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Jazz great Benson to cruise into The Fred

Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC and The Smooth Jazz Cruise announced recently that George Benson, one of the most influential crossover musicians in contemporary jazz, R&B and pop, will perform at The Frederick Brown, Jr. Amphitheater (“The Fred”) in Peachtree City on Friday, June 1 to help launch The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party at Sea 2013.

Tickets are on sale and are available at The Fred box office, Ticket Alternative outlets, via the Ticket Alternative phone line (800.745.3000) and online at www.ticketalternative.com.

Benson will be the special guest performer on The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party at Sea 2013, which will be his cruise debut.

The 10-time Grammy winner will perform shows over two days when the luxurious 7-day Caribbean cruise is in port at Cozumel.

At various points along the four-decade continuum of Benson’s illustrious 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.

Benson is presently touring in support of his latest album, “Guitar Man.”

“It’s a very simple equation,” the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master said of his longevity. “In the end, it’s about the songs and the stories. That’s what keeps the music fresh for me.”

Opening the concert at The Fred will be Atlanta-based jazz trumpeter Joey Sommerville, whose musical essence lies in the Baptist church.

“When I was a teenager, I would judge the caliber of my playing by the number of people in the congregation who ‘got happy.’ If you aren’t touching the listener’s soul, then you aren’t really playing music. Soul communication is the key.”

His latest offering, “The Get Down Club,” is iconic, forward-thinking contemporary jazz featuring funk, gospel and bop influences delivered with pop sensibilities.

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