Benny Goodman: King of Swing
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The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis often honors the iconic artists, albums, movements, and events that left distinctive marks on the jazz continuum. Tonight, the JLCO celebrates a single landmark performance: Benny Goodman’s legendary 1938 debut at Carnegie Hall. In the country’s most hallowed classical concert hall, the moment was about much more than Benny Goodman; it was, in many ways, a “debut” of jazz itself, an unprecedented presentation of authentic jazz and racial integration on a stage of unparalleled prestige. True to form, the “King of Swing” celebrated the music on its own terms, introducing the public to real jazz elements and extensive improvisation during an era fixated on dance music — and by the end of the evening, the response was ecstatic. Tonight’s concert will consist entirely of pieces from the historic performance, including those made famous by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Louis Prima, and more. JLCO reedman Victor Goines serves as music director and performer, and featured clarinetists Anat Cohen, Janelle Reichman, Ken Peplowski, and Ted Nash will add their virtuosic flair to the mix. Rising star vocalist and 2015 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition finalist Veronica Swift will also appear. Audiences can expect new and classic arrangements, burning solos, and a new take on the mid-concert jam session that went down in history.
This concert has been chosen as one of our 30th anniversary landmark performances because of Benny Goodman’s important role in jazz history, both musically and socially. This concert pays tribute to one of the first major public performances of a racially-integrated group, considered a milestone in the acceptance of jazz as America’s classical music.
White Light Festival Packages
are now on sale at whitelightfestival.org
Single tickets on sale to general public on June 28
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