Lakecia Benjamin first picked up the saxophone at age 11, studying the work of renowned jazz players such as Greg Osby, Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Sam Rivers, and Steve Coleman. She attended the Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and participated in the jazz programme at The New School University. Her Washington Heights upbringing contributes to the encyclopedic knowledge of Latin music that informs her breezy alto saxophone signature.
“Lakecia captures the essence of traditional jazz, blues and r&b, never forsaking the importance and essential characters of the genres, while at the same time embracing the evolution of them all—while speaking to what’s relevant today. Her sound is clear, urgent and soulful,” says drummer Terri Lyne Carrington about this positive, energetic saxophone player. Benjamin’s summery, sultry alto saxophone is adding something special on each cut she lays down. Benjamin told the renowned Downbeat magazine: “Sometimes the message and the impact isn’t about me playing a lot of saxophone,” she explained. “Don’t get me wrong; I love to solo. But I got to do what I feel is best for the music.”