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Lakecia Benjamin and Phoenix | La Jolla Music Society
January 28 @ 5:00 pm
SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2024 • 5 PM & 7:30 PM
LAKECIA BENJAMIN AND PHOENIX
“Lakecia Benjamin plays jazz that is sprinkled with the rich flavors of funk and soul—she’s a crafty traditionalist who remains in step with the rhythms of the young generation.”
— The New Yorker
Voted “Rising Star Alto Saxophonist in the 2020 Downbeat Critics Poll and “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association, charismatic and dynamic young saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin fuses traditional conceptions of jazz, hip hop, and soul. For this JAI debut, Benjamin features the quartet from her 2023 release Phoenix, an album that also featured cameos by some of Benjamin’s heroes including Wayne Shorter, Angela Davis, Dianne Reeves, and Patrice Rushen. The album was just nominated for three GRAMMYs.
Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin has shared stages with legendary artists including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and The Roots. A streetwise New York City native born and raised in Washington Heights, Lakecia Benjamin first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. From there she joined the renowned jazz program at New York’s New School University. However, even at that early stage, Benjamin was already playing with renowned jazz figures like Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, which introduced her to opportunities to play and tour with an array of artists such as Rashied Ali, Christian Mcbride, Gregory Porter, and James “Blood” Ulmer. With her deep jazz roots, she was soon in demand as an arranger and horn section leader, landing stints with such acclaimed artists as Anita Baker.
Lakecia Benjamin’s album Pursuance is an intergenerational masterpiece that goes on a journey through the lineage of the music with the works of John and Alice Coltrane. Benjamin pays homage to those who have come before by featuring innovative bandleaders of her generation, such as Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Meshell Ndegeocello, Regina Carter, Bertha Hope, Last Poets, Greg Osby, Steve Wilson, John Benitez, Marc Cary, Marcus Gilmore, Keyon Harrold, Marcus Strickland, Brandee Younger, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Jazzmeia Horn.