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www.smoothjazznow.com

GEORGE BENSON TO BE HONOURED DURING INAUGURAL CANADIAN SMOOTH JAZZ AWARDS

The Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards

Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts

April 10, 2005 / 7:30PM

(only 200 seats available)

"George is simply the real deal. Not only did his album "Breezin'" change the course of Jazz it influenced a generation of musicians in a dramatic fashion .That was the beginning of Smooth Jazz." - Paul Brown

With performances by

George Benson, Eddie Bullen, Demo Cates, Rik Emmett, Four80East, Warren Hill, Brian Hughes, Marc Jordan, Clayton, Scott Group, Liberty Silver, Chris Smith, Carol Welsman, Alfie Zappacosta and Alexander Jonjic

Musical Director Andrew Scott | Hosted by Alexander Zonjic.

Smooth Jazz - the genre is new to Canada but the music has been serenading the world for decades. The Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards were designed by Doug and Mary Kirk (Wave 947) as a vehicle to promote smooth jazz music and its artists. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Kenny G and George Benson are but a few icons who led the way. Today, the Canadian Smooth Jazz music scene is alive and vibrant with the outstanding writing and vocals of Michael Buble, Matt Dusk, Alfie Zappacosta, and Marc Jordan to name a few. The recent addition of this format to Canadian radio has put Smooth Jazz on the airwaves providing a refreshing alternative to current radio programming. Audiences are drawn to the comfort of the format that includes great voices, outstanding instrumentalist and emotive songwriters.

Top nominees for the ceremony include Diana Krall, Eddie Bullen, Brian Hughes, Marc Jordan, Clayton / Scott Group and Alexander Zonjic all with three. Krall is mentioned in the Female Vocalist category as well as Album of the Year for "The Girl in the Other Room" and Best Original Composition for "Narrow Daylight" co written by her husband Elvis Costello. Alexander Zonjic was nominated in the most diverse categories, the flutist who also happens to host the morning show at V98.7 in Detroit has his name in for Broadcaster of the Year, Wind Instrumentalist and his "Seldom Blues" CD is up for Album of the Year.

Legendary guitarist George Benson will be honoured at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. From jazz guitar legend to soul-pop vocalist extraordinaire, 8-time Grammy® winner George Benson has cultivated an international fan base as well as tremendous critical acclaim for three things: incomparable versatility, first-class execution in all he does and, perhaps most importantly, for never being predictable. Though few people know it, George Benson’s first recordings were as a 10-year old singing sensation. It wasn’t until a few years later--as a member of a vocal group that needed a guitarist--that Benson shifted his focus. Following a featured stint in organist Jack McDuff’s trio, Benson began releasing albums as a leader on the Prestige and Columbia labels that were mostly instrumental but dotted with occasional vocal numbers. His renown on guitar overshadowed his singing for many years as he released more jazz discs on Verve and CTI, also becoming a prolific first call sideman for everyone from Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon to Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Minnie Riperton.

In 1976, after a move to Warner Bros. under the production of Tommy LiPuma, Benson finally broke through as a singer with his crossover smash cover of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade,” which sent the album to multi-platinum sales status (a rare feat for a “jazz” album). From that point on, George Benson has managed to enviably surf the chart tops of the jazz, R&B and pop worlds, defying confining categorization year in, year out. A 2003 singles compilation, The Greatest Hits of All, has been swiftly earning gold and platinum plaques in territories around the globe.

Now, with Irreplaceable, the time has arrived for George Benson to remind the world where his talents all began with a soulful album precision tuned to the tenor of the times. Irreplaceable is an emotional gemstone of seemingly effortless consistency for the superstar who has been dominating the world of smooth jazz and NAC radio.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will henceforth be named the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award, and will be presented in future years to musical pioneers in the Smooth Jazz format.

This awards show is made possible through the generosity of its sponsors

EMI Music Canada | Wave 947 | www.smoothjazznow.com | BMO Financial Group/BMO Bank of Montreal, Mercedes-Benz Oakville Auto Haus | Hyatt Park Hotel.

Ticket Availability:

Show only: $110.00 Reserve your seat by calling the Oakville PAC Box Office at 905.815.2021 or 1-888-489-7784. Tickets are also available by logging on to www.oc4pa.com

There are a limited number of $50 VIP passes available for the pre-concert reception – call The Wave 905-388-8991 to reserve yours today. The reception, from 5:30 – 7PM, will take place at Sharkey’s Café, 111 Forsythe Street (just across the bridge from the theatre).

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