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T.L. Benton

Director of Visual Media

T.L. Benton is the Director of Visual Media for the DC Jazz Festival and serves as Founder and President of Mecca Filmworks. He is a filmmaker, composer, pianist, & educator located in the Washington D.C.-Metropolitan area. Originally from Wichita Kansas, T.L. has been a lover of cinema and music since his toddler years. He attained his associate degree from the College of Southern Maryland in 2014 and is currently finishing his Bachelor of Music Degree in his final semester at the illustrious Howard University. T.L.’s entrepreneurship is his main staple and philosophy of life. In the Spring of 2016, T.L. founded the ‘Benton Institute for the Arts’ in Southern Maryland. This institute is designed for the comprehensive study of the arts in ways foreign to most private teachings. Specializing in Music, Film, Dance, & Fine Arts, this institute combines traditional pedagogical principles with practical contemporary application, along with theory and requisite history courses. His belief system is built on valuing one’s own history with the necessity for contemporary innovation. His teaching methods can be credited to his great study with his private teachers—Cyrus Chestnut, Fred Irby III, Dr. Anthony Randolph, and Dr. Charles Timbrell. In the Winter of 2017, T.L. founded and currently serves as the President of ‘Mecca Filmworks LLC.’ Mecca Filmworks’ identity resides in the duty and spirit to bring all stories to the big screen. Having an immense passion for cinema, T.L. values the experience of telling a story that far surpasses usual videography. He believes that everyone of us has an epic story to be told and he intends on telling them all. Mecca Filmworks has filmed some of the largest names in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area as well as internationally. His film production company has filmed artists such as: Dianne Reeves (NEA Jazz Masterclass), The Cyrus Chestnut Trio, the world-renowned vocal ensemble ‘Afro Blue’, Gary Bartz, The Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra, The World Premiere of ‘Kinyamaswa’ —an Opera by Jay Vosk, Michael Bowie, Mark G. Meadows, Sam Prather & The Groove Orchestra, Natalia Kazaryan, Lisa Gwyn Daltrius and countless others. T.L. has built a reputation firmly based in strong and reliable relationships, supreme quality, and expedient turnaround times on projects, films, and assignments. T.L. along with Mecca Filmworks LLC are currently in production on an upcoming documentary entitled: “Music From The Mecca” telling the story of the history of music at Howard University.


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