Kneebody is an American band formed in 2001, consisting of Adam Benjamin on keyboards, Shane Endsley on trumpet, Ben Wendel on tenor sax, Kaveh Rastegar on bass, and Nate Wood on drums.
Ben Wendel, Shane Endsley, Adam Benjamin, and Kaveh Rastegar met in the late 1990s as students at the Eastman School of Music. Benjamin later transferred to CalArts, where he met Nate Wood. After graduating Eastman, Wendel and Rastegar moved to Los Angeles, and the band got its start at the Temple Bar and The Vic in Santa Monica, California, where they played a weekly residency. The name of the band was a nonsense word invented by Wendel's girlfriend, so that the band had no clear leader and no clear musical connotations.
In 2005, the band's self-titled debut album was released on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label. In 2007, they released their next album, Low Electrical Worker, to further critical acclaim (Joshua Redman declared it one of his favorite albums of 2007). Since then, Kneebody has worked on a variety of projects with other musicians and organizations, as a band and as individual members. These collaborations include work with musicians in multiple genres such as Wayne Krantz, Daedelus, and Busdriver. For their 2009 album with Theo Bleckmann, in which they arranged and interpreted songs by 20th-century American composer Charles Ives, they were nominated for a Grammy. Other projects include teaching at the Banff Centre and a residency with Search & Restore and the Manhattan New Music Project, as well as clinics at high schools and colleges across the country. Members of the band currently reside in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, where they each also maintain active solo careers.
According Nate Chine, writing in the New York Times, Kneebody are "a resolutely un-pindownable band" acclaimed for their eclectic style, which "uses a common jazz instrumentation to make a somewhat less common amalgam of urban-signifying genres, from electro-pop to punk-rock to hip-hop."