...loading...

  1. Guitar Man is available now!

    September 22, 2011 by admin

    Order Guitar Man on GeorgeBenson.com and get signed CDs, exclusive Deluxe Packages and exclusive bonus tracks. Click here for details.

    You can also pick up Guitar Man at Best Buy, Amazon or iTunes – thanks to all the fans!

    You can win a guitar signed by George Benson!

    Click here for guitar details, and your chance to sign up.


  2. Guitar Man – New album, free download and new tour dates!

    August 8, 2011 by admin

    Guitar Man is out on October 4, 2011! It’s available to pre order now on Amazon. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

    Guitar Man will also be available at iTunes on October 4, 2011 + there will be a special deluxe edition with bonus tracks available only at Best Buy, also on October 4!

    Enter your email address above to get a free MP3 download of “Danny Boy” from George’s upcoming album Guitar Man

    For Immediate Release – On October 4, 2011, National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy-winning legend George Benson brings his guitar to the forefront in his newest album Guitar Man. The 12-song collection includes a mix of jazz and pop standards – some in a combo setting and some solo, but all of them tied together seamlessly by Benson’s soulful and exploratory signature sound. Lending a hand on this recording is a solid team made up of veterans and newcomers alike – pianist Joe Sample, keyboardist and musical director David Garfield, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Harvey Mason. Williams is one of the hottest up-and-coming new artists on the jazz scene. Mason is a regular member of Fourplay, and a studio collaborator with Benson all the way back to Benson’s 1976 blockbuster album, Breezin’.

    In a career that spans five decades, more than 30 recordings as a leader and ten Grammy Awards, Benson has used his jazz roots as the foundation for an engaging mix of pop, R&B and other shades that add up to a style that appeals to a broad mainstream audience. Along the way, he has also established himself as a formidable jazz singer – one whose biggest career hits have showcased his vocals. But Guitar Man is just what the title implies – an album that highlights Benson’s unparalleled guitar playing, perhaps more than any other album he has released in decades.

    For the new project, the crew came together in the studio with a minimum of prior rehearsal time but an eagerness to jump in and lay down tracks in something very close to the live experience – what Benson describes as an “old school” approach. The impromptu sensibility comes across in the final product, much of which came together with minimal takes in a single day of recording.

    “We figured that we would get the best energy if we went into the studio with some live musicians who are savvy and flexible,” says Benson, “and boy, did we accomplish that.”

    On Guitar Man, Benson’s mastery of the guitar is demonstrated in a variety of styles and settings, all with legendary jazz roots. The opening track “Tenderly” is a solo guitar track that serves as a reminder that Benson is one guitar man with sufficient technical and interpretive skills to be a band unto himself. The second song is an intriguing rendition of Lennon and McCartney’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Along with Benson on nylon-string guitar and Garfield on piano are guitarists Paul Jackson Jr. and Ray Fuller; bassist Freddie Washington; drummer Oscar Seaton, Jr. (who regularly tours with Benson); violinist Charlie Bisharat; and flutist/clarinetist Dan Higgins. All come together to create a fully orchestrated sound that casts one of the most simplistic of the Beatles’ early love ballads into something full-bodied and engaging.

    The remainder of the set consists of either solo guitar tracks or Benson backed by the aforementioned five-man team, which lays down an easygoing rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour.” Benson delivers the lyrics in his own engaging vocal style that includes a healthy dose of his trademark scatting guitar accompaniment.

    Other highlights include a rollicking version of the Champs’ 1958 instrumental hit, “Tequila,” followed a couple tracks later by “My One and Only Love,” which opens with a 16-bar solo jazz guitar intro that segues into a sweet vocal ballad. Benson delivers a playful straightahead rendition of “Paper Moon” with the quartet, followed by a solo guitar rendition of “Danny Boy” (one of the few times, if ever, that a guitar sounds like bagpipes). In the final stretch, Benson and Garfield set up a lush guitar-and-piano arrangement of the smoky standard, “Since I Fell For You,” with Benson once again stepping up to the mic for an emotional delivery of the song’s impassioned lyrics.

    Benson has never been one to shy away from innovation or experimentation. For this guitar man, putting a jazz spin on pop standards – not just on this recording but throughout his career – is less of a taboo when you’re willing to dispense with labels and the limitations that come with them.

    “People categorize things because they need to find someplace to put them on their shelf,” he says. “It’s all music to me. I think a lot of pop tunes that were very big in the United States many years ago were recorded by jazz musicians playing in the background. Most of the Motown records were recorded that way. Those guys were jazz musicians who were living in Detroit and were called to do a job, and they did it very well…I try to do the same thing. I try to make it sound like it’s natural, because to me it is. There are only two kinds of music, good and bad. There are a lot of things in between, but they’re eventually going to fall on one side or the other of that equation.”

    George Benson will be touring in support of Guitar Man. The live shows will feature Benson’s masterful guitar playing, and Benson and his band will be performing classic George Benson hits along with an acoustic presentation of a few songs from Guitar Man.

    Confirmed dates below (additional dates TBA):

    Oct. 1 – Austin, TX – The Riverbend Centre

    Oct. 2 – St. Louis, MO – Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of MO

    Oct. 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Sage Court, JW Marriott

    Oct. 16 – Atlanta, GA – Symphony Hall

    Oct. 19 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center

    Oct. 20 – Morristown, NJ – Morristown Civic Center

    Oct. 21 – New York City, NY – Town Hall

    Oct. 23 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre

    Click here for a  free download of “Danny Boy” from Guitar Man.


  3. In the studio creating the Guitar Man

    June 13, 2011 by admin

    The Guitar Man

    Last weekend was history in the making.

    George recorded at Capitol Recording Studios with Harvey Mason on drums, Joe Sample and David Garfield on keys and Ben Williams on bass. The legendary, Grammy Award winning engineer, Al Schmidt, was at the board along with Grammy Award winning Producer, John Burk. A late September release titled The Guitar Man with a tour to follow where you can find GB leading a quartet in intimate venues throughout the US.


  4. Songs and Stories nominated for a Grammy

    December 7, 2010 by admin

    Grammy Award

    Congratulations to George and all who were involved in making Songs and Stories.

    Songs and Stories is nominated for a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album!

    -mgmt


  5. Benson peaks after tribute

    November 22, 2010 by admin

    gb-christchurch-dean-kozanic

    The voice of The Peddlers, Roy Phillips, opened with an impressive jazzy keyboard and smoky vocals.

    Phillips was an unexpected but welcome treat with versions of Misty, Last Train to Clarksville and his own compositions.

    Then came the man we had been waiting for, with his mile-wide smile and rich tones.

    Dressed in a black tuxedo, George Benson captured the audience from his opening guitar chords.

    As well as using the CSO, he brought some talented singers and musos, including Barbra Streisand’s musical director as his conductor/ pianist.

    The lush strings of the CSO were put to particularly good use.

    Benson put his own twist on Nat King Cole’s songbook, including When I Fall in Love, Mona Lisa, Ramblin’ Rose, Too Young, Straighten up and Fly Right, Smile and Just One of Those Things.

    And, of course, Benson’s classic hit Give Me the Night, which got the audience dancing in the aisles.

    The multi-Grammy award winner and hall of famer also shared a snippet of a recording from his child prodigy days 60 years ago.

    The sexagenarian virtuoso guitarist has a remarkable voice.

    After the Cole tribute, Benson gave us a “Benson party” with his own songs, from jazzy blues, to impressive instrumentals, scat and old school. He possibly felt constrained by Cole’s songs.

    He let loose with Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love, In Your Eyes, and more.

    More than mere imitation, this was Benson at his best.

    For one night, the town hall became an old-school swinging nightclub. Even when he’s paying tribute to a great singer, you never forget, there is only one George Benson.

    REVIEW George Benson – An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole, with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, 8pm, November 16, Christchurch Town Hall. Reviewed by Margaret Agnew. Photo Dean Kozanic


  6. 10x Grammy Winner George Benson Supports Canadian Music School Scholarship Fund

    by admin

    gb-signing-guitar

    1000 ISLANDS, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Nov. 17, 2010) –

    Multi Grammy award winner and platinum selling artist George Benson met with All You Need Music at the Ottawa Jazz festival last June and signed one of his signature series Ibanez guitars in support of All You Need Music’s collaboration with the Canada Music Academy scholarship fund.

    The Autographed Ibanez Prestige GB15 George Benson Signature Series Guitar, will go to the highest bidder and all the proceeds from the auction will go to the Canada Music Academy scholarship fund to benefit music students and after school programs across Canada.

    All You Need Music has always been committed to making music education as accessible as possible and has teamed up with the Canada Music Academy to make it a reality. This is an exciting venture for us, not only because we have the support of one of the greatest jazz musicians of this era, but because this collaboration will afford us the opportunity to provide scholarships to deserving students who, as a result of exceptional talent or exceptional circumstance, will now have access to music education that they might not have had otherwise.

    All You Need Music and The Canada Music Academy would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. George Benson and his management team for supporting our Scholarship fund.

    Guitar For Auction: Ibanez GB15, the longest running artist signature model celebrates its 30th Anniversary! Retail Value: $5499.95

    WHERE: The auction will be held at www.allyouneedmusic.com

    WHEN: Auction Ends: Wednesday, December 15th, 2010, 8pm EST


  7. The Late Show with David Letterman. Dec. 7, 2010

    November 15, 2010 by admin

    late_show_with_david_letterman-logo

    On Tuesday, December 7th, George will be appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman. George will be performing songs from his latest album, Songs and Stories along with a few of his timeless hits with Paul Schaeffer and the CBS Orchestra.


  8. Blast from the past

    November 1, 2010 by admin


  9. Les Victoires du Jazz

    July 16, 2010 by admin

    Découvrez Les victoires du Jazz en ouverture de Jazz à Juan sur Culturebox !


  10. Ottawa Citizen Preview

    June 25, 2010 by admin

    A husband at age 18, guitarist-singer George Benson knew music as a career was a risky proposition, so he tried other jobs, becoming as handy with tools as he was with a guitar. But then a sudden realization hit him.

    Photograph by: Paul Kane, Getty Images

    George Benson buried the hatchet for music

    Career choice paid off for versatile performer

    By MARKE ANDREWS, Vancouver Sun June 23, 2010George Benson

    When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

    Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

    Tickets: $67 to $77 from ticketmaster.ca

    A husband at age 18, guitarist-singer George Benson knew music as a career was a risky proposition, so he tried other jobs, becoming as handy with tools as he was with a guitar. But then a sudden realization hit him.

    “I knew my biggest potential was in the music world, and one day I had a hatchet in my hand and I realized that if I made a mistake with that hatchet, any career I might have would be over,” says Benson by phone from his home in Pardise Valley, Ariz., on a brief break between tours. Benson performs Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

    It makes sense that Benson stayed with music. He began playing for money at the tender age of seven, performing numbers on a ukulele at stores and street corners in his home town of Pittsburgh. The city was known for its musicians, which included drummer Art Blakey, pianists Ahmad Jamal and Earl (Fatha) Hines, saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, and singers Billy Eckstine and Eddie Jefferson. The latter befriended Benson when the young ukulele player was in second grade.

    “He had a recording, I Got the Blues, that I sang around town as a little kid with my ukulele,” says Benson. “He came to me on the street corner when I was seven and asked me to sing that song for him. I sang it and he laughed so hard he rolled on the ground.”

    Benson started living the musician’s life early, making his first record at age 10, switching to guitar and playing in jazz and R&B bands during his teens, and recording his first album as bandleader at age 21. His formal musical training was minimal; he relied on his ear to learn how to play.

    “I learned what I learned by listening to other artists, and hanging around great people who knew what they were doing,” says Benson. “I’m still doing the same thing, just going through different sources.”

    Although he didn’t start singing on his recordings until his 1976 album Breezin’, Benson always sang, and had a particular fondness for rhythm and blues. You can hear strains of the late singer Donny Hathaway in Benson’s voice, which makes some sense when you learn that Benson and Hathaway were good friends, even though Hathaway did not have a clue that his guitar-playing buddy wanted to sing.

    “We were friends toward the latter part of his life,” said Benson. “We hung out together, and wrote songs together, although nothing that came out. To be around that voice, man. He was a natural. At that time I wasn’t known as a singer even though I did sing, but he didn’t find that out until a short time before he died, when I sang On Broadway and Masquerade.”

    On his most recent release, Songs and Stories (2009), Benson performs a Hathaway number, Someday We’ll All Be Free, and sings a duet with the late singer’s daughter, Lalah Hathaway.

    Though he spends a good part of his year on the road touring, Benson likes to spend his time off at home, either at the Benson house in Paradise Valley, or his other place in Inglewood, N.J. In his spare time, he conducts Bible studies.

    And choosing music for a career not only made for a happy individual, Benson has been successful enough to win 10 Grammy Awards, and he and his wife have raised seven sons on a musician’s income.

    mandrews@vancouversun.com

    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
    Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/music/Benson+buried+hatchet+music/3191036/story.html#ixzz0rp2Q5KTd