Who was Ian Bennett? A Hudson Valley Blues Society Member, and New York State Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, English-born, but musically nurtured on our side of the Big Pond, Ian Bennett (a.k.a. The Mentor, The Tormentor, The Curmudgeon, The Guardian of REAL traditional Blues), sang and blew sax and harp in the Hudson Valley for over 40 years.
Since the late 1970s, he was a force in bands such as Boswell, The Little Elliott Lloyd Blues Band, The Ulstafarians, and The Blue Rays. Many were the grateful recipients of his vast knowledge of traditional blues and jazz. For 40 years his mission had been to play his beloved American Roots music - Real Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz - and spreading the word to young musicians.
His own musical influences included Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Charlie Musselwhite and Paul Butterfield. The influence of jazz legends such as Stanley Turrentine, Pharaoh Sanders, made their mark with John Coltrane, whose “sound” originally pulled Ian into music.
Ian Bennett died in 2019, after struggling with serious health issues. He left a hole in our community, but gave us a legacy to play and enjoy life with. The Hudson Valley Blues Society Ian Bennett Memorial Fund has been established to help local Hudson Valley musicians who are struggling with medical and health-related financial needs.
Requests for financial assistance should be made by contacting the Hudson Valley Blues Society at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon contacting HVBS, you will be asked to complete a short application form which will be reviewed by the HVBS Board to ensure that the individual qualifies and the request is for health-related financial needs.