Billboard praised 10-time Grammy-winning guitarist-vocalist George Benson as “an amazingly versatile musician. … He can play in just about any style … with supreme taste, a beautiful rounded tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing.” The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) welcomes the Jazz icon on Saturday, March 9, 8:00 PM. Purchase tickets, which start from $95, at the CCPA Ticket Office, cerritoscenter.com, or by calling (562) 916- 8500.
Jazz icon GEORGE BENSON has dominated the musical landscape and charts for 40 years with a collection of award-winning hits, including Give Me the Night, Being With You, Mornin’, Moody’s Mood,
Breezin’, and On Broadway. In 2009, the National Endowment of the Arts recognized Benson as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest honor in Jazz.
The Los Angeles Times raved: “Hearing George Benson in action is a bit like attending a nonstop triple-header: A gifted jazz guitarist, an appealing singer, and a master of fusion, Funk and Rhythm and Blues, he is a multiple-threat performer, offering programs with a smidgen of something for virtually every Jazz and Jazz-related taste.”
In the early 1960s, Benson’s reputation as an adventurous guitarist was beginning to gain solid ground. His warm, smooth tone and a funky edge to his music drew rave reviews from fans and the press. This paved the way for an illustrious career saturated with distinctions and awards, including three Grammys in 1976 alone – for the Pop instrumental Breezin’; The Masquerade, which won “Record of the Year”; and the R&B instrumental Theme From Good King Bad. As his influence climbed in the music industry, more Grammy Awards followed, including for On Broadway; Off Broadway; and God Bless the Child, the popular collaboration with fellow Grammy winners Al Jarreau and Jill Scott.
Benson’s crossover to various musical genres over the years has succeeded in large part due to his staunch loyalty to his Jazz beginnings. While his popularity soared on the Pop and R&B charts, his albums Absolute Benson, Standing Together, That’s Right, Love Remembers, Tenderly, and Bad Benson all have dominated the top spot on the Jazz charts. His 2006 Givin’ It Up album collaboration with Jarreau catapulted to the No. One position on the Contemporary Jazz chart after earning glowing reviews from USA Today, National Public Radio, and Billboard magazine. Benson’s other notable albums include Songs and Stories and Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole.
For tickets or more information, call (562) 916-8500 or go to cerritoscenter.com.
This article was released by the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.