Casey Benjamin, Saxophonist and Keyboardist With Robert Glasper Experiment and More, Dies at 45


Casey Benjamin, an original Robert Glasper Experiment member who went on to play saxophone, keyboards, and other instruments with artists including Solange and A Tribe Called Quest, has died, HuffPost reports, citing Benjamin’s management. A cause of death was not announced. Benjamin was 45 years old.

Casey Benjamin was born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York, where he learned to play saxophone at the age of 8. He went on to study music at the Harlem School of the Arts and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, performing with local jazz crews, New York mainstays like Arto Lindsay, and, later, Robert Glasper, with whom he collaborated in the late 1990s before joining the first iteration of Robert Glasper Experiment in 2004. He also formed the funk outfit Heavy with Nicole Guiland in the 2000s.

As well as performing live solo shows, Benjamin built a formidable list of collaborators, on record and on the road, in jazz, rap, and R&B, as well as further afield; in interviews, he alluded to working with Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nas, and Arcade Fire. He is credited with keyboards on Solange and Q-Tip’s Borderline (An Ode to Self Care),” from A Seat at the Table, and on multiple tracks on A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. He toured with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and recently joined Sinkane on the album We Belong.

Responding to the news of Benjamin’s death, Sinkane shared studio footage on X, writing that the multi-instrumentalist was “one of the greatest musicians of our time.” Lupe Fiasco, who worked with Benjamin on the 2012 song “Strange Fruition,” called him a “masterpiece of a person.”

In the months before his death, Benjamin had been working alongside Q-Tip on the Muhammad Ali Broadway show Ali.


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