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BENN BACOT: News

The Bass Of The Bay at Society Cabaret!

Benn Bacot at Society Cabaret
On Friday February 27, I caught San Francisco jazz singer and songwriter Benn Bacot at the Society Cabaret in the Hotel Rex. He is one of San Francisco's hidden treasures. With his lyrical bass voice with rich resonance, he is known as "The Bass of the Bay." Becot's voice is reminiscent of Billy Eckstine with a little of Joe Williams and a dash of Nat King Cole.
Backed by David Austin on piano, Bob Blankenship on drums, and Chuck Bennett on bass, Benn Bacot did a smooth and laid back show with special guest stars Amanda King, Linda Kosut, and Helen Marie. It reminded me of those long ago times at jazz joints on 54th Street in New York.
Benn Bacot was heartfelt singing such songs as "Stolen Moments" and "Angel Eyes" and did a powerful rendition of Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River." The artist was terrific singing a tribute to Harold Arlen which included snippets of "Get Happy, "Between Devil and the Deep Blue Seas," and "Stormy Weather," and ending up with a swinging version of "That Old Black Magic."
Amanda King, one of the best jazz vocalists around these parts, rocked singing "The Lady Is a Tramp," segueing into "I Walk a Little Faster," then switching to a poignant version of "On Green Dolphin Street" and ending up with the bouncy "Bye Bye Blackbird."
Following Amanda King, Benn Bacot was pitch perfect singing the old standard "B├ęsame Mucho" followed a song that Herb Jefferies made popular, "A Woman is a Worrisome Thing." The lovely vocalist Linda Kosut came to the mike to do a charming arrangement of "Skylark." This was followed by another guest, Helen Marie, strikingly singing a springy tune by Carlos Jobim called "Dindi." Bacot ended the show with a groovy arrangement of Angie Fisher's "I.R.S." As an encore he did a rocking arrangement of "Your Mother's Son-In-Law."
For the complete line up of upcoming shows at the Society Cabaret in the Hotel Rex, Post Street, San Francisco, go to www.societycabaret.org.

I'm In Love with Abbey Lincoln - February 15, 2013

Back in July of 2012 Dave Austin came to me with a song, Throw It Away, written by Abbey Lincoln. Little did I know that I would be so enchanted by someone that I had knowledge of but did not know very much about other than that she was in a movie with Sydney Poitier in the 60's. Then someone told me that she was one of the first to wear an afto in America and the search was on for more information about the wonderful woman. Ove the past 6 months I have been totally emmersed in the music and the life of Abbey. Her music and her songs resonate deep within my soul and on many things we agree 100%. It has been a labor of love to learn the amazing material that I will be performing in my Black History Month tribute February 22 & 23 at the Savanna Jazz Club. I'll have my regular band of musicmakers backing me up for what is sure to be one of the best concerts of 2013.
Very few are singing the material that she left as her legacy and as far as I know I am the only male doing so. It's an honor to pay tribute to one who paved the way in many ways for those of today who want to do and sing more than just the same catalogue of love songs.
A woman ahead of her time
Abbey Lincoln.

What's Goin On - October 7, 2011

Life is good. Work is good. Music is good.
Working on 2 new CD's right now. One with Bay Area reed man David Solbach. This one is originals written by David along with musical direction from Dr. J. Jason Martineau. It has been a pleasure working on these new songs for the past few months, the process of learning has stretched my boundaries and given me new experience in molding a song into a work ready for performance.

The other CD is my first recording since 2007's never released Beyond The Rainbow.
It will consist of the cream of the crop of the songs that I have been performing over the last year and Savanna Jazz and such. Some great material from the American Songbook given the Austin touch and the Bacot Styling. This CD will be loaded with old favorites and a few newly found treasures. All songs that it feels like I was born sing! We'll be going into the studio on the 28 to begin recording "Born To Do This!!! Wish me luck

We continue our monthly night at The Savanna Jazz Club. This has truly been a great opportunity to gain a larger audience and really work the songs in my book. I look forward to it each month as I've been lucky to have the same band for most of this run. I cannot express the confidence it instills having players that have gotten to know the material and who bring their own personalities and special talents to each performance. Truly a night not to be missed if you can make it. There is truly magic made each time we get together.

Song Of The Month Club is also another afternoon of wonderful song and community that has really taken off. We have had some wonderful afternoons this year with some really stellar performances. We've added a few new bright and shinning stars and said farwell to others as they continue on their musical journeys. This is the place for all things local music. If you have questions or want to meet someone involved with the SF music scene, need an accompanist or need charts of material done. Or just a good critique on what you're doing or not doing. You'll find this and much more at SOTM. Hope to see your there. Each and every 1st Sunday of the month.

Let's Try This Again! - July 18, 2010

Hello all. It's been a while since I've updated or used this site. Just about a month shy of a year. Many things have happened and there's lot's of news to catch you up on. Life is slowly getting back to normal if you can call this life normal. I've finally resolved the day gig problem after being layed off 3 times in the last 4 years I've landed at a very good STABLE company. ARUP is an engineering firm that is doing big things in the world. So happy to be a part and have them in my corner.
My granddaughter is alread 2 and 3 feet tall. Loves to sing and dance and just plane ham it up. I wonder where she got that from???
I've just finished a series of performances with the 2010 Something C.O.O.L Summer Cabaret Festival recently held at the Eureka Theatre. Produced by Tom Orr, Carly Ozard & Russ Lorenson, this was a month long festival of song. Russ bring his Tony Bennett tribute show Benedetto/Blessed, Tom Orr's Raging Bull turns 40 and Carly producing three evenings of music featuring some of San Francisco's finest. It was a blast.
Now I'm onto more and more performing.
Check the calendar. I'm next at Savanna Jazz Club 7/30 thanks to the efforts of Suzanna Smith. A wonderful singer and friend who you should really check out if you get a chance. The gurl's got style!
And I've been selected to be one of the Neew Stars Of The Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko. 9/20. This will be another one of those nights to remember. Don't miss this one. I'm pullin out all the stops!!
And don't forget Song Of The Month which will be 8/1 and an opportunity for me to begin the month long celebration for my birthday. Come down and sing me a birthday tune.
I'll also be sharing the stage with Ellen Nicholas on 9/26 celebrating our friendship and how we love so many of the same songs. It's and afternoon of song under the titled "Blues In The Night!" We'll have David Austin on piano for a fun time and some new duets.
And come out and share your Thanksgiving with me as I join the Tom Shaw Trio at Martuni's 11/24. More info on this soon.
There'll be a news letter soon with these and other performances by myself and many of our friends in song. Hope to see your face in the place at one of these.
Come out. Support live music.
Peace and Blessings
Yours in song
Benn

HAPPY HOLIDAYS - December 19, 2008

Friends!
Well before you know it it seems that the year is about to come to an end. I think back to where I was a year ago and I'm amazed at the amount of change that has occured in what feels like a blink of an eye.
There have been many good and not so good things: becoming a grandpa, finding a really good new job sarted the year off on a good foot! Then singing with Tess Kelly at Octavia Lounge and with Linda Kosut.and Max Perkoff at Jazz At Pearls, something I always wanted to do but if not for Linda, would not have gotten a chance. Thank you Linda!
Friends performing all over the place and winning awards; Linda , Lua, Barry, Bill, Terese & Shaynee to name a few!!Bravo, Kudos and continued success in 09!!
No more Jazz @ Pearls, No more Octavia Lounge all gone. Willow weep for me.
No more Ms Hattie who moved home to OooKLAHOMA!! & soon no more Vicki Burns!!! Who I just got a chance to meet and man she is fabulous. What a lost for the Bay Area and a gain for the East Coast. I wish her all the luck. I also got to meet and sing with Madaline thanks to Star. I had heard much of her but never had the pleasure of singing with her. It was fun and not only is she a good pianist but she has a lovely voice too.
So does Gary Newman who's open mic was the very first that I sang at many years ago and who I caught up with over in Walnut Creek one recent Sunday, looking and sounding very dapper.
This was also my second year of monthly concerts at The Jewish Home For The Elderly with Julie Parrish. Fun fun fun and such a rewarding experience. Music does soothe the soul.
On the not so good..I'm still fighting the city for fortunately only property damage to my truck instead of for my life. The loss of my sister Faye in May and the always intense experience of caring for family so far away. Things that continue to come from out of nowhere. Even so I do have to admit the good does seem to outweigh the bad.
All these things and many more have made this year one that will stand out in memory for years to come.
Let's hope for a brighter future.
Blue Skies and lots of compassion and healing.
Looking forward to seeing you all in 2009.
In the words of Dickens and Tiny Tim,
God Bless Us Everyone!!!

OH WHAT A NIGHT - May 18, 2008

Last night was the Meals On Wheels benefit at Octavia Lounge and boy was it a lot of fun. Lot's of fabulous performers and Bill Ramos as host was perfect!! A Great Singer and all around guy, he kept the crowd going with zingers and wonderful song.
The house was packed and seem to enjoy each and every act. Sometimes I'm Happy and When The Sun Comes Out were my two tunes. Shota on piano directed a great band so it seemed effotless. A lot of fun.
So now on to the future. Starting to formulate a show that covers some of the music of the men whose legacy I am honored to continue. Armstrong, Eckstine, Williams, Hartman
Can be an interesting evening since there's not a time that I'm out singing that I'm not told of the similarity to bit of all of the above. I've never studied them past listening to their records after I've been told about them and always I'm surprised at what aspect of my voice that I hear in each. it's definitely given me inspiration to forge onward and upward.
So look for that in the near future as well as an upcoming special guest spot in June at
Jazz At Pearls!!!!
Still dealing with the mess of my vehicle so for now on Muni and an occasional Zipcar for errands.
Not bad. I'm alive and that's what counts.
Peace and Blessings to you all and hope to see you out there soon.
Support Live Music!
Benn

So Here's What's Been Going On!!!! - May 10, 2008

Well it has been a while. A somewhat troubled time. But aren't these the things that gives us the passion to forage on?
New York was fantastic! Going there with Linda and her show gave me an opportunity to stretch out and see just what all the noise is about. Fabulous place. Lot's of energy and activities. The show was fantastic and I got to see old friends and make new. Also got to sing at Birdland and let me tell you that experience was too too much fun. Some of NY's best and there I was. Struttin my stuff. Was great to rep. SF and do it well.
I was saved from having to stay in a horrible hostel by old friends Paula Ray and her husband Jamie at their awesome Queens apartment. Many thanks to them for their kind hospitaliity and giving me a new reason to come back East.
While there I even took the train to Philly to visit another friend, Constance and made a new one, Jean.
Wonderful people and a chance to see some very differeent architecture.
All in all a good trip but once back to SF I was immediately layed off of my day job. Those are the breaks though and with time even that too has passed.
During the same time my son married and this past Easter gifted me with a wonderful bundle of joy. A little granddaughter 9lbs 2oz, Yolanda Mary-Fay Bacot. She's a big girl with some stromg lungs. Guess we'll be welcoming another little singer in the family.
She's got pics in the photo gallery. Check them out.
OK now to the part that I know everyone wants to know about. The Accident!!!
I've started a new job where there's free parking so I drive into work each day. On May 1st on my way in as I crossed an intersection on the green, I was struck by an Emergency rescue vehicle. Lucky enough I was not hurt but the impact spunt my truck then tilted it over onto the drivers side where it proceeded to slide into a parked vehicle. I am luck to be alive let alone unhurt. It really makes you appreciate the little things in life even more. The only drawback to all of this is that i have to go through the city to repair all of this. Can't begin to tell you the amount of red tape but again I'll say I'm thankful I'm alive to be able to!!!!
So YAAAAAA!!! I live to sing another day and now that life seems to becoming a little easier I'm looking forward to see more of all of you. Miss you much.
This mother's day will be my first outing in Oakland. Just a little opportunity to streatch my pipes for a few hours. It's A Grind Coffee House had is a nice coffee show in dowtown Oakland that has live music Friday evenings and weekend afternoons. I'll be there with my "Band In A Can" sing to tracks from my CD's and celebrating Mother.
Then on the 17 I'll be with at Octavia Lounge with From This Moment On: A Benefit for Meals On Wheels. Details on the calendar page. Pluse new dates coming up soon so check back.
Whew!!!!!
That was a lot to say to catch up. I promise not to take so long next time.
Check back soon.
Peace and Many Blessings!!!
Till we meet
Benn

Headin To New York - June 1, 2007

Left chilly San Francisco last night on JetBlue for the Big Apple to perform in 2 shows with Linda Kosut. Celebrating the Life and Music of Oscar Brown Jr. at Manhattan's TRIAD club on W72.
Was my first time on Jetblue. A good experiencel even if I was in a middle seat and on an exit row. Plenty of of leg room. And TV!!!! Girlfriends was a scream. Makes the traveling a lot easier.
I got to JFK at 6:45 this morning ahead of schedule. Caught a shuttle to the hostel where I could leave my bags until the 3 o'clock checkin time.
It's a funky little Hostel on 82nd and Columbus. Not to far from Columbus circle and right around the corner from a Starbucks!!!!
They are truely EVERYWHERE!!!!!
NY is definately a vibrant city. Bustling when we arrived as early at 8 in the morning the streets were filled with activity. Reminds me a bit of being in Berlin but with everyone speaking english. So for now I'v a few hours to explore before check in and then it's get ready for the show which is tonight at 7. The band and Linda will be there around 4 to rehearse and I'll join them at 5 to go over my material and check the place out. Needless to say I am excited as all hell!!! Performing in New York City!!!!!
Now off to explore a bit.
More later!
Benn

Day Before The Show - March 16, 2007

All is in readyness for tomorrow evening. I've gotten a few calls from friends and fans saying that they are coming so it seems we'll have a good house. I've got a few more loose ends to tie up and then...
It's On!!!!
Anybody out there know where I can find a nice green shirt!!!
The bane of my exsistance. Hope to see you tomorrow evening...
And if not we'll swig a brew for you!!!
Peace and Many Blessings
Benn B.

What A Difference a Few Days Make - March 11, 2007

Have added a new photo to the site. If you notice in the upper right corner you'll see a little brick church. That's St. Paul United Methodist Church. The place where I first discovered good music. Bro. Jack Morgan singing lead and Sis. Lucille Beacham on piano. True soul music. Music from the soul. It's where I get it from!
Well St. Patricks is only 6 days away and preparations are well underway for my appearance at Octavia on Saturday. Should be a pretty good show.
I will have the new PR people helping with the show which will be a relief. They will be Selling CD's and MC'ing the show.
So please join me in welcoming Rosales Public Relations and Marketing to our community.
Evelyn and Marianella Rosales offer an opportunity to concentrate on the creative while they handlle PR, Marketing and Booking, The help I've been needing. Yaay!!!!

And as I thought would be the case, my involvement in the Plush Room show for 3/27 has been discontinued. Without going into details I will just say all things in time. We will get to the Plush Room but on our own.
Last but not least, I will be performing with Linda Kosut in her show As Long As You're Living!!a tribute to Oscar Brown Jr
as a special guest singing one of Oscar's songs.
March 24th
And then there's open mics and such. See you out in the wonderful community of live music here in SF,
Peace and Blessings
Benn

Not Much For Bloggin - February 20, 2007

But willing to give it a try.
So much going on as I prepare for 2 very special and important evenings. St. Patricks Day show at Octavia Lounge and me and Susie at Octavia Lounge.
As always trying to do all I can to make it entertaining. Hope you can make one or the other of the shows. Both are sure to be fun.
Learning new material and listening to new musicians that I've been turned onto. Just being influenced. Isn't it great the huge catalogue of songs we have to pull material from. An endless stream of beautiful music. My idea of heaven.
Saw Lua Hadar at Anna's Jazz Island last weekend. Great show. Great band and cool club. Hmmmmmm. Should see us there at some point.
Working a new day job that had a compressed work week. 9 hour days and every other Friday off. It's been interesting. Now I have some daytime hours to work on music!!!
Oh well I could think of worst things.
Hope this finds you all well and happy and enjoying some live music somewhere. It's out there. Let's keep it alive.
Peace and Love
Benn

Workin on a show and recording a CD - January 27, 2006

Having been asked to join two wonderful singers in a show of Jazz at Octavia Lounge for March 11th, things are busy. Selecting a list of songs and wanting to sing some new material that eveyone hasn't already heard has kept me searching. But it's worth the effort. Both Gina Harris and Victoria Phillips are great singers and swing like I do so it's sure to be a great evening of song.
About to go into rehearsals to reprise my roll as one of the singing rabbi's for Lua Hudar's upcoming shows of "It's About Time!" at both Kelly's of Alameda and The Plush Room in Feb. and March.
All this going on as I continue work on "From Harlem To Beyond The Rainbow!" Songs from the Harold Arlen Songbook.
It has really been a lot of fun and now I'm at the stage of deciding which vocals to keep and which to do over. We had an eight hour recording session in December where we were able to record a total of 12 tunes. So far we've had to re-record the vocals for only 4 of the twelve and punch a few words on two others.
Next on to the mixing and then mastering. Ruff tracks of a few of the songs should be posted by this weekend. Drop me a line and let me know what you think. Otherwise YAY!!!!it's Friday. Hope you are all having a wonderful day and that we see and hear each other soon.
Peace and chickin grease!
Benn B.

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