BENISE-EN FUEGO! Kicks Off Fitz's Jazz at The McCallum Series, Today
Armed with his Spanish guitar and an amazing world-class band of musicians, Benise - En Fuego! will kick off the Fitz's Jazz Cafe Series at The McCallum Theatre on Friday, November 2 at 8:00 pm.
Benise is also the creative force behind the Emmy Award Winning electrifying multi-cultural World Music and Dance Productions, "The Spanish Guitar" and "Nights of Fire!" In 2010, Benise performed on the #1 rated show in the United States, "Dancing with the Stars" and toured the US covering 40 major markets. Airing nationally on PBS in 2007, "Nights of Fire!" was an unprecedented and spectacular journey of music and dance through Spanish Flamenco, Cuban Salsa, African Rhythms, Argentinean Tango, and Brazilian Samba. Backed by a stage full of musicians, an orchestra, and 12 elaborately choreographed dancers, "Nights of Fire!" captured world music at its best.
"The Spanish Guitar" is Benise's second PBS special, filmed over 3 years and across 10 countries. It's an epic tale that integrates live performance with footage of Benise in his voyage around the globe - the cobblestone streets of old Havana, an Arabian desert, the romantic canals of Venice, the oldest bullring in Spain, a quaint Paris café, and the sacred temples of India. Benise's "The Spanish Guitar" takes us to worlds both faraway and deeply personal, and reminds us that hope can be the healing thread in all of our lives.
Just as his fiery melodies and high-energy rhythms weave a stunning tapestry of emotions, Benise has always charted his own distinctive path. Since receiving his first guitar at the age of eleven, he practiced relentlessly, completely self- taught, mastering a variety of different styles that would become his unique sound. He began composing original works with powerfully emotional arrangements that are both wild and refined, producing a sound that is as edgy and exotic as it is romantic and sensual. "I'm always inspired by places I've traveled," saysBenise, "so I'll try to capture the essence and beauty of the different places in my melodies. It's truly like painting on air, creating colors and lush soundscapes that take people (and me) away to a safe place with no prejudice and no boundaries."
Leaving his family and friends to move 1,500 hundred miles away from home to Los Angeles with nothing more than his guitar, Benise held in his heart the encouragement from his parents to "work hard and have faith." After being turned down by almost every club in Los Angeles, Benise started performing on the streets. It was not uncommon for Benise to put on over 250 shows a year, sometimes playing 2 to 3 events in a single day.