“I’ll see you there!”: George Benson announces 4-day “musical extravaganza” Breezin' With The Stars, with gigs and workshops featuring Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather and more

Steve Lukather, George Benson and Tommy Emmanuel
(Image credit: Tristar Media/Getty Images; Harry Herd/Redferns; Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

If you have some vacation time going spare on the first week in 2025, we might just have just the thing for you, because jazz guitar superstar George Benson has teamed up with Ibanez and Dreamcatcher Events to host a four-day “musical extravaganza” in Phoenix, Arizona, featuring an all-star lineup of guitar talent including Steve Lukather, Lee Ritenour, Tommy Emmanuel and more.

And we’re talking a lot more. How about the great John Scofield, too? And Cory Wong, Andy Timmons? Oh, and Stanley Jordan, will be there, too. So will Patti Austin and Esperanza Spalding. We are seeing a theme here with all these Grammy Winners.

Benson’s convening powers will bring them all and more to the Wigman resort, in Phoenix, Arizona, for an event that takes place from from 3 to 6 January inclusive. 

Obviously, an event such as this needs someone of considerable stature to play master of ceremonies, so why not Rick Beato, who will be bringing his telegenic bonhomie as host to some of the interview sessions, workshops, concerts, masterclasses and signing sessions with the special guest on the itinerary. Greg Phillinganes is the event’s musical director.

George Benson's Breezin' With The Stars - YouTube George Benson's Breezin' With The Stars - YouTube
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“Many more” special guests will be announced in due course, with the event aimed at music and guitar obsessives of all ages and all abilities. Non-players are welcome, too. Players can get tips from the pros, chew the fat over lunch, and the one thing all these players have – besides talent – is stories, and lots of them. 

Lee Ritenour might even tell all about that one time when he rescued Benson’s Give Me The Night guitar solo at the request of Quincy Jones. That was a secret Ritenour held onto for years, after Jones swore him to secrecy. 

These kinds of events have a lot going on and Breezin’ With The Stars is no different. Besides the gigs and storyteller sessions, there will be jam rooms stocked with electric guitars, bass guitars and whatever else you need for a jam session. Benson will be heading up the All-Star Faculty so there will be no shortage of mentorship and advice.

George Benson's Breezin' With The Stars

(Image credit: Breezin' With The Stars / Dreamcatcher Events)

And the venue seems nice, with the Wigman resort spread out across 440 acres, immaculately landscaped, swimming pools, golf courses and fine dining – c’mon, we’d expect nothing less from a George Benson event. They even offer spa treatments for when you’ve momentarily ruined your wrist trying to keep up with Cory Wong’s unstoppable right hand.

Various packages are available, you can head over to Breezin’ With The Stars for ticket details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.