PUTRAJAYA: Multiple Grammy award winners Al Jarreau and George Benson meshed perfectly together here last night, taking entertainment to jazzy heights for the 50th Merdeka celebrations.
The long-time friends, who have numerous gold and platinum releases, revved it up by performing numbers from their partnership album titled Givin' It Up.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah sat back and relaxed as they watched the duo show off their versatility at the grounds of Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister's official residence here.
There was more than just entertainment value in their 90-minute show.
The proceeds were channelled towards the Wayang Kulit Documentation and Revitalisation Project, and Yayasan Budi Penyayang culture and heritage programme.
Foreign dignitaries, corporate figures and celebrities made up the 1,000 guests at a soiree hosted by Abdullah and Jeanne, with many “emptying their pockets” for a good cause, as Jarreau and Benson got things going with their rich assortment of smooth and enjoyable sounds.
Benson, a legendary guitarist, too, belted out his famous hits Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You, Love Times Love and two numbers from his album with Jarreau – Summer Breeze and Everytime You Go Away.
Jarreau thanked Abdullah for inviting them to be a part of the Merdeka festivities.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Cabinet ministers.
Abdullah thanked Jarreau and Benson for agreeing to take up his son Datuk Kamaluddin’s invitation to return and perform here.
Guests were later feted by Abdullah and Jeanne to a spread of local fare.