@ the Cadogan Hall
13 November 2021
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Voted by 2020 Downbeat Critics Poll Rising star Alto Saxophonist
and Up and Coming Artist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association
,Charismatic and dynamic saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin fuses traditional
conceptions of Jazz, HipHop, and Soul. Benjamin’s electric
presence and fiery sax work has shared stages with several legendary
artists, including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, The Roots, and Macy
Gray. As the bandleader of Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad, she
melds the vintage sounds of James Brown, Maceo Parker, Sly and the
Family Stone, and the Meters with soaring, dance-floor worthy rhythms.
Benjamin’s grooves take the classic vibe to a whole new level
with sultry alto saxophone creating something special on every cut
– be it a smouldering late-night ambiance, or a forceful jazz
intensity, or even the tight funk multi-horn harmony sections.
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, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa
Rubin 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.