This week, Ira spoke with Emmy-nominated trumpeter and singer, Benny Benack III, performing at Vick’s Las Vegas, August 10-11, at 7 and 8:30. In this episode of “Talk About Las Vegas With Ira,” Benny talks about his lineage as third in a generational line of Pittsburgh jazz notables; how he incorporates both his father and grandfather’s influences and simultaneously looks to musical giants to add to his approach to music; why showmanship is an important part of his presentation; why he has so much energy on stage; why he concerns himself with quality; his responsibility to the Great American Songbook; and why jazz will always be around.
By age 32, Emmy-nominated trumpeter and singer Benny Benack III has proven to be that rarest of talents: not only a fiery trumpet player with a stirring command of the postbop trumpet vernacular in the vein of Kenny Dorham and Freddie Hubbard, but also a singer with a sly, mature, naturally expressive delivery in the post-Sinatra mold, performing standards and his own astute songs with a thrilling sense of showmanship. This dual-threat ability was recognized by the 2022 Downbeat Critics Poll where he appeared as not only the #2 Rising Star Male Vocalist, but a top Rising Star Trumpeter as well. His superb intonation and bracing virtuosity enable him to handle astounding feats of originally composed vocalese (complex solos with written lyrics). On top of it all, he’s a highly capable pianist as well.