About Damon Banks

Born and raised in The Bronx, New York Damon Banks has often been described as a “world musician”, in the truest sense of the word. He was fully immersed in, and encouraged to pursue, all aspects of the arts from an early age. His creatively fertile environment exposed him to a wide range of musical genres, artistic approaches and schools of thought. Damon graduated from the legendary High School of Music & Art (as an Art major) According to him: “those 4 years were some of the most inspirational and impactful years of my life, musically and spiritually”. He made his way down to Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated from the elite HBCU Fisk University, with a B.A. in Music. Upon graduation, he decided to pursue a career in music. Since then, he has evolved into an in-demand bassist, composer, producer and teaching artist. Throughout his career, Damon has worked with some of the music industry’s most creative artists, innovative musicians and brightest stars. His ability to creatively shift gears, and remain open-minded, has led him into countless collaborations with genre-bending, multi-platinum selling, musical trendsetters worldwide. 

                  Some of these artists include: 

George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Caetano Veloso, Angelique Kidjo, Chico Hamilton, Hassan Hakmoun, Arto Lindsay, Loose Ends, Wadada Leo Smith, The Neville Brothers, Andre de Shields, Bobby Womack, C.J. Chenier, Mtume, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ribot, Noel Pointer, Ronny Jordan, Majek Fashek, KRS-ONE, Lillias White, Sekou Sundiata, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Phyllis Hyman, Vernon Reid, George Howard, Karsh Kale, Angela Bofill, Martha Wash, Saul Williams, Yungchen llamo, Ntozake Shange, "Butch" Morris, Melba Moore and DJ SPOOKY (to name a few) 

Aside from his own original project “Travelguides”, Damon performs and records with several, genre-bending, forward leaning ensembles such as: 

Cosmogram (a multimedia project, based on Clyde W. Ford's book “Hero With An African Face” featuring Gwen Laster, Trina Basu & Arun Ramamurthy)  

Arun Ramamurthy Trio (Arun Ramamurthy, Sameer Gupta)

Italian Surf Academy (Marco Cappelli, Dave Miller)

Filtron M (Manu Koch, Harvey Wirht + friends) 

Whispering Worlds (Aaron Shragge, Luke Schwartz, Deric Dickens) 

Quadrature (Neel Murgai, Indofunk Satish, Tripp Dudley)

His bass playing can be heard on “Footsteps In Africa” (Kiahkeya films) “Muppets from Space” (Henson / Sony films) and “New York Undercover” (FOX) among others.

As a composer, his writing credits include: “Where Are You Now" (George Benson) and “Kiss Of A Stranger” (Miki Howard)  In addition, Damon wrote, produced and arranged his 2014 debut LP “Travelguides”, and several tracks on Violinist Gwen Laster’s “Sneak Preview”, "I Hear You Smiling" and "Gameboard" records. 

Damon is an international teaching artist, and has led workshops for The El Sistema Organization, Bard College, Interlochen School of the Arts, Cal Arts, Wesleyan University, Roosevelt University and Medger Evers College.

In 2014, Damon received the NYSCA/DCAC project grant and also released his first project as a leader “Travelguides” featuring some of New York City's most innovative  musicians.

He serves on the board of BeaconArts and The Highlands Current.


Contact Damon Banks