Since launching his recording career in 1977, David Benoit's expansive career as a contemporary jazz pianist has included over 25 solo recordings. His 80s releases This Side Up, Freedom at Midnight and the Grammy nominated Every Step of the Way are considered influential genre classics. Among his other Grammy nominations are those for Best Instrumental Composition (for "Dad's Room," from 1999's Professional Dreamer) and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance (for the GRP All-Star Big Band).
Breaking through to instrumental stardom with his inimitable jazz-funk version of "Linus and Lucy," (from the 1989 CD Happy Anniversary Charlie Brown), Benoit has regaled hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide with frequent tributes to Vince Guaraldi and the music of Peanuts. This long association with Charles Schulz and the famed Peanuts realm led to over ten years of composing music for Peanuts TV specials on CBS and two chart topping CDs, Here's To You, Charlie Brown: Fifty Great Years" and most recently the all-star tribute 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Concurrent with his burgeoning career as a conductor, he recorded 1996's American Landscape with The London Symphony Orchestra and 2005's Orchestral Stories with members of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Orchestral Stories featured his first piano concerto "The Centaur and the Sphinx" and his acclaimed symphonic piece "Kobe," both of which he has performed in live settings across the country. Benoit came Full Circle on his 2006 release which spawned "Beat Street," his #1 Radio & Records single that stayed on the chart for an entire year.
His ever expanding slate of orchestral music endeavors include the conducting of such eminent orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphonies of London, Nuremberg, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Jose. In addition to his ongoing role as conductor of the Asia American symphony, in 2007 he created and performed for the Laguna Beach Arts Festival "Suite For Two Trios" with three female Korean classical musicians; while they played piano, cello and violin, Benoit's ensemble played electric jazz piano-driven material on the other side of the stage. Plans for 2008 include the debut of his new orchestral work "Dolores Del Carmen" with famed Spanish classical guitarist Sir Angel Romero and conducting Beethoven's sixth symphony at the Japan America Theatre. He will also be performing a two piano version of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the Norris Theatre in Palos Verdes, California with classical pianist John Nakamatsu.
Benoit's notable film scores include The Stars Fell on Henrietta, produced by Clint Eastwood and starring Robert Duvall; and The Christmas Tree, produced by Sally Field, voted Best Score of 1996 by Film Score Magazine... Benoit has also been a longtime guest educator with the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, winning the organization's "excellence in music education" award in 2001.
"I've had the opportunity to engage in so many unique endeavors in a multitude of styles throughout my musical life," says Benoit, "and Heroes was a chance for me to step back for a moment and remember the artists who lit the fire, so to speak. Even after all these years, I'm still bursting with ideas for upcoming recordings, including everything from a solo piano and symphony works to a Broadway show tunes collection. As far as contemporary jazz goes, Heroes was a cool bridge to the future for me. Next up, I'm going to delve into the world of Nu-jazz, acid jazz and that whole Euro chill vibe. There's always so much out there to keep the creative energy flowing."