I am first a professional Guitarist so I'm able to play guitar in a full band setting. Toured with Rev Al Green for 2 years as his lead guitarist. I can do a 2 man band show using my backing tracks, playing my guitar/singing and using another vocalist with my own sound equipment. I can also put on a 1 to 4 set show featuring a live 5 piece band playing soul, R&B, funk and smooth Jazz music for parties, corporate events, weddings, festivals, etc. I also have my own cd out and can perform in a concert setting for festivals or any type of musical event.
Clay recently made a valuable and outstanding contribution to a production that I just finished.
Response from Clay Benjamin:
Thank you so much brother!
I was able to catch Clay Benjamin and his band at a recent concert and was blown away by his talent on the guitar along with a fantastic band backing him up. The band's repertoire was awesome from classic & contemporary jazz, pop, R&B, to downright funky soul music that was genuinely good for the soul. There aren't very many serious extremely talented jazz artist that have the musical skills, performance & jovial personality to keep a large crowd's attention while playing two solid hours of great music. This is the kind of quality band that should be playing weekly in a great hot restaurant or club for locals & out of town guest to experience Jax. & the beaches as the vibrant metropolitan coastal city it continues to aspire to become.
Response from Clay Benjamin:
Rev I just saw this review and thank you so very much for your continued support!
It does not get better than Clay Benjamin, I know first hand, his soulfulness, execution and presence lends its self to the musical statement. I've been blessed to share the stage with Clay, feeding off the energy and power that he brought to the mix. We have found our niche now, however those days were so musically electrifying. To be sure whether you are listening to his recordings or are bless to catch a live performance. You will walk away musically fulfilled! That's a promise! Terry"Doc" Handy. Jazz Percussionist
Response from Clay Benjamin:
Doc man thank you so much for this review! I'm just now seeing this because I haven't used my acct in some time but getting back into it. Thanks again bro!!!!
My family and I had the privilege of hearing Clay play at Jacksonville Beach last night, 6/8/2014. He is a fabulous guitarist and entertainer. He owned the crowd for sure. They all seemed to really love him. I loved the fact that he gave God the glory for him talent; that was truly a blessing. The last song he and his crew played was Let's Go Crazy by Prince and he KiLLeD his guitar solo; it was AwEsOmE!!! He had the crowd going crazy!! He truly is a gifted guitarist and you won't be disappointed if you book him for a gig.
Response from Clay Benjamin:
Hi Julie! I would like to say thank you so much for taking out the time to submit a review of my 1st performance as a Jazz artist at a festival. I have played 100's of festivals all over the world as a band member but never as the artist. It was a wonderful experience that I'll never forget and I'm so thankful for your comments. God bless you and your family and please feel free to keep in touch with me on FB. My user name is clay.benjamin40
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 45 - 120 minutes
What to Expect
If you're in the audience during a Clay Benjamin performance you will experience a heart warming, energetic, show that will display the talent of my guitar playing, lead vocals and professional sound of a band that has been playing individually and collectively for a long time. I have been performing for over 20 years as a professional musician and have played stadium status venues all over the world, so with that experience I know how to connect with my audience and perform at a high level in any kind of setting wether it's at a wedding party, a club, a festival or auditorium. With that being said, you can be sure that if me and my band show up to perform, you will be pleased with what you see and hear!.
Clay Benjamin’s, interest in music began at the early age of five years old, while watching his father playing the guitar at church. He has been surrounded by a family full of talented musicians that have helped influence his gift of playing the guitar. In 1986, he was blessed to perform in his very first live recording with a local group called "One Accord", headed by Minister Luke Schumpert. In the summer of 1997, Clay auditioned for the Orlando based smooth jazz artist, Paul Howards Group, and became their lead guitarist. Following this achievement, Clay has had the opportunity to perform with many great artists such as Allen & Allen, Yolanda Adams, Dorothy Norwood, Lisa McClendon, Donnie Mcclurkin, The Ga. Mass Choir, Marvin Sapp and many more. Clay also became the lead guitarist for the Fusion Jazz group, “Segue”and recorded their first album, “Tell ya in a second” in 1997. With this group and The Paul Howards band, Clay has had the opportunity to be the opening act to such great artists as The Yellow Jackets, Chuck Loeb, Four Play, The Rippingtons, James Brown, Kool and The Gang, Ray Charles, Morris Day and The Time, The Commodores and many more. His most recent achievement was becoming the lead and rhythm guitarist for Rev. Al Green. Clay had the opportunity to tour all over the world for 2 years with Al Green, playing in many prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall in London, The Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood Ca., The Manchester coliseum in Manchester England, The Red Rock Amphitheatre in Colorado, The BB King Blues Club in NY, The Madison Square Garden in NY and many more. Currently, Clay is still very active in the local music scene as the lead guitarist for Jacksonville’s very own” Diggin Rhythm and Brass and has recently put out his first solo album entitled, "Intervention". The project will feature not only Clay's unique soulful, funky, jazzy rhythmic guitar style, but also his melodic vocal arrangements and clever writing abilities. Clay has been influenced and inspired by such artists as John Mayer, Sting, Seal, Prince, Michael Jackson and The Dave Matthews Band and I'm sure that we will be hearing a lot about him and his music in the near future.
Additional Booking Notes
Backline request for Clay Benjamin
Two 4’10 Fender Hot Rod Deville Amps
3 guitar stands
Korg digital guitar tuner
Backline request for Guitarist Eric Charlton
Radial Acoustic DI box (for acoustic guitar)
Shure SM-58 mic for vocals/speech
Ampeg GVT 2x12 guitar amp w 2x12 extension cab
Shure SM57 and or Sennheiser 421 mics for amps
If guitars need to be provided I would prefer Larrivee Acoustic Guitar w cutaway and electronics and a PRS Custom 24
Need hookups for laptop and pro tools at least 8 channels
Need a monitor wedge
Need In-Ear wireless monitor system w built in limiter
Backline request for keyboardist Marcus Douglas
Motif es 8 Norg Electronic Piano
All keyboards going stereo
A double keyboard stand Quick stands and one single
Three Maudio sustain pedals
Backline request for Bassist Tommy Gillstrap
No less than 500 watt RMS head, cab with 6 10" speakers or 2 cabs with 4 10"s. Brands in order of preference: MarkBass, Aguilar, Eden, Gallien-Krueger, Genz Benz.
For 1 or 2 man show set list:
Blues Guitar song
I’ve got you under my skin, (by Frank Sinatra)me on the lead vocal
Fly me to the moon, by (Frank Sinatra)me on the lead vocal
Just the two of us, by (Bill Withers)me on the lead vocal
What’s going on, by (Marvin Gaye)me on the lead vocal
My girl, by (The Temptations)
What you won’t do for love, by (Bobby Caldwell) me on the lead vocal
Lovely day, by (Bill Withers) With me doing the lead vocal
Kiss of life, by ( Sade)jazz instrumental
Morning, by (Al Jareau)jazz instrumental
So Amazing, by (Luther Vandros)jazz instrumental
The girl is mine, by (Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney)jazz instrumental
Put your records on, by (Corinne Bailey Rae)jazz instrumental
The way it is, by (Bruce Hornsby) with me doing the lead vocal
Home Life, by (John Mayer) me on lead vocal
Why Georgia why, by (John Mayer) me on lead vocal
I’ve got a woman, by (Ray Charles) me on lead vocal
Turn your love around, by (George Benson) jazz instrumental
Isn’t she lovely, by (Stevie Wonder) jazz instrumental
Give me the night, by (George Benson) me on lead vocal
Sweetest taboo, by (Sade) jazz instrumental
Sir Duke, by (Stevie Wonder)jazz instrumental
My Cherie Amour, by (Stevie Wonder) jazz instrumental
The Clay Benjamin Band set list:
Middle of the road
Walking by myself
The way it is
One world is enough
I shot the sheriff
(Medly’s) My girl, sitting on the dock of the bay, I’ve been loving you too long
My other band "True Soul" set list: Funk,jazz soul fusion band
What’s going on
Let’s stay together
Just the two of us
What you won’t do for love
Give me the night
Ain’t too proud to beg
Never too much
Get down on it
Never let you go (Frankie Beverly)
Diamonds and pearls
Let’s go crazy
Single life (Cameo)
All night long
|Alvin Armstrong||Lead and background vocalist|
|Colby Straughter||Music Director and Drummer|
|Tommy Gilstrap||Bass player|
|Marcus Douglas||Keyboard player|
Influences & Inspiration
John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Sting, The Police, Seal, George Benson, Norman Brown, Pat Metheny, Eric Johnson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Fourplay, The YellowJackets
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