Grammy Award winner George Benson concludes Bahrain cultural festival

April 20, 2012
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Ten-time Grammy Award winning American musician George Benson onl Friday concluded the Seventh Spring of Culture Festival in Bahrain.

Benson will be a first time visitor to Bahrain and his concert was a sold out weeks before the open air concert at Arad Fort on the island of Muharraq.

Known as “the man with the guitar”, Benson has a career that spans five decades and features more than 30 recordings as a leader and ten Grammy Awards.

Benson has established himself as a formidable jazz singer and by the early 1960s, he formed his own band and launched his solo career with the 1964 album, The New Boss Guitar.

Since the start of the millennium, Benson has shown no signs of slowing down. Some of his more notable offerings of the past decade include the soulful Irreplaceable (2004), and Givin’ It Up (2006), a duet recording with Al Jarreau that scored two Grammy Awards and marked his Concord debut.

“I think a lot of pop tunes that were very big in the United States many years ago were recorded by jazz musicians playing in the background,” he said. “Those guys were jazz musicians who were living in Detroit and were called to do a job, and they did it very well … I try to do the same thing. I try to make it sound like it is natural, because to me it is.”

The festival, opened in March with great fanfare, featured music legend Julio Iglesias and a host of performers from various cultures.

“What distinguishes the festival this year is that it coincides with the glowing brilliance of Manama as the Capital of Arab Culture, a regional and international achievement which reflects the recognition of the enlightening cultural role Bahrain has played throughout history,” Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, culture minister, said at the opening of the cultural extravaganza.

“The continuity of the Spring of Culture Festival which has become an annual event could not have been accomplished, were it not for the combined efforts of all private and public sector stakeholders. The objective is to promote Bahrain in all areas, and to entertain Bahraini citizens who deserve to enjoy the creative and renewed variety of the yearly Spring of Culture programs, catering to all tastes and interests,” she said.

According to Hesham Al Saken, an official with the culture ministry, more than 35 events in this year’s festival “celebrated a rich and diverse tribute to culture and civilization without bias or discrimination.”

“Through its slogan ‘Embrace the Experience’, the festival catered to various tastes by organizing cultural seminars, poetry evenings, and regional, international and local art shows including songs, music, theatre, and visual arts,” he said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/grammy-award-winner-george-benson-concludes-bahrain-cultural-festival-1.1011166

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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