darien Lake, and the Rochester Lilac Festival. The Daniel Bennett Group has shared concert stages with Bill Frisell, the Charlie Hunter Trio, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin and Wood), David Fiuczynski (Screaming Headless Torsos), Denison Witmer, and LA-based synthpop group Joy Electric. In July of 2008, The Daniel Bennett Group released the second album in the bear trilogy," entitled The Legend of Bear Thompson. Bennett is joined by longtime bandmates Brant Grieshaber (Guitar) Jason Davis (Bass) and Rick Landwehr (Percussion).
Bennett Alliance is a Boston-based record label and production company, serving the northeast jazz scene since 2003. Bennett Alliance was created by Boston Avante-Folk saxophonist, Daniel Bennett. The Bennett Alliance Concert Series is an ongoing concert event at the restored Cambridge YMCA Theatre. Recent Bennett Alliance events have featured Bill Frisell, the Charlie Hunter Trio, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Jerry Bergonzi, Daniel Bennett Group, David Fiuczynski, Quartet of Happiness , and Joy Electric.