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August 30, 2013

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Jazz guitarist, vocalist George Benson going strong

legendary American jazz guitarist and singer George Benson, a 10-time Grammy winner, will stage a concert on Wednesday at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Benson, now 70 years old, and his five-piece band still meet fans at the Mixing Room & Muse.

Favorites as songs from his new album can be expected.

As a vocal sensation and instrumental innovator, Benson has crossed the divide between jazz and pop, neither ignoring the commercial possibilities in jazz nor abandoning his artistry when he achieved commercial success in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His voice is light and expressive and he is equally at home with small ensembles, big bands, a string section, hard bob, Latin and popular stylings.

Nat King Cole was a major influence.

“When I was eight years old, of all the stars I heard on the radio, Nat was the one who stood out. Nat had songs. They were very musical and once you heard them you never forgot them. As I grew older, Nat stayed at the top by doing the same things — great arrangers, great songs and great musicianship — the best of the best,” says Benson.

The late Cole broke barriers and literally changed the face of music.

Two decades later Benson did the same by redefining the world of jazz.

Earlier this year Benson delivered an album he said he has been preparing all his life: “Inspiration: A tribute to Nat King Cole.”

The album explores many facets of Cole’s legacy, including “Ballerina,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” “Straighten Up and Fly right” and “Route 66.”

“Bensonisms” include his trademark guitar scat style and his dynamic top-range flourish.

“The way to honor Nat is to get new people to hear his material and understand how great he was. We can’t bring Nat back, but we can bring back his warmth, his magic and his vibe,” Benson says.

“Benson’s keys to success have always been his ambition, accessibility, and all-around musical quality and diversity,” says Michael Craig Enoch, general manager of the Mercedes-Benz Arena.


Date: September 3, 8pmVenue: The Mixing Room & MUSE, Mecedes-Benz Arena Complex

Address: 1200 Expo Ave, Pudong New Area

Tickets: 880-1280 yuan

Tel: 5150-9199, 400-610-3721



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