Casey Benjamin Dies at 45: Renowned Saxophonist & Keyboardist of Robert Glasper Experiment

Casey Benjamin, a cornerstone of the Robert Glasper Experiment, has left us. His talents spanned the saxophone, keyboards, and beyond, touching the hearts of many in collaborations with icons like Solange and A Tribe Called Quest. The news, confirmed by his management to HuffPost, has sent ripples through the music community. At the age of 45, his departure is deeply felt.

The Benjamin family, in a heartrending statement, shared their grief and the circumstances of his passing. “It is with the deepest sorrow that the Benjamin family shares the heartbreaking news of the passing of Casey Benjamin. Casey was recovering from a recent surgery, and we are still gathering all the facts.” They expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and vowed to continue his musical legacy. For more details, they directed to Casey’s memorial site: Their words, “Casey stayed true to the art of his music, and the energy of his spirit will live on in eternity,” echo the sentiment of all who knew him.

Born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, Casey’s journey with the saxophone began at eight. His passion for music led him to the Harlem School of the Arts and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. There, he honed his craft, eventually performing with local jazz groups and New York legends like Arto Lindsay. His collaboration with Robert Glasper in the late ’90s marked the beginning of a significant chapter in his career, culminating in joining the Robert Glasper Experiment in 2004. Alongside Nicole Guiland, he also formed the funk group Heavy in the 2000s.

Benjamin’s career was a tapestry of collaborations across genres. He worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nas, and Arcade Fire, showcasing his versatility. His contributions to Solange and Q-Tip’s “Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)” from A Seat at the Table, and multiple tracks on A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, highlight his influence. Even Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and Sinkane benefited from his unique talents, with recent work on the album We Belong.

The news of his passing prompted an outpouring of tributes. Sinkane shared studio footage on X, hailing Benjamin as “one of the greatest musicians of our time.” Lupe Fiasco, reflecting on their collaboration on the 2012 song “Strange Fruition,” remembered him as a “masterpiece of a person.” Their sentiments underscore the profound impact Casey Benjamin had on the music world and those fortunate enough to know him.

His legacy, marked by innovation and a deep commitment to his craft, will undoubtedly continue to inspire. Casey Benjamin’s spirit, through his music and the memories he leaves behind, will endure, a testament to his remarkable journey and the lives he touched.

Noah Mitchell
Noah Mitchell
Noah Mitchell is a senior music writer at Noah has been passionately covering the music industry for over five years, with a particular focus on live performances and the latest updates on artists.