Benjamin Wright (composer)

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Benjamin Wright, Jr.
Benjamin Wright Shoot by Matt Sayles
Born July 11, 1946
Greenville, Mississippi
Occupation Musical composer, Arranger

Benjamin Wright, Jr. (born July 11, 1946) is an American producer and composer.

As an arranger, he has conducted hits for many artists including Justin Timberlake, OutKast, Brandy, Destiny's Child, Dru Hill, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, James Ingram, Richard Ashcroft, Janet Jackson, and Michael Jackson.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Music director and arranger Benjamin F. Wright, Jr. was born on July 11, 1946 in Greenville, Mississippi. Wright started his music career while in high school, performing as a drum major in the marching band, and singing doo-wop in a group he and his friends started. Wright attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music and received a PhD from the Pentecostal Bible College in Tuskegee, Alabama. After high school, Wright embarked on his first major musical tour with big Rhythm and Blues icon, Ted Taylor. During the tour, Wright played piano and sang back up for the band. The Ted Taylor tour allowed Wright to experience music arrangement for the first time. His subsequent success within the industry took him on the road with icons like James Brown, Otis Redding, Billy Stewart and Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Shortly after Wright’s touring period, he was drafted into the United States Air Force. While there, Wright met Fat’s Ford, a trumpet player who played with Duke Ellington. Ford eventually introduced Wright to the Duke—an experience that changed Wright’s life forever. After Wright’s honorable discharge from the military in Alabama, he worked for several years will Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces. In 1969 Wright worked as a copyist for notable music arrangers such as Charles Stepny, Gene Barge, Donny Hathaway, and Richard Evans. Concurrently, Wright performed with Pieces of Peace, a group of musicians who record music sessions for Jackie Wilson, the Chi Lites, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, and The impressions. After traveling overseas with Peaces of Peace, at the end of 1971, Wright enrolled in the Chicago Conservatory of Music. Shortly thereafter, he formed the Benjamin Wright Orchestra. In 1975, Wright moved to Los Angeles, California where he became the musical director for The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Aretha Franklin, and Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra. In 1979, Wright acted as the string arranger for Michael Jackson’s first solo album Off the Wall. It was then, he met music producer Quincy Jones. In 1981, he won his first Grammy Award for co-writing the song Find 100 Ways sung by James Ingram and produced by Quincy Jones. Between 1982 and 1983, Wright opened the Ritesonian recording studio. Throughout the 90s and into the new millennium, Wright continued a long string of success.

The year 2000 ushered in a new decade. Wright worked with new artists such as Brandy, OutKast, Toni Braxton, Dru Hill, Deborah Cox, Joss Stone, Jamiroqaui, Mary J. Blige, UGK, Justin Timberlake, and DJ Quik. Recently The Benjamin Wright Orchestra was featured on six of the 10 tracks for Justin Timberlake’s new Billboard number one album, The 20/20 Experience.

Production Discography[edit]


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