Grammy award winner, George Benson meets Lagbaja on Lagos stage

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Smooth 98.1FM hosts its 3rd Love Music Love Life Luxury Concert on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the Expo center Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, with the legendary George Benson as the headline act and Lagbaja supporting.

George Benson is a Jazz Master and ten time Grammy-winning legend. He will be performing greatest hits such as “Give Me the Night”, “Breezin”, “Love X Love” and “Off Broadway”. Whilst Lagbaja will get you dancing on your feet with songs like “Konko Below”, “Gra Gra”, “Vernacular” and “Prayer For The Youths”

Lagbaja and Benson

George Benson’s career spans five decades and more than 30 recordings as a leader. Benson first came to prominence playing soul jazz with the likes of Jack McDuff. Benson then launched a successful solo career, alternating between jazz, pop, R&B singing, and scat singing.

By the mid to late 1970s, Benson began to put his vocal on tracks such as “This Masquerade” and “On Broadway”, which both won him Grammy Awards. With his triple-platinum album, ‘Breezin’ topped the Billboard 200 in 1976.

Benson’s breakthrough pop album “Give Me The Night” made it into the pop and R&B top ten with the song “Give Me the Night” (produced by Quincy Jones and written by former Heatwave keyboardist Rod Temperton) having previously been almost unknown to the younger audience. Benson accumulated three other platinum LPs and two gold albums.

He also recorded the original version of “Greatest Love of All” for the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-pic, The Greatest, which was later recorded as a cover by Whitney Houston. In 2009, Benson finished recording a new album titled “Songs and Stories”, with Marcus Miller, producer John Burk, and session musicians David Paich and Steve Lukather.

His newest album Guitar
Man is a 12-song collection that includes a mix of jazz and pop standards – some in a combo setting and some solo, but all of them tied together seamlessly by Benson’s soulful and exploratory signature sound.

A solid team made up of veterans and newcomers alike – pianist Joe Sample, keyboardist and musical director David Garfield, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Harvey Mason, featured on this album. Benson has used his jazz roots as the foundation for an engaging mix of pop, R&B and other shades that add up to a style that appeals to a broad mainstream audience.

Lágbájá, who’s name in Yoruba means somebody, nobody, anybody or everybody uses his mask as an icon of man’s facelessness. The mask is meant to depicts the anonymity of the so called “common man” and symbolize the faceless and voiceless in society, particularly in Africa. Once you see Lágbájá’s mask you are reminded of your own facelessness.

His first album titled Lágbájá was released to National acclaim in 1993. Over the years and more albums later, his music continues to fascinate with its unique focus on a core of traditional African drums with traditional Yoruba drums being the most prominent. Lagbaja’s music is a product of various influences ranging from traditional Yoruba music to Jazz.

Many of his songs dwell on serious social issues, while others simply entertain. Some are dance- inducing while others pass serious messages in humorous ways. Lágbájá’s groovy fusion has been referred to as afrojazz, afrobeat, higherlife and afropop until now. As he himself has now christened his music AFRICANO.

Lágbájá is fast emerging in the forefront of contemporary African music, rich in the traditions of the continent while cosmopolitan in attitude. Taking his music beyond the shores of Nigeria by performing in various festivals and venues around the world.

Smooth 98.1FM came on to the airwaves in 2009, launching its Annual Love Music Love Life Luxury Concert series in 2010 with performances by renowned artists, Angie Stone, Gerald Albright and Richard Bona featuring Mike Stern complimented by Tiwa Savage, BEZ and Pure & Simple. In 2011 we featured Asa, Pamela “the Saxtress” Williams and Jimmy Dludlu.

This year, audiences will gather once again to enjoy a once in a lifetime performance from the 10 time Grammy Award winning jazz guitarist George Benson, as he and his acclaimed band grace the stage at the Eko Hotel and Suites for the first time ever in Nigeria. And needless to say, we are excited to welcome him to our wonderful country and introduce him to the ever-increasing Smooth 98.1FM audience.

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