George Benson at the Marciac Jazz Festival

George Benson performed at the “Jazz in Marciac Festival” (JIM) on Saturday, August 27, 2019

The 42nd edition of the Jazz in Marciac Festival takes place from July 25 to August 15, 2019. Under the top of the program, jazz musicians such as Sting, Georges Benson, Chick Corea, Thomas Dutronc, Melody Gardot, Manu Dibango, Gilberto Gil, the Jacksons celebrating their 50th birthday, and the tribute paid in partnership with the Académie du Jazz and La Seine Musicale to Michel Petrucciani, celebrated 20 years since his disappearance on January 6, 2019. Other artists perform at the Astrada, a new hall of about 500 people in rural areas but also in the whole city.

Created in 1978 following a concert by Bill Coleman by André Muller at the initiative of Jean-Louis Guilhaumon and a few jazz fans, JIM hosts on the stage of the Chapiteau (16,700 people including 10,000 standing) many renowned artists, some of whom, unfortunately, have left us like Ray Charles, Stéphane Grapelli, Cocker or Nina Simone… .

This year, the sun was on the table for the Sting concert that opened the Festival. under the hat of the 13th century bastide.  The following day, George Benson’s performance was warmly received by the audience despite the rain falling all evening. The first part was organized by a young group from the Toulouse region and supported by the Festival de Marciac, Amaury Faye Trio composed by Amaury Faye (piano)
Louis Navarro (double bass) and Théo Lanau (drum), offering new themes and new ideas.

The jazzman performed in the second part, accompanied by his musicians: Randy Waldman, musical director, keyboards;Thom Hall, keyboards; Michael O’Neill, guitar, voice; Stanley Banks, bass; Khari Parker, battery; Lilliana de los Reyes , percussion, voice.

George Benson was born in Pittsburgh, Pensylvannie on March 22, 1943. At the age of 12, he records his first pieces, then sings, dances, plays ukulele in clubs and becomes a guitarist
(thanks to an instrument made by his father-in-law) from a rock band. His encounter with Wes Montgomery prompted him to persevere and led him, in 1964, when he was barely 21, to record with the organist and conductor, master of soul jazz and hard bop, Eugene McDuffy, says Brother Jack McDuff, his first album “The New Boss Guitar” in homage to Wes Montgomery. The following year, the “George Benson Quartet” was born, including keywords Lonnie Smith and saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, with whom he recorded It’s Uptown in 1965 and The George Benson Cookbook in 1966. Miles Davis called on his services to record his album “Miles In The Sky” in 1967. He then went on to sing with his own albums, including “The Other Side of Abbey Road” in 1969 where he revisited the Beatles standards. He won the Grammy Awards for the song of the year in 1977 for the single “The Masquarade” from the album “Breezin”, the album “Give Me The Night” produced in 1980 by Quincy Jones brought him the consecration. In 2009, he entered the studio with David Paich and Steve Lukather.

With 10 Grammy Awards, about 100 concerts per year and 65 albums, the latest of which has just been released after 5 years of absence (reproductions in homage to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino), George Benson remains a leading figure in jazz, mixing disco, funk and soul, R’n”B, rock and pop.

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