A molten-hot core of funk with tireless big band energy. Free flowing saxophone rolling over traditional soul and jazz, with a hectic latin pulse.

Lakecia Benjamin is a badass, in the best possible sense of the word. The New York City native saxophonist/bandleader is more than just a player, she’s a vocalist and a lyricist, and a cross-cultural force of nature who has played consistently with the greatest jazz, funk, hip hop and pop talent. Bringing the fire and rhythmic energy of funk to her original material, Lakecia has also contributed energetic horn arrangements, collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, The Roots, Santigold, Anita Baker, Macy Gray and Kool & The Gang, Talib Kweli and many more! Despite her jazz, RnB and funk pedigree, Lakecia trained in Latin dance music, playing salsa and merengue. Soon after starting lessons, Lakecia was introduced to the music of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, the rest is history. Cross-pollination has continued throughout her career as a player and performer, seeing Lakecia mark the disparate worlds of pop, hip hop and jazz with her trademark confidence and molten energy.

Lakecia Benjamin (Saxophone) Joel Jenkins (Piano) Phil Stack (Bass) Paul Derricott (Drums)

Artist-in-Residence Benjamin has been collaborating with 10-piece jazz ensemble Pharos, formerly known as Sydney Women’s Jazz Collective. Formed as an initiative of the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival in 2016, Pharos create music that honours the traditions and skirts the edges of mainstream large ensemble jazz music, avant garde and world music, each year collaborating with international artists from across the globe. Performing arrangements of Benjamin’s compositions, alongside Australian works specifically composed for Pharos from composers such as Andrea Keller, Harri Harding and Ellen Kirkwood, this performance will also feature the premiere of a new work by APRA/AMCOS Young Composers Mentorship recipient, Melbourne saxophonist/composer Cheryl Durongpasitkul.

Hannah James (Bass) Laura Corney (Saxophone) Loretta Palmeiro (Saxophones) Kali Gillan (Baritone) Louise Horwood (Trumpet) Ellen Kirkwood (Trumpet) Alex Silver (Trombone) Hillary Geddes (Guitar) Piano (Tba) Ali Foster (Drums)