Simply characterized as having melodies that will move the soul and spirit, with licks that makes improvisational statements.
Ivan Hugh Benning was born in Detroit, Michigan to the late Pastor Gasoway and Mattie Benning. Ivan is the youngest of six siblings. As a youth, Ivan's journey to playing the saxophone was not without challenges. In the fourth grade band, Ivan wanted to play the saxophone and the teacher assigned him a trombone and then a violin. Finally, when Ivan attended Wilson Middle School his music teacher assigned him the saxophone. In a short time, Ivan's gift made room for him and he moved to first chair. On Sundays, Ivan played his saxophone at the House of Freedom Church of God in Christ, Ecorse, Michigan, where his father was pastor.
Ivan studied under the tutelage of George (Saxman) Benson, Rodney Bonner and the late great Sam Sanders.
Ivan has performed with jazz master Teddy Harris, Larry Smith and Joy Temple. Currently, Ivan has accompanied jazz artist Tim Bowman, gospel singer David Ivey, soul artist NADIR, and R&B group Q-Point.
Ivan has been a featured artist at venues such as The Charles Wright Museum of African-American History, on the talk show - Sisters Blvd., The Upper Room entertainment complex and Xhedoe's Cafe. Ivan has also performed on special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, personal serenades, etc.
Listen carefully to the CD 'In Spirit In Truth', and you will hear the musical influences of Kenny Garrett, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Joe Sample and Ramsey Lewis.