Grammy winner George Benson live at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center on Nov. 13

Benson will return to Birmingham for the first time in years, to perform his hits, including “On Broadway,” “Give Me the Night” and “This Masquerade,” as well as his explorations of Nat King Cole’s classic catalog.

george benson 2It has been four decades since George Benson graced a Birmingham stage, just one of the many reasons this legendary performer’s inaugural performance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center is a must-see.

His compelling and time-tested hits “On Broadway,” “Give Me the Night” and “This Masquerade” are three very good reasons to get tickets now.

Benson will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Tickets are $64.50, $77.50 and $89.50. Call 205-975-2787 or visit A limited number of $25 tickets are available for UAB students and faculty; UAB family is eligible for a 20 percent ticket discount.

Since his career began, Benson has played on more than 200 recordings and won 10 Grammy Awards. His debut album, “The New Boss Guitar,” introduced him to the world in 1964, and in the late ’60s he sat in on heady Miles Davis sessions and put a personal spin on the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”

In 1976, “Breezin’” became the first jazz record to attain platinum sales, a huge feat. Benson’s soulful update of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade” was a pop smash. Other pop hits followed, as did a string of platinum and gold albums in the ’80s and ’90s.

“Irreplaceable” in 2003 marked a shift back to his silky, sexy soul music, with a contemporary urban edge. During his stellar career, Benson has earned himself an impeccable reputation as one of music’s most enterprising and engaging stars.

In 2013, Benson released “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole.” With Cole’s spellbinding voice and his unforgettable catalog of classic songs in the ’50s and ’60s, Benson picked up the torch Cole passed and explored the many facets of Cole’s legacy, with big band blasts (“Ballerina” and “Just One of Those Things”), intimate balladry (“Mona Lisa” and “Unforgettable”) and trio hits (“Straighten Up and Fly Right” and “Route 66”). Benson’s heartfelt renditions of some of Cole’s greatest songs, with Nelson Riddle arrangements and the youthful 42-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, are complemented by duets with Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and rising star Judith Hill, along with a special collaboration with multi-Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.