Happy Birthday David Benoit

August 18, 1953

 

Linus and Lucy

Pianist and composer David Benoit was born on August 18th, 1953 in Bakersfield, California.

While attending El Camino College he proceed to study theory and composition, followed by film scoring classed at UCLA, and later became an assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic.

Benoit began his professional career in 1976 as musical director for Lainie Kazan and proceeded to work with Ann-Margret and Connie Stevens.

In 1986, he signed to the GRP label as a solo artist. His recordings throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s are mostly in the smooth jazz style.

In 1987 David Benoit released his debut on GRP Records, “Freedom At Midnight” climbing to number five on the Billboard charts.

Benoit, however, does have a grounding in straight ahead bop, featured on his 2000 LP Here’s to You, Charlie Brown!

Two years later his 1989 offering on the label “Waiting for Spring” made it to number one.

Benoit dedicated his 1992 album “Letter to Evan” to pianist Bill Evans whom he has cited as a major influence.

After the death of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz in 2000, David Benoit released a memorial album entitled “Here’s To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years” and continues to perform classic piano themes from the cartoon.

The “David Benoit Quartet” are featured performing Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus And Lucy” live in New York on December 20, 2008.

Personnel:

David Benoit, piano
Andy Suzuki, alto sax
David Hughes, bass
Jamey Tate, drums
Brad Dutz, percussion

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