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Husband and wife team Phil and Angela Benoit head up this Maui based jazz group that has been performing since 1997.
Angela was born in Paia, Maui to a musical family. She is gifted with extraordinary talent and has been singing since she was a child. In the late ‘90s she began singing professionally for the first time and found a niche with jazz standards and bossa nova. She has since studied under some of the finest vocal coaches in the state and has been performing regularly on Maui for the past fifteen plus years. Her remarkable studio presence can be heard on Benoit JazzWorks’ three CD releases “Watch What Happens”, “A Man And A Woman” and “Golden Sun”.
Phil was also born to a musical family from Southern California and has been playing the guitar since he was a teenager. His father Bob and his brother, jazz great David Benoit has largely influenced him. Mostly self-taught, Phil has studied constantly over the years with various guitar and music teachers. He produced and performs on Benoit JazzWorks’ three CD releases as well. Other projects include rhythm guitarist for the popular gypsy-jazz band Gypsy Pacific, who recently recorded with and backed up Willie Nelson at his latest CD release event here on Maui. Performance highlights include playing with brother David at the Maui Music Festival, at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall with the Honolulu Symphony and most recently at a concert in Waikiki. Phil and Gypsy Pacific have also performed with Willie Nelson at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and at Charley’s in Paia.
Together they have recorded and released three albums and one EP, their debut production “Watch What Happens” in 2001, (nominated “Best Jazz Album of the Year” in the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards; their second in 2005 “A Man And A Woman”; and their latest 2010 release “Golden Sun” which features, for the first time, several original tunes and was also nominated “Best Jazz Album of the Year” in the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Backed by some of Maui’s finest musicians and a couple of renowned jazz greats – brother David Benoit on all three releases and Grammy-award winning percussionist Ralph MacDonald on the Golden Sun cd – the albums have garnered glowing reviews and success state wide. In 2014 they released their EP “Songs For Java” which also includes more original songs written by this duo. Their goal is to continue to spread their music across the islands and the world.
Phil and Angela have promoted and performed in two concerts with David Benoit in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater in the spring of 2009 and 2010. Billed as “An Evening with David Benoit & Family”, the concerts were highly successful. A highlight of 2011 was a concert at the MACC’s McCoy Theater with another jazz great, pianist Bill Mays. This sold out show featured Phil and Bill with a special guest appearance by Angela. In April of 2016 they once again performed in a sold-out concert with David Benoit at the MACC’s McCoy Studio Theater featuring Angela singing songs from David’s release “2 In Love”.
They have also shared their music beyond the island of Maui playing at various venues on Oahu, Kauai and the west coast of the Mainland. On Kauai in 2011 they were one of the featured performers at the “4th Annual Red Clay Jazz Festival”; then in 2012 they headlined a concert as part of the “Kauai Concert Association’s 2012-2013 Season” at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. In September of 2013, they were showcased at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre on Oahu for the ”Last Saturday Roots In Jazz” concert series. They brought their music to the mainland for the first time when they embarked on their “Beyond The Sea Tour 2014″. Starting in August, the month-long tour took them to Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona. They performed at private House Concerts (Burien, Salem, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Carmel, Mesa) and club gigs – “Reds Wine Bar” in Kent, WA; “Christo’s” in Salem, OR; “Live At The Lounge” at The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA; “The Desert Belle Cruise” in Mesa, AZ and “The Nash” in Phoenix, AZ. They went out on tour again in 2015, starting the “Nothing’s Impossible” tour in September with House Concerts in Washington, California and Arizona. They graced the stages once again at “The Lounge” at The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA and at “The Nash” in Phoenix, AZ. The Benoits will continue to tour and make their way across the States.
The Benoits have been married since 1987 and are parents to son Max, who is a musician (bassist) currently living in Seattle and daughter Kendall who lives on Maui and also has natural musical talent. They make their home in the upcountry town of Makawao on Maui and perform regularly.