Casey Benjamin dead at 45: Grammy-award winning saxophonist played with Beyonce, John Legend and Lady Gaga

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Saxophonist Casey Benjamin has died at age 45.

Benjamin, 45, earned two Grammys during his career and played for Beyonce, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and the Robert Glasper Experiment band during his prolific career. 

Benjamin’s management confirmed his death with the Huffington Post on Monday. A cause of death was not given.

Hailing from South Jamaica, Queens, Benjamin was just eight-years-old when he began playing the saxophone, according to Rolling Stone.

He ultimately was introduced to future collaborator Glasper while attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Saxophonist Casey Benjamin has died at age 45; pictured 2016

Benjamin went on to win two Grammy Awards with Glasper’s band. The musical group won Best Traditional R&B Performance for their 2011 album Black Radio.

Two years later, they won a Grammy again for their cover of the Stevie Wonder track Jesus Children of America.

In 2017, he revealed several of the big names he had worked with during an interview with Tchoup Industries.

‘Over the past 12 years we’ve worked with everybody from Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Anderson .Paak, Nas, Common, Arcade Fire, Beyonce… a lot of stuff. I’ve been getting my resume up these last 10 years,’ he said. 

The accomplished musician worked with many of the biggest names in music – according to Rolling Stone, he teamed up with Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Arcade Fire, and more.

He performed on the Solange album A Seat At The Table and worked on We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, the final album from A Tribe Called Quest.

Benjamin was also a member of the funk group duo HEAVy with vocalist Nicky Guiland, and they dropped several albums together. 

Musicians paid tribute to Benjamin online after learning the heartbreaking news.  

Derrick Hodge, a bassist for The Robert Glasper Experiment, honored Benjamin on Instagram.

Benjamin, 45, earned two Grammys during his career and was a part of the band, the Robert Glasper Experiment; pictured 2016

Benjamin, 45, earned two Grammys during his career and was a part of the band, the Robert Glasper Experiment; pictured 2016

‘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.

‘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.’

Lupe Fiasco posted to his Instagram: ‘Rest In Peace Casey Benjamin.

‘I can’t even begin to express the deep gratitude and respect.

Derrick Hodge, a bassist for The Robert Glasper Experiment, honored Benjamin on Instagram

Derrick Hodge, a bassist for The Robert Glasper Experiment, honored Benjamin on Instagram

‘My deepest condolences to the family, fans and friends.’

Questlove recalled Benjamin’s incredible talent as he paid tribute to the musician on his Instagram with a video of his performance. 

‘Man. Knowing what I know of history I pretty much know that if you are a part of Robert Glasper’s world you are an instant all star.

‘It goes without saying that the initial lineup of the Glasper Experiment was on some Jordan Era 91-93/96-98 Bulls Rings Ish. This clip’s lineup is of @markcolenburg (drums) @dhodgeworld (bass).

‘(it goes without saying @chrisdaddydave —-not in this lineup here——is the drum god of drum gods but there was a specific reason I chose this clip instead of a Dave inclusive clip but the Glasper/Hodge/Dave lineup alone is monstrous but sadly….

Lupe Fiasco posted to his Instagram: 'Rest In Peace Casey Benjamin

Lupe Fiasco posted to his Instagram: ‘Rest In Peace Casey Benjamin

Questlove recalled Benjamin's incredible talent as he paid tribute to the musician on his Instagram with a video of his performance

Questlove recalled Benjamin’s incredible talent as he paid tribute to the musician on his Instagram with a video of his performance

‘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.

‘It was always my dream to work with Casey whose vocoder work & sax work was just friggin otherworldly.

‘I know I b***h about the state of music we’re in with snide remarks but I also love giving credit to where it is due. Just sad to give another bouquet of flowers to a talented gracious amazing creative soul and human being who left the plane before I got to record in the studio with him or before I got a chance to tell him just one more time how mind blowing his work was. Rest In Melody Casey.’

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