Lakecia Benjamin is an exceptional American saxophonist. Prior to her successful solo career, she performed and recorded with artists such as Harry Belafonte, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Gregory Porter, The Roots, Count Basie Orchestra, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Kool & The Gang, and Clark Terry. She'll be coming to our festival with her quartet as part of the tour for her new fourth album, Phoenix - jazz magazine Downbeat has already managed to name her record as one of the jazz albums of the year.
Lakecia Benjamin grew up in the Dominican borough of New York City, and was already playing salsa and merengue publicly in elementary school. Her mentor, later her first professor, was saxophonist Gary Bartz, who introduced and infected her with the music of John Coltrane and Charlie Parker.
She made her self-recorded debut in 2012, and made the leap to the international jazz elite with her third album Pursuance: The Coltranes, on which she pays tribute to John and Alice Coltrane. The record features guest appearances by three generations of jazz artists, including Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Meshell Ndgecello, Steve Wilson, and Marcus Strickland. But her promisingly launched career was hampered by a serious car accident, and an epidemic that took fifteen members of her family.
The reboot of her life and work was excellent: in January 2023 she released the album Phoenix, which features guest appearances by Dianne Reeves, Angela Davis, and Wayne Shorter, among other stars. Thanks to her talent, creativity, impeccable technique, and life force, Lakecia Benjamin has finally made not only the headlines of Downbeat and Jazzwise magazines, but more importantly, among the world's top jazz musicians. In her music, the genre's past and present meet - Bratislava Jazz Days Slovenská sporiteľňa will welcome the saxophonist who has gone from a promising talent to a jewel of the American scene.