Pianist, composer, and conductor David Benoit has made a mark in both the classical and jazz vain as a well rounded musician for four decades. His latest Concord Records release “Conversation” meshes both worlds with classical music he was commissioned to write a few years ago with the standard jazz trio. Benoit recorded the new disc in one day at the famed Steinway Hall here in New York City. In addition to showing off his compositions on “Conversations,” David is also currently the musical director for the Asia America Youth Orchestra and Asia America Symphony Orchestra.
The Los Angeles native first stared learning jazz piano at a early age. David’s parents exposed him to both classical and jazz music and took to studying the music in his early teens. Although he wasn’t much into the rock and roll musicians of his era, one of his influences was the legendary Frank Zappa as well as Leonard Bernstein. He also hails pianist Sergio Mendes and Bill Evans as his musical heros.
Dave first got his start in the industry becoming the musical director and arranger for vocalists Ann-Margret, Lanie Kazan, and Connie Stevens during the mid-to-late 1970’s. He began recording as a leader in 1977 with his debut recording “Heavier Than Yesterday.” In 1986 Benoit signed with GRP Records, founded by record icons Larry Rosen and Dave Grusin, and released his debut disc “Freedom At Midnight” the following year. In a span of 18 years with the label, Benoit recorded 16 records and collaborated with the likes of Take 6, The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, David Pack, Russ Freeman, Chris Botti, and David Sanborn.
Currently, David hosts KKJZ-FM’s morning show in Long Beach, California and still is very active touring with his trio. To order David’s latest CD “Conversation,” or, to find out his upcoming club dates, please visit him online at benoit.com or twitter.com/dbmusic.
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