Hailed by the New York Times as “Goodman with a twist of lightning,” New York City jazz clarinetist and Benny Goodman alumnus Ken Peplowski will join vocalist Patty Barkas and the renowned Capitol Center Jazz Orchestra to pay tribute to Benny Goodman during a special 16 city East Coast tour. On Saturday, Oct. 5, the tour will visit the historic Park Theatre in Cranston to celebrate and recreate Goodman’s iconic 1938 Jazz Concert at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall.
Known as the “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman was a jazz and swing musician who specialized in the clarinet while leading one of the most popular musical groups in American history. In January 1938, Goodman and his band became the first jazz group to perform at Carnegie Hall. Though Goodman was initially hesitant about the concert because jazz had yet to be accepted by mainstream audiences, the show sold-out weeks in advance and the group performed its trademark sounds to a crowd of over 2,700 fans.
“Benny Goodman’s revolutionary performance at Carnegie Hall is one of the most important concerts in American history and a defining moment for jazz that continues to influence musicians to this day,” said Yusuf Gandhi, Executive Director of the Park Theatre. “We are excited to host this special performance and give Rhode Islanders an opportunity to enjoy some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in the world as they honor the man who brought jazz to the forefront of popular culture.”
The incredible evening of music will feature numerous classics from Goodman’s historic performance, including “Don’t Be That Way,” “Memories of You,” and the iconic “Sing, Sing, Sing.” In 1950, recordings of the Carnegie Hall concert were discovered in Goodman’s apartment and released by Columbia Records. The landmark recordings represent the first ever double album and the first to sell over a million copies.
The “75th Anniversary Tribute to Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $35 and are available by calling the Park Theatre’s Box Office at 467-7275 or online at www.ParkTheatreRI.com. The Park Theatre is located at 848 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910. Free parking is available for all shows.
Built in 1924, the Park Theatre served as a cultural landmark for nearly eight decades until its closing in 2002. Following seven years and nearly $10 million in renovations, the Park has been reborn as Rhode Island’s newest theatre and performing arts center. As a fully-equipped, state of the art multi-purpose facility, the Park Theatre features concerts, comedy, theatrical performances, opera, dance recitals, children’s and family shows, and more. Through extensive renovations, the Park Theatre boasts a larger, deeper stage and 1,000 plush seats that feature significantly more legroom between rows than most theatres. The facility also includes the Stage Door Restaurant and Lounge, a pre-show destination that offers a unique environment for guests to indulge in dinners, appetizer offerings and cocktails before a performance. Free parking is available for all events. For more visit www.ParkTheatreRI.com.