BREEZIN’ & BREATHLESS: World renowned jazz superstars, George Benson and Kenny G. are teaming up for a historic co-headline touring event where each will perform their greatest hits. It’s been 40 years since visionary George Benson released the groundbreaking Grammy Awards-winning album, Breezin,’ selling over 3 million albums and topping the jazz, R&B and Pop Billboard charts. It’s been 25 years since Kenny G, the most celebrated instrumental musician of the modern era with his signature jazz sound, debuted the Grammy Award-winning album Breathless, selling over 12 million copies in the United States alone.
“Kenny, Kenny G that is, is a refined instrumentalist with a lot of wonderful ideas that have connected with millions around the world,” says Benson. “He is a master of the soprano sax. I always enjoy when we get an opportunity to work together and I look forward to a very successful tour.”
George Benson and Kenny G combined have sold over 125 million albums worldwide, earned 11 Grammy Awards, and have recorded a staggering 15 #1 albums and 10 #1 singles. Now, the pair have decided to embark on one of the most highly anticipated tours of the year, The Breezin’ & Breathless Tour.
“To say I’m honored to share the stage with one of the greatest musicians in the world would be a huge understatement,” Kenny G said. “George Benson has always been a jazz hero to me with a virtuosity that is second to none. In the past I was very fortunate to have had the chance to perform with him, but doing an extended co-headline tour together is truly an honor and a privilege. I can’t wait to experience the magic that I know will be there each night.”
George Benson had some inroads as a funk-jazz guitarist on the popular ‘70’s label CTI, but it was Breezin’, his 1976 Warner Bros debut, that lifted him to pop stardom. A Stevie Wonder-ish vocal rendition of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade” was irresistible ear candy for Top 40 listeners; fans who primarily listened to rock or soul fell by the millions for the rest of the album, also. Over the light grooves of the title track ( written by R&B great Bobby Womack) and “Six to Four,” Benson showed he’d hardly abandoned the fleet fingering of his previous work as a bandleader and Miles Davis’ sideman. Breezin’ was ultimately certified triple-platinum, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard album chart in 1976.
Breathless was the sixth studio album by saxophonist Kenny G, released in 1992 on Arista Records. It reached No. 1 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The track “Forever in Love” won a Grammy Award for “Best Instrumental Composition at the 1994 ceremony and reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has been certified “Diamond” for sales of over 12 million copies in the U.S. making it one of the top 100th best-selling albums in history.
The Breezin & Breathless Tour arrives in Chicago on May26th. Contact the Chicago Theatre for tickets and more information.