Originally from Clemson, South Carolina, mandolinist David Benedict is a Nashville-based performer, composer, and instructor seeking to blend tradition and innovation through his music. At an early age, David was intrigued by the distinct sound of the mandolin. This fascination eventually led him to fall in love with the rich aural music traditions of the instrument and set him on a lifelong path in pursuit of this music.
In 2009, David began performing and recording with Celtic folk band, Emerald Road. Since then, he has played at venues and festivals across the southeast, sharing the stage with such musicians as Casey Driessen, Matt Flinner, Julian Lage, Mike Marshall, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, and others. In December 2013, he graduated with a unique degree in mandolin music performance from Bryan College in Tennessee where he studied with mandolinists Flinner and Marshall. Additionally, David has been selected twice to participate in the exclusive and prestigious Savannah Music Festival’s annual Acoustic Music Seminar for talented young acoustic musicians.
Over the years, David’s broad tastes have led him to push the conventional boundaries of the mandolin by exploring a variety of musical styles. Although his roots and influences are primarily based in the bluegrass and Celtic traditions, he is also an accomplished performer of classical and jazz mandolin. David has also been observed to have a unique and authentic artistic voice as a composer. This distinct creative style is displayed in his recent debut album of original acoustic instrumental music entitled Into the True Country. Released in spring 2014, the album features a crew of outstanding musicians and was produced by Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner.
Moreover, David’s creativity, ability, and passion are evident in his performances across the Southeast. Watching David perform leaves no doubt that he is doing what he loves. See what others have to say about David:
David is one of the most inspiring lights on the creative acoustic music scene today. A talented player and composer who is paving the way for new and exciting music! I can’t wait to see where he takes us!
David Benedict is extremely talented, not just in the literal skills of playing the mandolin, but in putting together compositions that have the ability to conjure nostalgia while also feeling fresh and exciting. Benedict is quite literally keeping a tradition alive.
Ear to the Ground Music
David is part of a new generation of American mandolinists who are helping to reinvent our instrument. Super clean and accurate playing combined with a broad sense of composition and a sensitivity of style that is soulful yet clear and beautiful. While his roots are clearly bluegrass and celtic fiddle based, his tastes expand deep into jazz and classical as well. The future of our instrument is going to be in fine shape with young people like David Benedict taking the reins.
It’s been a special treat to work with David as a music major at Bryan College. I’ve told many people to ‘Watch that young man. He’s going places.’
Dr. Mel Wilhoit