Saxophonist Casey Benjamin, Original Member Of Robert Glasper Experiment, Has Died

The Queens native also performed with a who’s who of R&B, jazz and hip-hop musicians including Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Beyoncé and many others.

By Scott Bernstein Apr 1, 2024 10:36 am PDT

Acclaimed saxophonist, vocoder vocalist and producer Casey Benjamin has died at age 45. Benjamin’s management confirmed the news of his death to The Huffington Post. No cause of death was announced.

Benjamin was one of the original members of the Robert Glasper Experiment. The two-time Grammy-winning musician also worked with Beyoncé, Solange, Mos Def, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Betty Carter, John Legend and a variety of additional artists in the jazz, hip-hop and R&B worlds.

Casey Benjamin was born on October 10, 1978 in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York. He began playing saxophone at the age 8 and studied at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Harlem School of the Arts. Benjamin went on to enroll at Manhattan’s The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he met keyboardist Robert Glasper.

The Robert Glasper Experiment was formed in 2004 by Glasper, Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer/percussionist Chris Dave. While Benjamin was in the band, the Robert Glasper Experiment won a pair of Grammys. The quartet took home the Best R&B Album for 2012’s Black Radio and the Best Traditional R&B Performance award for their cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children of America” featured on 2013’s Black Radio 2.

Derrick Hodge was among many musicians who shared tributes to Casey Benjamin on social media in the wake of his death.

“[T]hank you for inspiring me, for being a light in my life, and for your unbelievable influence on the music world,” wrote Hodge. “I will carry your smile with me, brother. And we will collectively honor and carry your legacy with us.”

In addition to his work with Glasper and as an in-demand studio musician, Benjamin partnered with vocalist Nicky Guiland in the genre-defying duo HEAVy. The pair’s latest release, Hand In Hand, arrived in 2021. Casey also toured with Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump’s solo project. Additionally, Benjamin contributed keys to several tracks featured on A Tribe Called Quest’s sixth and final studio album, 2016’s We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.

Casey Benjamin had been preparing the Muhammad Ali Broadway musical Ali with Q-Tip in the months before his death.


Slarti Bartfast
Robert Glasper Experiment (See 22 videos)
JamBase Collections