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David Benoit converses in music at Blues Alley this weekend

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

The fusion of musical genres and styles is much talked about these days. Classical, pop, Latin, jazz, blues and rock are merging comfortably in that kingdom of sound.

Case in point is pianist David Benoit and the two others in his trio, appearing at Blues Alley this weekend. Here is a man comfortable conducting the symphony orchestras of London, Nuremberg, Germany, and San Francisco, even as he is composing and performing jazz, pop, blues -- the whole performance spectrum.

"I think [fusion] is more and more what we're going to see in the future of music," said Benoit, an artist boasting more than 25 solo recordings, film scores for the likes of Clint Eastwood and Sally Field and much more. "Like food, you know? French, Japanese, Mexican and Italian can all meld together now. And I think the same is going on with music ... the more we can think that way, the better."

With his fellow musicians -- David Hughes on bass and Jamey Tate at the drums -- Benoit, on piano, presents compositions from his latest release, "Conversations."

Onstage
David Benoit Trio
Where: Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW
When: 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Info: $32.50; 202-337-4141; bluesalley.com

"The title came from a piece I'd written a few years back; a classical piece about a conversation between a jazz trio and a classical trio," Benoit continued. "That's really what this [title] song and the entire record are about; conversations between musicians coming from different realms and finding common ground."

And as the Benoit trio performs this weekend, it will also take requests from the audience, something the group cannot do performing at a larger venue. He notes that Blues Alley is a place that he and his musicians can go to have a lot of fun with the spontaneous aspects of performance inherent in small venues.

"I'm passionate about music," Benoit asserted. "I [am] truly sincere about playing the piano, and I never forget about my audience [and] I never want to get so esoteric that I forget who's out there listening."

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