Gary Benson

Guitarist Gary Benson, respected by his peers as "one of the        hardest swinging players on the jazz scene" has made a significant contribution to jazz in Toronto, during adistinguished career spanning more than three decades.
Whether backing up a long list of jazz vocalists, including such luminaries as Peggy Lee, and Natalie Cole, or playing with other jazz groups and jazz greats like Peter Appelyard and Ed Bickert, Benson has set a consistently high standard of excellence. This has also been evident in his other gigs at such diverse venues as The Ontario Science Centre, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and in his frequent television appearances.  In 1989, Gary founded “The Canadian Jazz Quartet” with percussionist Don Vickery, and, with the addition of Frank Wright, and most recently, Duncan Hopkins, the quartet has become one of Canada’s most consistent swinging jazz groups. Benson studied composition in Toronto with the late Gordon Delamont and with the New York-based legendary guitarist, Jim Hall. An accomplished composer and arranger in his own right, the CJQs’ four CD’s feature several of Gary’s original compositions.
One number,” Labrador”, a haunting melody that lingers long in the listener’s mind, reflects another of Gary’s passions, his love of nature.  He is also a gifted teacher and many of his students over the years have gone on to establish successful careers of their own, all carrying part of Benson’s unique influence with them. 
Gary's Photo by: Pat LaCroix

The Douglas Harrison Model GB Guitar

In 2002, luthier Douglas Harrison collaborated with jazz guitarist Gary      Benson to design an instrument that exhibited many of the sonic properties of a full sized archtop jazz guitar,  but with improved note consistency & feedback rejection. Since that time,  Harrison's 'GB' model has become one of his most popular instruments for both the serious amateur and professional jazz guitarist. 
"We were lucky to get the maestro himself,  Gary Benson,  to record a short passage on his personal Model GB to try and give you at least a taste of what this instrument can do.  Even through my computer speakers I can hear the woody warmth of the hand carved spruce top in tandem with the clarity & sonic detail that distinguishes a fine jazz guitar"!

Link to an mp3 of Gary playing a Harrison Model GB jazz guitar

Link to our Gary Benson page

Link to the Twelfth Fret Site Featuring the Harrison Model GB