On Thursday, July 7, 2022, the Disneyland Resort 2022 All-American College Band performed its first clinician set of the season. The band was led by Duane Benjamin and Mel Collins for the set at the Hollywood Backlot Stage at Disney California Adventure.
Duane Benjamin is an accomplished performer, composer, orchestrator and arranger. He has been active in the music industry for over 40 years. During his career he has played trambone, electric bass, and also arranged “clean, easy to read charts” for legends in the music industry and also everyday musicians alike. Benjamin has recorded and performed with many jazz greats throughout the years. This includes the Count Basie Orchestra, Stanley Clark, The Gerald Wilson Orchestra, and The Clayton–Hamilton Orchestra. He has also performed with modern artists including Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Joss Stone, Diana Ross, Earth Wind and Fire, Jamiroquai, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, rock guitarist Steve Vai, Kirk Franklin and others. His work can also be seen on television shows like American Idol and also The Voice.
Mel Collins can be seen around the Disneyland Resort frequently in several different roles. Her beautiful voice is incredibly versatile and allows her to perform in a variety of different roles. Her first role was in the show Animazement at the Fantasyland theatre. She has continued to work at the Disneyland Resort since that show. She added solo work to her career in 2009 when she first partnered with Duane Benjamin. Together, they now front an 18-piece band with Mel singing and Benjamine the musical director and band leader. They released their first album together in 2013. She also fronts a small ensemble that is known as “Standard Mel”. She also has opened for Bob Newhart. She has sung for TV shows including Hannah Montana and 7th Heaven. She has also done voice-over work for Modern Family, Vampire Diaries, Sesame Street Live, Hershey’s, and Disney on Ice. She has also been a backup singer for artists including Michael Buble, Heather Headly, Burt Bacharach, and also been part of the house band on America’s Got Talent.
During the set with Duane Benjamin and Mel Collins, the Disneyland Resort 2022 All-American College Band performed the following songs:
- When You Wish Upon a Star
- Our Love
- The Nearness of You
- Nothing Compares to You
- Look Up
Jazz clinicians are always a fun part of the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band season each summer. They offer an incredible experience for members of the band and also offer a fun jazz set for those watching the band during their jazz set. Guest clinicians will be performing with the band throughout the summer. DAPS MAGIC will catch and record as many of these sets as possible.
What do you think of this special jazz set with the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band, Duane Benjamin, and Mel Collins? What is your favorite song in the set? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!