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CJO pays tribute to Benny Goodman featuring Ken Peplowski & Bria Skonberg

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by Mark Subel on March 10, 2014

Some consider legendary clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall concert a pinnacle turning point in jazz music history, helping to usher jazz and swing music into the American cultural mainstream. 75 years later, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra will pay tribute to that performance with “Bravo, Benny!” featuring Ken Peplowski and Bria Skonberg. Details from the CJO and Jazz Arts Group:

Under the direction of world-renowned band leader and trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) continues to break new ground while honoring the rich heritage of America’s classical music – jazz. On March 13-16 at the Southern Theatre, the CJO pays tribute to the “King of Swing” and his famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert with “Bravo, Benny!” featuring Ken Peplowski and Bria Skonberg.

On January 16, 1938, Benny Goodman brought his swing orchestra to America’s venerated home of European classical music, Carnegie Hall. The resulting concert – widely considered one of the most significant events in American music history – helped to usher jazz and swing music into the American cultural mainstream and fortunately was recorded onto acetate. Goodman forgot about the recordings until 1950 when Columbia released them as the world’s first double album, which promptly sold over a million copies. Join Byron and the CJO as they recreate this landmark concert and recording with the help of clarinetist/saxophonist Ken Peplowski in the role of Goodman, and rising young jazz trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg.

The late Mel Torme´said, “Since the advent of Benny Goodman, there have been too few clarinetists to fill the void that Goodman left. Ken Peplowski is most certainly one of those few. The man is magic.” Not only is he an outstanding clarinetist and saxophone player, but he’s also a charismatic entertainer who has been delighting audiences for over 30 years with his warmth, wit, and musicianship.

Hailing from Chilliwack, BC, and now living in New York City, award winning trumpeter/vocalist/composer Bria Skonberg is “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” She has earned a 2013 Jazz Journalists’ Association nomination for “Up and Coming Jazz Artist of the Year” and is included in DOWNBEAT Magazine’s Rising Star Critics‘ Poll for 2013.

Audience members can also join Byron Stripling for a casual and engaging conversation with Ken Peplowski, Bria Skonberg and the wonderful guest artists of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a new workshop series at the Jazz Academy. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” provides participants a behind-the-scenes glimpse from the artist perspective on performing with the CJO – adding new perspective to being an audience member. In addition to the opportunity to learn something new, each guest artist will be asked to share what they are currently listening to on their iPods or CD players, introducing audiences to new and exciting music and artists. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” is free to CJO subscribers and $10 for general registrants. Pre-registration is requested and available at www.jazzartsgroup.org.

Bria Skonberg

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