Although his "official" recording career began at age 21, George Benson [born March 22, 1943] has been making music long before that. As a child in Pittsburgh, he performed in a local nightclub [until it was shut down]; he won a singing contest at age 4 and cut a vocal record at age 10.
He discovered the guitar when he was 8 and by his early 20s was performing with jazz organist Jack McDuff. Moving to New York, he met up with guitarist Wes Montgomery, who would be a huge influence on his developing style. Benson was also invited to play with luminaries ranging from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock.
Ironically enough, one of his early producers discouraged Benson from singing – but the 1976 release of Breezin, with its vocal hit, "This Masquerade," established him as a double threat as a singer and player.
Breezin was the first jazz album to sell a million copies and won Benson 3 Grammy awards. Since that breakthrough, Benson has remained one of the most beloved and respected artists in the smooth jazz arena.
- He can be found on his European Summer Tour
- Get a free download here
- Guitar Man wins NAACP Award for Best Jazz Album
BUY GEORGE BENSON'S CDs HERE