Sunday, August 10, 2008

Robert Pope Ensemble August 16th 7:00 PM Farnsworth Park

Benson Brown

Benson Brown's musical career spans a period of 40 years. His vocal stylings encompass a variety of musical idioms such as ballads and show tunes tastefully laced with jazz, R & B and gospel.

His early professional career began with singing on the piano bar circuit at various supper clubs and dinner houses on the West Coast from San Diego to San Francisco.
During an engagement on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood he met Jimmy Rowles, a renowned jazz pianist and was invited to sing with him at Sherry's on the Strip, a popular jazz nightspot.
While enjoying a successful stint with Jimmy Rowles, he was heard by Louie Belson who invited him to appear with his big band at the Hollywood Palladium and various theatres in New York City.

Benson, being an accomplished pianist himself, later formed a jazz trio called Feva. He again had success playing such popular nightspots as Joan Rivers' "Ye Little Club," the National Playboy Club circuit and several European tours.

His latest endeavor is based on the nostalgic premise of bringing back the beautiful music from the 40's, 50's and 60's by such vocal icons as Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and Johnny Hartman, while using his own vocal stylings and interpretations. Benson Brown is a new millennium balladeer with his roots· firmly embedded in the rich sounds of jazz from a kinder, cooler, gentler time.

Robert Pope

Robert Pope started studying and playing the upright bass in New York City in the 1960s. He studied with Ron Carter and Cecil McBee. His first professional gig was in 1965 with the original Inkspots, led by Deek Watson.

He was also a member of the Jazz Mobile Band in New York City in the late '60s. He led several groups and freelanced until 1990, when he returned to his hometown, Pasadena, Calif.
He attended Pasadena Community College's Jazz Program and played in the Studio Jazz Band and the Pasadena Community Orchestra.

Prior to forming Sounds of Jazz Quintet, he freelanced in the Los Angles area. He played the W orId Stage several times with his band, and his group played three years in a row on the Jazz Caravan. He and his band also played at the Temecula Jazz Festival and at Club 322. Today, he freelances around the Los Angeles area and performs with singer Benson Brown.

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