No lame keyboards can touch the power of a killin’ horn section. Which is probably why Bruno Mars’s Super Bowl halftime show featured dancing horn players, Beyoncé rocks out in Swarovski-dappled stilettos with a horn section, and Prince’s New Power Generation band still rip it from Macon to Milan. Now, enter Lakecia Benjamin, a New School jazz studies grad and a disciple of the Maceo Parker school of funk. Her mission? To birth the sound of “a go-go feel meets James Brown, just to show that vocalists aren’t the only life of the party!”

The native New Yorker has arranged horns for Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, The Roots, Anita Baker and comedian Craig Robinson’s Nasty Delicious tour band. Lakecia’s own playing totally delivers on lung power and melodic beauty. Her video for “Jump and Shout” finds Lakecia rockin’ both a church choir and a juke joint, and it features the fiery vocals of New Jersey soul powerhouse Chinah Blac (Erykah Badu, Jill Scott).

“Jump and Shout”—the first single from the singer’s Retox, out now—is jazzy, feel-good fun from start to finish. Hit play and get your old-school two-step on to the sounds of Lakecia Benjamin.

Keep up with Lakecia Benjamin at, and follow her on Twitter @LakeciaB.

Sun Singleton is a Virginia-born singer/journalist based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @sunsing.

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