Don't miss George Benson and Boney James, two of the most influential contemporary jazz musicians of the decade.
At various points along the four-decade continuum of George Benson's career, he has been heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled chops, a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication or a combination of both. "It's a very simple equation," the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master says of the longevity of his career and the ten Grammy Awards that have punctuated it along the way. "In the end, it's about the songs and the stories. That's what keeps the music fresh for me.
Boney James, who has four Gold albums, three Grammy nominations, a Soul Train Award and an NAACP Award nomination to his credit, also received his ninth #1 Contemporary Jazz album with Contact released on March 29, 2011 on Verve Records. In 2010 Billboard Magazine named him "The No. 3 Top Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade." Even so, James says, "I am just a saxophone player whose music has several different influences. Jazz is only one of them."