Swing with georgie
Need a night out with top notch R&B and smooth jazz? George Benson is your man.
George Benson to perform at the Royal Charity Gala Dinner at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur this Friday.
LIVING legend George Benson attributes his longevity in the music scene to him continuously making music. “Making music helps you stay young. You keep moving, rehearsing and keep yourself surrounded by young talents. They make you think young thoughts,” said 67-year-old jazz guitar virtuoso during a phone interview last week.
“Well, apart from living a clean life, too.” Humble and pleasant on the long distance line from Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States, the versatile musician shared some of his experiences while talking about his two upcoming concerts here this weekend.
Benson and his six-piece band are due to perform at the Royal Charity Gala Dinner at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur this Friday to mark the 80th birthday of the Sultan of Pahang. The show aims to raise RM1.2mil for the poor.
He will also perform at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands this Sunday.
Sounding excited, Benson said that he and his band are set to give Malaysian fans a great time at the concerts.
“The concerts will be different from my previous performances in Malaysia. But the classic songs will still be in there because they are requested (by the fans) all the time. We will do a few things that we didn’t do when we were in KL last time,” said Benson without divulging the details.
“In fact we are very anxious to let you hear what we can do for the concerts,” said Benson who was last here in 2007 for a private function at the Seri Perdana in KL.
“But seriously, all my concerts are different from one another. The repertoire changes somewhat to fit into the mood I get from the audience. It all depends on the mood (on stage) as I don’t have a set programme. The band and myself do not know what I’m going to play until I’m on stage,” he said with a laugh.
Benson added that as a performer, his satisfaction is just indescribable when he sees his audiences having a great time.
“It’s the audience and their enthusiasm for our songs that really keep the whole concert energetic.
“We are looking forward to requests from them,” said Benson, whose recording career began at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist.
These days he is better known as an R&B and smooth jazz singer. His hits include Give Me The Night, Turn Your Love Around, In Your Eyes and This Masquerade.
Born and raised in the Hill District in be held along Changkat Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur from 7pm onwards.
The London-raised Lewis, a former X Factor winner, is the hot ticket as she makes an appearance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Benson started out playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz with organist Jack McDuff and recorded his first album The New Boss Guitar in 1964.
The eight-time Grammy winner, born in 1943, first played the ukulele at the age of seven and by the age of 10, had recorded his first single, She Makes Me Mad.
He recalled that when he was young he didn’t believe it when people were telling him of his musical gifts.
“When I was seven years old, I played ukulele on street corners and they called me little ‘Georgie Benson’ and they told me that one day my name would be important to the music business. But I never believed it. It took town on the back of her second album Echo.
While her debut Spirit in 2007 catapulted her to international superstardom, sold over 6.5 million albums and made Lewis a star on both sides of the Atlantic, her new material is no less impressive.
Her new singles Happy and I Got You are obvious favourites alongside Bleeding Heart, her signature tune to get the masses on their feet.
Elsewhere, you have Australian electro-pop twin sisters Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, better known as The Veronicas, to add a spunky edge to Volkswagen’s street launch date. Two albums – The Secret Life Of ... and Hook Me Up – have made The Veronicas an edgy and enjoyable proposition on stage.
Just for the rock ‘n’ roll factor, Volkswagen has already dialed the right number with these talented girls.
Local artistes, featuring bands and deejay crews, such as Arabyrd, Atilia, Bittersweet, Twilight Actiongirl, Kyoto Protocol, Mixing In Action, DJ Fuzz, Twinkies, Tenderfist and many more are also part of the night’s launch activities. me years to believe it when people started to react and to believe in my recordings,” said Benson who cites Nat King Cole, Billy Einstein, Jackie Wilson, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as his musical heroes.
And after all these years, Benson said he will keep making music as long as he still can.
His gala dinner show tables are available with donations of RM50,000, RM30,000, RM20,000 or RM10,000 per table. For more information, call % 03-2070 4923, 09-567 6997 or e-mail email@example.com. For his Arena of Stars concert, tickets are on sale at RM60, RM90, RM140, RM190 and RM250 per person. Call % 03-2718 1118 or log on to (www.rwgenting.com).
The Veronicas and electro hip hop performer Arabyrd (pic left) will add a spunky edge to the Volkswagen event. British singer Leona Lewis will provide
the main attraction at the AreYou VolkswagenEnough? street launch.
Element of surprise: ‘All my concerts are different from one another,’ says George Benson.