Dave Bennett with his septet for “Dave Bennett’s Tribute to Benny Goodman” (Courtesy photo)
Crooked Tree Arts Center swings into the New Year on January 11th at 8pm, when Dave Bennett takes the stage with his sensational "Dave Bennett's Tribute to Benny Goodman."
A swinging evening of music led by Bennett, who recently appeared at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Steven Reineke and Tony Award nominee Montego Glover for "Sing, Sing, Swing." The Carnegie Hall program paid homage to the 75thAnniversary of Benny Goodman's legendary debut at Carnegie Hall with his jazz orchestra in 1938.
As far as traditional swing and jazz influences go- Bennett doesn't fit the mold. For starters, many jazz clarinet players don't name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. It's also hard to find many musicians under 30 who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the "King of Swing") and Roy Orbison ("The Soul of Rock and Roll"). And it would be virtually impossible to find even one other clarinet virtuoso who occasionally breaks from his Swing Era repertoire to sing rock-a-billy hits while accompanying himself at the piano - where he plays a mean barrelhouse boogie-woogie.
"Since my early teens," says the Michigan-based clarinetist, "I've been influenced by many other genres besides jazz."
With his Tribute to Benny Goodman, Bennett has created written and "head" arrangements of many of Goodman's popular hits and "swing jazz" classics: Moonglow, I've Got Rhythm, Body and Soul, Slipped Disc, Sing Sing Sing, Airmail Special, Let's Dance, Don't Be That Way, Breakfast Feud, Poor Butterfly, Memories of You, Stompin at the Savoy and many others. The septet has worked out harmonized riffs and ensemble parts, famous from the original Goodman recordings of the 1930's and '40's. For some tunes the combo pairs down to a trio or quartet to accurately bring to life the sound of The Benny Goodman Quartet. Regardless of which swing classic it is, Bennett is joined by an astoundingly talented group of musicians, as well as supporting the striking vocals of Toronto based vocalist Carol McCartney.
Reserved seats are available now online at www.crookedtree.org. Patrons may also call 231.347.4337, after January 5th, to reserve tickets by phone. Support generously provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural and the Michigan Humanities Council. It will be sure to sell out, so Crooked Tree strongly recommends getting your tickets as soon as possible.