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George Benson has the rare dis/nc/on of being in the pop consciousness while remaining in the pantheon of jazz greats. The iconic guitarist/vocalist/songwriter fearlessly follows his muse—the melody—across genres, eras, and perceived expecta/ons with elegance and imagina/on. Benson embodies jazz’s improvisatory spirit, restlessly shapeshiCing and searching while retaining his own elegant essence: his honeyed vocals, guitar lines that veer from lyrical to dazzling, and his penchant for slick grooves from blazing be-bop to sultry neo-soul.
“When I grab my instrument, I ask myself this ques/on: How come no one has ever explored this? I am constantly puMng new tools in my arsenal, and I’ve also invented a few things along the way,” the pop-jazz-R&B legend says with a good-natured laugh.
With 36 studio albums, and 8 live albums, the 10-/me Grammy-winner has summited the pop, R&B, soul, and jazz charts. His 1976, three-/me Grammy-winning album, Breezin’, boas/ng the pop-jazz vocal smash “This Masquerade,” topped the jazz, pop, and R&B charts and remains one of the best-selling jazz albums of all /me—it has since been cer/fied 3x pla/num. Benson’s 1980 smash, “Give Me The Night,” produced by Quincy Jones and wri]en by Rod Temperton (Michael Jackson), rocketed to the top of the soul single charts. In 2009, Benson was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship— the highest honor that our na/on bestows on jazz ar/sts. In addi/on, Benson has rightly earned a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star and honorary doctorate degrees from Morris Brown College and the Berklee College of Music.