Sathima Bea Benjamin
|Tags:||jazz female vocalists female vocalist jazz vocal vocal jazz smooth jazz|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
17 October 1936, Cape Town, South Africa. Benjamin began singing in the 50s, and towards the end of the decade met pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Dollar Brand), whom she later married. In 1962 Benjamin and Ibrahim visited Switzerland, where they met Duke Ellington, who invited them to Paris for a recording session. Ibrahims records were released, but hers were not issued until the late 90s. Three years later, Benjamin sang with Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival. For the next decade Benjamin worked mostly with her husband, but in 1976 their declaration of membership of the outlawed African National Congress (ANC) forced the couple into exile. Living in New York since then, Benjamin has continued to work mostly on the east coast, although her regular recording sessions, on which she is often accompanied by leading contemporary musicians such as Billy Higgins and Buster Williams, helped to bring her unusual talents to the attention of a worldwide...