Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Damon Banks has performed with and / or recorded with some of the entertainment industry’s brightest stars, creative artists and innovative musicians. Most of these artists defy category and transcend genre. These artists include: George Benson, Peter Gabriel, Caetano Veloso, Angelique Kidjo, Hassan Hakmoun & Zahar, Chico Hamilton, Hubert Laws, Wadada Leo Smith, Arto Lindsay / Marc Ribot, Loose Ends, The Neville Brothers, Phyllis Hyman, Majek Fashek, C.J Chenier, Noel Pointer, Corin Curschellas, George Howard, Bobby Womack, Lillias White, Ronny Jordan, Miki Howard, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, KRS-ONE, Sekou Sundiata, DJ SPOOKY, Karsh Kale, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Ntozake Shange, Angela Bofill, Saul Williams, Roxane Butterfly, Eileen Ivers and Adam Rudolph (among others …)
(Damon Banks, bandleader, bass, composer / Freddie Bryant, guitar / Sly Scott, saxophones / Manu Koch, keyboards / Bruce Cox, drums)
“Italian Surf Academy”
(Marco Cappelli, guitar / Dave Miller, drums / Damon Banks, bass)
(Adam Rudolph, bandleader, percussion, composer / Ralph Jones III, reeds / Graham Haynes, cornet / Hamid Drake, drums / Kenny Wessel, guitar / Alex Marcelo, keyboards / James Hurt, percussion , keyboards / Damon Banks, bass)
(Gwen Laster, bandleader, violin, vocals, composer / Freddie Bryant, guitar / Willard Dyson, drums / Brahim Fribgane, percussion, / Damon Banks, bass)
He has written songs for:
George Benson (“That’s Right”, voted #1 jazz album of 1996) and Miki Howard (“Three Wishes”, Grammy nomination for Best R & B album)
Soundtracks & Television:
“Footsteps In Africa” (Kiahkeya films – Kathi Von Koerber, director) “Muppets from Space” (Henson / Sony films – Tim Hill, director) “Woodstock 1994” w/Hassan Hakmoun & Peter Gabriel, “New York Undercover” (FOX) “BET on Jazz” (BET) “The Today Show” w/The Boys Choir of Harlem (NBC) “Good Morning America” (ABC) MTV Europe, Fuji TV (Japan) and Globo TV (Brasil) His bass playing has been heard on numerous radio spots and jingles throughout the years.
As an educator and clinician, Damon has taught and conducted workshops at a variety of highly acclaimed institutions including: Cal Arts, Bard College, Interlochen School of the Arts, Medger Evers College, The University of Maryland, St.Anns School, Harlem School of the Arts and Poughkeepsie Day School (current faculty member)
In 2005, Damon received the Haldane Foundation grant for his Global Music program. In 2009, he received the DCAC (Dutchess County Arts Council / NYSCA) grant for his multimedia theater piece entitled “Resistance: a Maroon story”. The newest version is currently in production.
Damon plays Fender basses, uses Epifani amps, and uses GHS strings. He is a member of ASCAP, A.F.of M (Local 802) and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity.