DAVID BENOIT's career as a contemporary jazz pianist began in 1977 and includes 25 solo recordings over the past 29 years. His 1985 radio hit "Linus and Lucy" helped launch the smooth jazz genre. His ever-expanding slate of orchestral music endeavors includes the conducting of such eminent orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphonies of London and San Francisco. He recently conducted the performance of his first piano concerto, "The Centaur and the Sphinx," featuring the distinguished pianist Frederic Chiu and the Asia-America Symphony Orchestra.
His involvement as a guest educator with the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation has taken him to classrooms throughout the country, where he has devoted many hours to teaching children about music. He has also been involved with the Grammy in the Schools Foundation and was voted Music Mentor of the Year by the International Foundation of Education and Performing Arts (IFEPA).
Recently, Benoit made a dramatic return to his smooth jazz roots, coming Full Circle on one of the most honest, liberating, and heartfelt recordings of his storied 30-year career.
The pianist perfectly blends old-school and modern sensibilities, working with a crew of his favorite musicians and three of contemporary jazz's most successful producers: Jeffrey Weber, Paul Brown, and famed keyboardist Jeff Lorber. Weber lends his expertise to the gentle, acoustic piano-chamber music flavored "Katrina's Little Bear" (inspired by the story of a boy who lost everything but his teddy bear in the hurricane) and "Monster in the Attic" (a "story song" inspired by Benoit's five-year-old daughter June). Brown and Benoit's first collaboration was the soaring, lightly rhythmic ballad "First Day Of School," a mini "story song" inspired by Benoit taking June to her first day of kindergarten. Full Circle's first radio single is "Beat Street," a bright and bouncy slice of sweet retro funk that perfectly matches the pop, jazz, and R&B sensibilities of Benoit and Lorber.