playing career began with a "C" melody saxophone at the
age of eleven. When his father saw that he was interested, he bought
George an alto saxophone. George played sax in both the junior and
senior high school bands. He also learned to play the clarinet and
the bassoon in school bands.
George played his first professional job at age
sixteen with a big band at the Granada Theater. Due to his young
age, his father had to sign for him to enter the musicians union
in order to work that job.
George played various clubs around Detroit and Ohio
until he was drafted into the army. George was married two months
before he went into the service. After being drafted, George joined
the 264th Army Band stationed in Hawaii. George also played bassoon
in the All Service Band. He returned to Detroit after an honorable
discharge from the service and continued to work in clubs in Windsor
George was the leader of the house band at the famous
Flame Show Bar during its last year. George continued his musical
career as both a leader and a sought after sideman. Throughout the
decade of the 1960's, George was a vital part of many of the Motown
Academically inclined, George Benson is well known
as a teacher of Jazz improvisation and theory. He has written a
book titled "Jazz
Etudes Over Classic Jazz Changes" published
by Houston Publishing, Inc. and exclusively distributed by Hal Leonard.
In 1988, George received the "National Association
of Jazz Educator's Outstanding Service to Jazz Education" Award.
George's performance credits, too innumerable to
detail, range from Louis Armstrong to Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder
to Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald to Milton Berle, and he has often
been seen with his Detroit contemporaries Marcus Belgrave and J.C.
Heard. George has added to his many great recordings by recently
Benson Sax Master."
George has continued to spend the major years of
his life developing the intricacies of a master musician. George
has remained in the Detroit area and raised a family.