George Benson brings his jazz/R&B to Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK George Benson headlines at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek tonight.
Appreciated by fans as both a musician and performer, George Benson has always had the dual role of improviser and entertainer. In a career spanning over three decades, he has created a unique genre. Rounding out his jazz guitar skills with his seductive R&B voice, hes earned himself a reputation as one of musics most engaging stars.Bensons career began in street corner pubs of his native Pittsburgh where the fledgling guitarist honed his musical chops and fine-tuned his style. I was an entertainer first, he says proudly. As a kid I sang, danced and played the ukulele in a nightclub. As my career has progressed, Ive had the pleasure of playing with the baddest jazz cats on the planet. But that doesnt change my desire to entertain folks. Thats really who I am.The 1976 blockbuster Breezin was the first jazz record to attain platinum sales. Bensons soulful update of Leon Russells This Masquerade, which featured the guitarist scatting along with a solo break, was a pop smash. He followed up with many hits, including a sultry version of On Broadway, Turn Your Love Around, In Your Eyes and the irresistible Give Me the Night, which quickly became a dance club favorite and established Benson as a superstar.Throughout his career he has released 30 records, won eight Grammy Awards and performed his unique blend of rhythm, blues and jazz all over the globe. His 2006 release Givin It Up, was met with critical success. When hes not performing and recording, Benson is often spotted at jazz clubs in Manhattan, checking the action of fledgling guitarists. He is resolute about keeping the sparkle in his playing. The younger cats awaken something in me from the early days, says Benson. I love listening and playing with guys like Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove and Christian McBride. When they tell me Ive still got the chops, I feel great.Tickets for George Benson are $85/$105/$135 based on seating, and are available by calling the Vilar Center Box Office at 845-TIXS or by visiting vilarpac.org.