Jazz, funk, and R&B saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin was born and raised in New York City. She began playing the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. While attending New York City’s The New School University, she was mentored by saxophonist Gary Bartz, who introduced her to the music of John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, and Charlie Parker. Along with Bartz, she also studied under Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, Buster Williams and others. She began playing with renowned jazz figures like Clark Terry and Workman. These performances led to her work with a wide array of artists including Rashied Ali, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin and James "Blood" Ulmer. She also worked mainstream acts like Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, The Roots, Anita Baker, and others. Her first solo album, Retox, was released in 2012. Her sophomore release under her own name was Rise Up in 2018, followed Pursuance: The Coltranes (2020). She works as a featured performer for both Gregory Porter and comedian Craig Robinson.
© ©Copyright Music Story Stephen Schnee 2020