“A Steinway is like a perfect piece of art, every single aspect is top quality: the action, the many different colors and tones, the resonance. It literally pulls the music out of me. Steinway changed my life.”
Twotime GRAMMY Award nominated pianist and contemporary jazz master Benito Gonzalez combines a long lineage of American jazz traditions with rhythms from around the world. His sound is recognizable for the powerful rhythm section and Afro-Latin patterns he prioritizes across his projects, working with luminaries from across the spectrum of jazz.
His critically acclaimed debut album, Starting Point, was recorded with Christian McBride, Antonio Sanchez, Rene McLean, and Ron Blake. Following the success of this album, he was widely celebrated as an exciting composer and pianist and was awarded the First Prize at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition shortly thereafter. Benito’s later record as a bandleader, Passion Reverence Transcendence, reveals a very personal body of work as he emerges as an accomplished improviser and leader in his own right. The record is an exhilarating tribute to the legendary McCoy Tyner, and is described as a beautifully played, unequivocal triumph of sound and spirit.
Benito toured with saxophonist Kenny Garrett for seven years, during which time he garnered two Grammy nominations for his recordings with The Kenny Garrett Quartet: Seeds from the Underground and Pushing The World Away. In 2019, he joined NEA Jazz Master and John Coltrane protégé, Pharoah Sanders as a pianist and musical director. Benito has shared the stage with Dave Liebman, Roy Hargrove, Jackie McLean, Gary Bartz, Curtis Fuller, Bobby Hutcherson, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Al Foster, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Ignacio Berroa, Buster Williams, Rene McLean, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Hamiet Bluiett, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Gross, T.K. Blue, and Azar Lawrence.
He was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant in 2003 by the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanity. He was named in the 2010 Jazz Times’ Best New Jazz Artists– Critics Pool, and was in residence at the Conservatorio di Pescara in Italy, 2018. He currently serves on the piano faculty at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He has given master classes at many universities and conservatories around the world, including at the Sibelius Academy, Conservatory of Bratislava, and Kiev University.
Benito Gonzalez is a Steinway Artist