George Benson


Appreciated by millions of fans both as musician and performer, George Benson has always attracted the attention of the public as an experienced improviser and vibrant entertainer. By proposing his mischievous, seductive, and rhythm and blues approach, he has earned an impeccable reputation as one of the most resourceful music stars.

Benson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1943 and began his career at a very young age: when he was ten, he recorded his first single “She Makes Me Mad” for RCA-Victor in New York under the name “Little George”.

In 1964, at the age of twenty-one, he released his first solo album, The New Boss Guitar, followed by It’s Uptown with the George Benson Quartet (1966) and George Benson Cookbook (1966). During these years, Benson was hired by the legendary jazz player Miles Davis, to play the guitar in the song “Paraphernalia” for the album Miles in the Sky (1968).

From 1970 to 1975 Benson signed a contract with CTI Records, a jazz label with which he recorded several albums, including Bad Benson (1974) which climbed the Billboard Jazz Chart.

After CTI Records, George Benson signed with Warner Bros. Records, which granted him a wider audience. His album Breezin’
(1976) became a big pop hit and won a Grammy Award as Record of the Year.

In 1980, Benson released Give Me the Night for Warner Bros. Records with Quincy Jones as producer. This was Benson’s debut pop album, thanks to which he won several Grammys, becoming increasingly popular. He duetted with artists like Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan and participated in the most important international jazz festivals.

Until the mid-1980s, Benson’s success continued with albums such as In Your Eyes (1983), whose track “Being with You” was awarded a Grammy as Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1984, and 20/20 (1984).

The Nineties and early 2000s marked the transition to GRP Verve record label, for which Benson released albums such as Absolute Benson (2000), expressing his desire to return to his origins’ style. In 2006 his will was confirmed by the production of the album Givin’ It Up, recorded with the musician Al Jarreau and by the world tour An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole (2009), in which he played the most famous songs of this jazz music legend.

Also, in 2009, Benson was recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as Jazz Master, an extremely important recognition in the American Jazz scene.

In 2013, Benson released his latest album Inspiration – A Tribute to Nat King Cole, in which he took up the spirit in Cole’s repertoire and revisited his songs with new arrangements. In 2017, Benson enchanted the public during the only Italian date of his tour as part of the Marostica Summer Festival, in Marostica (VI).




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