Eighty years ago this month, legendary clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, made history with a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. On January 16, 1938 the Benny Goodman Orchestra became the first swing/jazz band ever to perform in America's citadel of high culture, previously reserved exclusively for classical music concerts.
In celebration of this historic event, CapRadio presented a weeklong celebration of Benny Goodman, Jan. 16-19, designed to inform and inspire with historical remembrances, interviews, vignettes and plenty of Goodman music sprinkled throughout CapRadio’s news and music programming.
Highlights included an interview with Benny Goodman's daughter and Sacramento resident Rachel Edelson on Insight with Beth Ruyak, an exclusive "mini-concert" given by clarinetist Ken Peplowski and pianist Ehud Asherie at the CapRadio studios, and a series of short features hosted by journalist John McDonough, surveying Goodman's wide-ranging and important contributions to music and society.
Benny Goodman Week culminated on Friday, January 19th at the Harris Center in Folsom with a sold-out concert featuring Goodman band veteran Ken Peplowski and the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra commemorating Goodman's groundbreaking Carnegie Hall concert. Earlier that morning, Peplowski hosted a special matinee for students where he discussed and demonstrated elements of swing with a small group also featuring Asherie on piano and Chuck Redd on the vibraphone.
Both concerts were co-presented by CapRadio and the Harris Center for the Arts.