Video: Benny Benack III Releases Video For New Rendition of 'Gary, Indiana'

It’s the newest single from his LP Third Time’s The Charm, out June 30th.

By: Jun. 08, 2023

Emmy-nominated trumpeter-vocalist-composer Benny Benack III released the video for his new rendition of “Gary, Indiana” — it’s the newest single from his LP Third Time’s The Charm, out June 30th via La Reserve / Bandstand Presents.

On the album, the triple-threat Benack has assembled one of the best bands in New York, featuring longtime collaborator and pianist Emmet Cohen joined by bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole.

"Releasing the very first song I ever performed in public as a child alongside one of my earliest musical collaborators, pianist Emmet Cohen, feels like a musical homecoming a lifetime in the making,” Benack told Rock and Roll Globe. “It's always a thrill for me to reinvigorate an old Broadway classic like ‘Gary, Indiana’ and put a fresh spin on it!”

Third in a generational line of Pittsburgh jazz notables, Benny follows in the footsteps of his trumpeter/bandleader grandfather Benny Benack Sr., his saxophonist/clarinetist father Benny Benack Jr., and his mother Claudia Benack, a voice professor at Carnegie Mellon University who’s instructed the likes of Josh Groban, Leslie Odom Jr., and many more.

Benack’s family gave him his first professional experience at a very young age. “‘Gary, Indiana’ is the first song I ever performed in my life as a professional,” says Benack. “My mom played piano with me, and I would be like 8 years old, walking out onstage in the middle of my dad’s concert. My mom would hold my hand, and we’d go out and I’d sing ‘Gary, Indiana.’”

Benack has proven to be that rarest of talents: not only a fiery trumpet player with a stirring command of the post-bop 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.

In early 2020, Benack released A Lot of Livin’ to Do, the follow-up to his well-received 2017 debut One of a Kind. The sophomore effort, richly varied in mood and brimming with bop inflection, featured bassist extraordinaire and Jazz ambassador Christian McBride, whose GRAMMY-award winning Big Band frequently calls upon Benny in the trumpet section.

Benack’s upcoming LP Third Time’s The Charm builds on the signature style of those previous releases, drawing on his fluency in a diverse set of genres and crafting a studio album with a live show feel. 

“This record is the maturation, the culmination of my journey to this point,” shares Benack, “and of everything I’ve been developing artistically, across my playing, singing, and writing. It perfects the formula I’ve crafted on my previous two albums. I tried to program it as if I was doing a two set concert. It has that New York kind of energy, being in the room at midnight at Smalls, or if you went to see me at Dizzys. If you’re seeing a live show, you love that zig zag and energy thrust of different styles. That’s how you put on a dynamic show. I wanted the album to reflect that.”

Benny has also appeared as a trumpet soloist alongside Josh Groban, Ben Folds, fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, Ann Hampton Callaway, and more. He made his television debut in NBC’s SNL-inspired variety show Maya & Marty, playing in the in-studio band led by acclaimed bassist & Broadway arranger Charlie Rosen. He also performs frequently in the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Tour Dates:

June 16: Con Alma Downtown - Pittsburgh, PA
June 17: Con Alma Downtown - Pittsburgh, PA
June 18: Blu Jazz - Akron, OH
June 19: The Refectory: Columbus, OH
June 23: Blue Llama - Ann Arbor, MI
June 24: Jazz Kitchen - Indianapolis, IN
June 26: Dizzy's Club - New York, NY 
June 30: Iowa City Jazz Festival - Iowa City, IA
July 1: Noce - Des Moines, IA 
July 28: Chris' Jazz Cafe - Philadelphia, PA
August 10-11: Vic’s Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV
August 12: San Jose Jazz Festival - San Jose, CA
August 25: Lewiston Jazz Festival - Lewiston, NY
August 26: Oshkosh Jazz Festival - Oshkosh, WI
September 1: Vail Jazz Festival 2023 - Vail, CO

Photo Credit: Matt Baker


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