Hailing from McComb, Mississippi, Benn Bacot's early musical experiences came from singing in church choir and the R&B, Soul and Blues music that was prevalent in the area. Choral music from school choirs and Broadway tunes from musicals also played a part in his early education. A move to the west coast provided the opportunity to combine this early training with extensive vocal training at Blue Bear School of Contemporary Music. Singing in groups for Bay Area Artist Razz Kennedy and Stephanie Bruce gave him the opportunity to develop his own style and encouragement to strike out on his on. The result was 1999's style defining "Retro Nouveau!", a recording of standards given new life through updated arrangements and voicings.
Two years after releasing his 2001 independent CD "My Romance", Benn delivered his current offering, "What Love Is!" a collection of classics from the American Songbook that display his passion and commitment to continuing the legacy of male jazz singers. With hints of Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams, and Billy Eckstein, his rich bass baritone voice coupled with updated arrangements takes the listener on a musical journey through songs by some of America's greatest tunesmiths. Through thorough research into the who, what, when, and why of these tunes, Benn has gained an understanding that allows him to inhabit these songs from the inside. This enables him to give emotional, passionate performances from the heart, which makes each song like a personal experience. People new to the music often ask him "did you write that song?"
"What Love Is!" takes it's title and theme from the Eckstein tune "You Don't Know What Love Is", a song that states "You don't know what love is until you've learned the meaning of the blues." Each selection is an example of the different emotions and effects that true love can bring. Not only the good but the sad as well as bad. Truly what love is all about. Using Latin rhythms combined with swing to update some of the arrangements, Benn succeeds in breathing new life, energy and mood into these songs, making them accessible to a new generation of listeners. Show patter always includes background information on each tune's origin and creators. This gives him the opportunity to fulfill another one of his goals of leaving the audience more informed about the songs, their composers, and past performers, after each show. Bridging the past with the present