Casey Benjamin: Grammy-winning saxophonist who worked with Beyonce and Kendrick Lemar dies aged 45

Casey Benjamin was a celebrated saxophonist who won two Grammy Awards for his work
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Award-winning musician and saxophonist Casey Benjamin has died at the age of 45.

Two-time Grammy Award winner Benjamin died on March 31. A statement form his family shared to mutliple media outlets read: "It is with the deepest sorrow that the Benjamin family shares the heartbreaking news of the passing of Casey Benjamin. Casey was recovering from a recent surgery, and we are still gathering all the facts.

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"We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and Casey’s esteemed music community. Casey stayed true to the art of his music, and the energy of his spirit will live on in eternity. We are committed to continuing Casey’s legacy."

The talented musician, who was born in Queens, New York in 1978, enjoyed an illustrious career, working with music giants such as Beyonce, and separately her sister Solange Knowles on her widely-acclaimed album 'A Seat At The Table'. He also worked with the likes of rapper Kendrick Lemar, Mary J Blige and John Legend among others.

He was a member of the Robert Glasper Experiment, which won the Grammy in 2013 for the album 'Black Radio'. A track from the follow-up album 'Black Radio 2' won the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B performance in 2015.

His Robert Glasper Experiment bandmate, bassist Derrick Hodge, wrote a touching tribute to Benjamin on Instagram. He said: “Tonight, I honor a brother. A true brother and friend. Casey Benjamin, thank you for inspiring me, for being a light in my life, and for your unbelievable influence on the music world. I will carry your smile with me, brother. And we will collectively honor and carry your legacy with us.”

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“Can’t get my words together at this moment but will echo a few of my last words to you: I’m thankful for you and love you always! Rest well, King.”

Another collaborator, rapper Lupe Fiasco, wrote: “I can’t even begin to express the deep gratitude and respect. My deepest condolences to the family, fans and friends.”

Musician Questlove added: "It’s to say goodbye to the great Casey Benjamin. Seriously…..damn near every member of this squad was a god in their own right and I considered #CaseyBenjamin the Horace Grant of the squad. His presence allowed Glasper the space to do what I think Glasper does best which is paint colors that otherwise would be a task had Glasper had the job of leading the mission with just one keyboard."

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