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For three decades, the Grammy-nominated pianist/composer/arranger David Benoit has reigned supreme as one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz. Born in Bakersfield, California, he grew up in Los Angeles and was bitten by the jazz bug after watching a Charlie Brown special on television and listening to the music of Vince Guaraldi in 1965. “I was already a fan of the comic strip,” he says, “but when I heard that jazz piano trio, that was the defining moment when I decided that I wanted to play like Vince Guaraldi.”
Benoit received three Grammy Award nominations in the categories of Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for “Every Step of the Way” (1989), Best Large Ensemble Performance for GRP All-Star Big Band (1996), and Best Instrumental Composition for “Dad’s Room” from the album Professional Dreamer (2000). In 2010, Benoit received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. He has worked with an impressive potpourri of musicians including the Rippingtons, Emily Remler, Alphonse Mouzon, Dave Koz, Faith Hill, David Sanborn, CeCe Winans, and Brian McKnight.
David Benoit has been in the game for 40 years, and he has not slowed down one bit!