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Jazz At Juan 2019

Read "Jazz At Juan 2019" reviewed by Martin McFie

Jazz at Juan Opening Weekend Juan Les Pins, South of France July 12-21, 2019 Jazz at Juan-Les-Pins has always been the boutique quality jazz festival of the South of France. The stage beside the blue Mediterranean Sea, was open-backed leaving a view through to the sunset over the Bay of Angels. The audience of 3,000 was all seated in bleachers. Live big screens showed the detail of performances. This year 2019, is the 59th edition ...

IN PICTURES

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 2019

Read "CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Gregory Savage

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, held June 21st thru the 29th, was a huge success. The streets of downtown Rochester, New York, are the perfect venue to host nine straight days (and nights) of jazz. The eighteenth annual festival had a little something for everyone, including perfect weather. From high school bands, to rising stars, to NEA Jazz Masters; every level of jazz was heard and seen. The lineup included jazz greats George Benson, Eddie Henderson, Steve Gadd, Harold ...

IN PICTURES

Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Richard Conde

Celebrating its 42nd anniversary over the June 29th weekend, the 2019 Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga's Performing Arts center in Saratoga Springs N.Y., featured a great program presenting a wide range of music. Over 25 featured artist played over two days across two stages with headliner George Benson taking the Amphitheater stage Saturday night. Other featured artist included Norah Jones, Trombone Shorty, Joshua Redman and Veronica Swift just to name a few. This festival is a must for ...

PROFILES

Gilly’s Remembered

Read "Gilly’s Remembered" reviewed by Michael J. Williams

Anyone who was a jazz aficionado in jny: Cincinnati in the 1970s and wanted to hear the upper echelon musicians in the art form--the artists written about in Downbeat and whose records played regularly on the local AM station, WNOP--knew what to do. Make the 50-mile trek up Interstate 75 to Gilly's in Dayton. While the Queen City had its share of jazz spots, they mostly drew upon the local talent, which was nothing to disparage ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens

Read "George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

George Benson Botanic Gardens Denver, CO August 31, 2016 NEWS FLASH: George Benson's gone pop! OK, maybe that one's about 40 years late. I even knew that at the time it happened, having purchased the Breezin' album (Warner Brothers, 1976) when it first came out. But, over the years, through careful picking and choosing and focusing on his older material, I've mainly been listening to his jazz side. Nevertheless, I knew that a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Read "George Benson at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

George Benson with special guest Chrisette Michele NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY August 14, 2015 George Benson is a multi-platinum (R.I.A.A. certified), best selling, Grammy Award-winning guitarist and singer-songwriter. In 2009, Benson was recognized by the U.S. National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master, the country's highest jazz honor. Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in jny: Pittsburgh, PA. A child prodigy, at 8 years of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center

Read "George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center" reviewed by Patricia Myers

George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony OrchestraMesa Arts Center Mesa, Arizona January 21, 2015 Guitarist-vocalist George Benson performed two straight hours of soul-satisfying and totally thrilling music that reprised his five decades of hits in jazz and pop- contemporary music acclaim. The non-stop set ranged from his 1964 jazz albums debut through multiple Grammy-winning gold and platinum CDs, to his 2013 Nat King Cole tribute, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole (Concord Records, 2013). ...

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George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration

Read "George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration" reviewed by Belinda Ware

George Benson is a quintessential master of jazz whose professional musical career continues to flourish over decades due to his charisma, wit, showmanship and a succession of multiple hit record releases that are foundational in the evolution of contemporary jazz. As a seasoned jazz connoisseur, Benson stays in demand as a sought after performing artist as seen in his steady concert schedules taking to the stage in countries around the world. Simply put, Benson is on a mission ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

Read "Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Million-selling, hugely popular and readily recognisable jazz artists are a bit thin on the ground these days. So when one such giant records a tribute to another it's something of an event. George Benson's Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole certainly falls into that category: an album of songs from one of the biggest stars of the twentieth century, performed with due respect by one of the biggest names in the contemporary jazz scene.The album's opener, “Mona ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Guitar Man

Read "Guitar Man" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

At some point George Benson morphed from a guitarist who occasionally sang into a singer who occasionally played guitar. Benson's Breezin' (Warner Bros, 1976) launched his career trajectory to new heights based upon “This Masquerade," his only vocal turn on the album.But oh, what a vocal “This Masquerade" was. It propelled Breezin' to Number One on the pop charts and the album won multiple Grammys, including Record of the Year, and his recording formula was set for the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Body Talk

Read "Body Talk" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

With a title like Body Talk, and a lead-off track called “Dance," George Benson--a guitar-god-on-the-rise when this album originally hit shelves in 1973--makes it clear that this music is all about feeling the groove. While a good number of Benson projects on CTI benefited from Don Sebesky's arrangements, the guitarist needed a funkier feeling for this album, and Pee Wee Ellis was just the man to provide it. Ellis helped to create the sound that defined the music of James ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Beyond The Blue Horizon

Read "Beyond The Blue Horizon" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

George Benson has worn many hats throughout his career, from jazz-pop vocal star to soulful six-stringer, but his guitar god persona is probably exhibited best by Beyond The Blue Horizon (CTI, 1971). This album arrived five full years before Benson's popularity would explode with Breezin' (Warner Bros., 1976), and it presents this powerful instrumental presence in a no-nonsense, small group setting. Benson worked briefly with the great Miles Davis, as a guest on Miles In The Sky ...


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