Benny Goodman: King of Swing

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra & Wynton Marsalis

Benny Goodman collage

80 years on from Jazz's ‘coming out’ party on the Carnegie Hall stage, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and special guests re-enact this monumental moment in music and social history.

On January 16 1938, Benny Goodman made his debut on the USA’s most significant classical stage. But the moment was about much more than Benny Goodman; it was 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; new and classic arrangements, burning solos, and a new take on the mid-concert jam session that went down in history. The band will be joined on the night by guest soloists Clare Teal (singer), Giacomo Smith and Adrian Cox (clarinets).

Part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

FreeStage

From 6.45pm

Before the concert there will be the chance to hear the stars of the future, as members of three stellar youth jazz orchestras collaborate in an all-star jam session. Players from Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth OrchestraNYOS Jazz Orchestra  and Guildhall Jazz Orchestra will combine forces to make up jazz combos. Expect to hear music from the Great American songbook and jazz standards presented by the next generation, alongside Guildhall faculty members and some very special guests. Guildhall Head of Jazz Malcolm Edmonstone and Edinburgh/New York drummer Andrew Bain will oversee proceedings, ensuring that audiences get an extra hit of swing in advance of this landmark show.

Discover

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portrait of leonard bernstein, benny goodman, and max hollander at carnegie hall in 1946

Podcast: Victor Goines on Benny Goodman

We speak to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra player about the King of Swing – Benny Goodman – and his 1938 Carnegie Hall gig which put Jazz on the main stage for the first time, and arguably changed the course of musical history.

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a great photo of kamasi washington playing jazz

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