David Benoit’s commanding Performance
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
[Don’t miss David Benoit’s upcoming concert on October 3, 2012 at the New Port Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila. Mulatto together with Thor and Acts Manila will be jamming with Benoit for Santuario de San Antonio Parish annual fund raising event, Francisfest.
Beneficiaries of this event funds the different programs and projects of the Parish Foundation like PGH and Rizal Medical Hospital Ministry, the educational scholarship program of SSAPF, the poor and elderly amongst the little Friends of St. Francis in the Friendship Home and Friends of St. Anthony in our parish and the Prison Ministry. The article below is about Benoit’s very successful concert last February 11, 2010. Francisfest with David Benoit is sponsored by PLDT Fiber and Resorts World]
His hair swings wildly back and forth. He hops on his chair while passionately playing the piano, occasionally smiling to the crowd. Although the music is probably one of the most recognizable jazz instrumentals, the energy is akin to a rock concert. Audiences were mesmerized with David Benoit’s ability to inject so much emotion into a performance. He was able to play jazz, blues, pop and even classical music with ease, taking listeners to a fanciful lyrical journey.
Ambient Media and Shindig Productions originally scheduled the return of David last October but was cancelled because of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng. The delay did not affect the attendance and appeal of Benoit’s performance last February 11 at the PICC Hall. The concert was also sponsored by Jaguar, DPC Yellow pages, MERALCO and media partners Manila Bulletin, HerLife, HerWord.com, OdysseyLive.net, The Lifestyle Network, 105.1 Crossover and your comfortable choice 106.7 DreamFM.
Bituin Escalante enthralled audiences with her version of Benoit’s hit “Here in the Land of the Loving”. The range and power of Bituin’s voice was perfect for the song’s high and deep notes. Her version was easily more memorable than the original by Diane Reeves. The whole concert was so impressive musically that it should be released as a live CD because it’s a guaranteed hit. Bito also sang the lively and fast “Promise Me a Carousel” which was used by the Phil. Tourism Authority as an anthem. People could not get enough of Bituin’s vocals as she playfully kissed David’s hand after her songs.
The night also featured the debut of Oggie Benipayo who likewise gave an impressive performance of “You never love me the same way twice”, “Any other time” and the encore “Take a Look Inside My Heart”. Master saxophonist Tots Tolentino lent his talents to the already star studded show.
Showing his complete skills as a musician Benoit also conducted the orchestra for the piece “Kobe Kimura Dansu Gakuin” & “LAXperience”. The latter was a piece inspired by the pylons of the Los Angeles Airport. Architect Ted Tokio Tanaka designed the structures and asked David to “set it to music”.
“Cats” star Lea Salonga played a pivotal role in getting David back here in the Phil. and in introducing musical director Gerard Salonga. During his spiel he said “Rob Chien and I are both from Los Angeles, he helped us meet Lea Salonga. Mark Winkler lyricist of ‘Here in the Land of the loving’ watched Lea singing that same song on ‘You Tube’ and was so impressed. We thought of getting her for a show. After contacting her she did such an outstanding job. And she said ‘My brother Gerard has an orchestra called ‘Filharmonika’, you should meet him.’ And that’s how we got back here.”
David also paid tribute to jazz artist Bill Evans with his tribute “Letter to Evan”. He described Michael Jackson as someone who, “changed the face of music for so many people.” The full orchestra playing MJ’s “Human Nature” behind David’s piano brought out the true melodic qualities of the song.
Near the end of the show came his famous jazz hits, that gave the show a faster pace: “Every Step of the Way”, “Kei Song”, “Some Other Sunset”. Just when the crowd was giving him an ovation, he puts his right hand out to quiet them down. Shifting gears he plays Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and a solemn, calming mood descends. Halfway through he goes into an improvisational jazz and blues intro to the piece “Freedom at Midnight” then “Linus and Lucy”. No other pianist local or foreign has moved audiences as well as David has with a live performance.
Log on to https://www.ticketworld.com.ph to purchase and reserve your tickets or visit ticketworld outlets at: Makati Shangri-La, CCP Box Office, EASTWOOD MALL – Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City , RESORTS WORLD MANILA – Newport Boulevard, Newport City Cybertourism Zone, Pasay City