BENISE

BENISE

BandWorldLatin

Spanish guitarist, BENISE’S Emmy Award Winning World Music and Dance Production, is an unprecedented and spectacular journey through Spanish Flamenco, Cuban Salsa, Brazilian Samba, and African rhythms, that appeals to heart and souls of people of all ages and cultures.

Biography

BENISE
The Emmy Award®-winning
World Music and Dance Stage Production

In 2008, Spanish guitarist BENISE unveils his Emmy award winning electrifying multi-cultural stage show to the world. Backed by a stage full of musicians and elaborately choreographed dancers, BENISE captures world music at its best, with a show that appeals to the hearts and souls of people of all ages, cultures and musical backgrounds.

BENISE’S show is an unprecedented and spectacular adventure through Spanish Flamenco, Cuban Salsa, African Tribal Rhythms, Argentinean Tango, and Brazilian Samba, brings a new level of originality to live performance. As composer, guitarist and creative force behind the event, BENISE (pronounced Buh-nes-say) says the show’s ambition is “to take people on a musical journey. I wanted to push the boundaries of traditional Flamenco/Spanish guitar while combining the elements of dance and theater. This show is a celebration of culture--the culmination of all the shows we’ve done over the last five years.”

Launching in the USA on PBS, BENISE blends his innovative vision with the creative minds of director Amy Tinkham (Paul McCartney, Dixie Chicks, Madonna, Britney Spears), Brazilian-born choreographer Alex Magno (Madonna, Ballet Hispanico, Academy Awards), and costume designer Erin “Topaz” Laurue (Blossom, Grounded for Life and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), whose breathtaking, couture costume design won a Emmy Award® for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety or Music Program, above fellow-nominee Dancing with the Stars. BENISE reports that “the response from people all over the country has been overwhelming.”

Throughout BENISE’S show the traditions of music and dance are reinvented by BENISE’s 12 performers on a lavishly decorated stage. Backing BENISE as he visits Spanish Flamenco, Cuban Salsa and Brazilian Samba are world-class musicians, a Havana Horn section and a 10-piece orchestra that supports the bold and beautifully arranged ballads.

The dancers were carefully handpicked from a global pool of some of the most brilliantly diverse talent to be found. Traditional Flamenco dancers, De La Guarda performers, Broadway performers, and soloists previously featured with the likes of Madonna, Gloria Estefan, and Ricky Martin have all joined forces to make up BENISE’s female dancers, “The Gitanas.” Breathtaking couture fashion and innovative staging and choreography give Spanish dance a fresh and luminous makeover.

Since the age of eleven (when he received his first guitar), BENISE practiced relentlessly, completely self-taught, mastering a variety of different styles that were eventually to become his own unique sound. Though unable to read a single note, he began composing original works with powerfully emotional arrangements that are both wild and refined, producing a sound that is as edgy and exotic as it is romantic and sensual. “I’m always inspired by places I’ve traveled,” says BENISE, “so I’ll try to capture the essence and beauty of the different places in my melodies. It’s truly like painting on air--creating colors and lush soundscapes that take people (and me) away to a safe place with no prejudice and no boundaries.”

Leaving his family and friends to move 1500 hundred miles away from home to Los Angeles with nothing more than his guitar, he held in his heart the encouragement from his parents to “work hard and have faith.”

After being turned down by almost every club in Los Angeles, BENISE started performing on the streets. It was not uncommon for BENISE to put on over 200 shows a year, sometimes playing 2 to 3 events in a single day. Tourists from around the world and native Angelinos alike took to BENISE like the “Pied Piper” of Spanish guitar. From there, the path of his music took on a life of its own, effortlessly opening doors along the way to attract musicians, dancers and cirque performers, eventually creating the extended family that is now known simply as his namesake, “BENISE.”

BENISE started to promote his own concerts, selling out 2,000 seat theaters through Southern California. A natural performer, BENISE held audiences captive with exotic drums, Gypsy violin, Flamenco dancers, Cirque performers, Brazilian Samba dancers and percussionists, African tribal drummers, Havana horns, and brilliant theatrical lighting work together to create and unforgettable experience.

“This is a great show for the whole family; I really think we have something for everyone,” comments BENISE. “I hope people will be inspired--by our story, by the music, by the production--and have the passion to follow their own dreams.” Looking ahead to future tour dates, BENISE adds, “I can’t wait to travel to new cities, meet new people, and play every night--it’s what I live for.”

Set List

2 hour World Music and Dance Production - 15 minute intermission