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The Duelling Clarinetists: Benny Goodman & Artie Shaw

DuellingClarinetists webiconThursday, November 30, 2017

Doors open: 1:00 pm, Program 1:30 - 3:00 pm

With musician Jonno Lightstone

Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw were the Swing Era clarinetists who reigned supreme, but each had different styles: Goodman was the peddler of popular tunes, while Shaw was the ‘musician's musician’. Enjoy this historical lecture complete with live clarinet music.

Drop-In: $5.00 (Includes refreshments)
Benny GoodmanBenny Goodman and Artie Shaw were the Swing Era clarinetists who reigned supreme. Each had different styles: Goodman, known as the "King of Swing" was the peddler of popular tunes, while Shaw, dubbed the "King of the Clarinet" was known as the ‘musician's musician’. They had much in common; born within a year of each other, they were both Jewish, both were clarinetists and band leaders, and both were active during the same period becoming leading exponents of popular music during the swing era.
Beyond those similarities they were very different musicians both in style and in temperament. Goodman, born and raised in Chicago, was influenced by Johnny Dodds, Leon Roppollo and Jimmie Noone, all New Orleans jazz clarinetists who lived and worked in Chicago. He was an exponent of a style known as hot jazz, his solos had a bluesy quality and his tone had a rough edge.
Artie ShawWhile Shaw, born in New York City and raised in New Haven Connecticut started playing saxophone at 13 then switched to clarinet a few years later. He later became known for his smooth sound and his lyrical style, as well, he was an innovator in the world of big band music, incorporating strings alongside a rhythm section and later on experimenting with Be-bop and Afro-Cuban music. 

In order to demonstrate the similarities and the differences in the music of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, we will hear both big band and small band recordings that bring out the virtuosity and sometimes quirkiness of both players in songs such as Goodman's "Stompin' at the Savoy," and "Sing, Sing, Sing" and Shaw's "Begin the Beguine," "Stardust" and "Frenesi." As a special treat, Jonno will have his clarinet with him to play his own versions of some of the greatest songs of the swing era.

A black and white photo of a mans face who is playing the clarinetJonno Lightstone is regarded as one of Toronto's finest klezmer musicians. A clarinetist, equally at home on flute and saxophone, he is a multi-faceted musician whose projects, however eclectic, always reveal his passion for klezmer and his thorough knowledge of the idiom. He is the leader of the Yiddish Swingtet, a trio whose music runs the gamut from traditional Eastern European klezmer to American jazz and swing. He founded Hu tsa tsa, a traditional klezmer group with a chamber music aesthetic and has performed klezmer music to the R & B grooves of Matzo Ball Gumbo. In collaboration with guitarist Brian Katz, the duo Lightstone / Katz explores rarely performed klezmer repertoire, creating a variety of diverse moods by weaving together klezmer melodies with the sounds and textures of chamber music, modal jazz, Indian raga, and blues. Klezmology, a group dedicated to exploring the interface between klezmer music and free improvisation is a partnership with renowned saxophonist David Mott, and drummer Nick Fraser.
Lightstone has produced and played on a number of CDs including, Hu Tsa Tsa’s Well Tempered Klezmorim, The Hot Latkes Klezmer Band’s Eine Kleine Klezmer Muzik, Matzo Ball Gumbo’s Peyes Up Front, and The Yiddish Swingtet’s Shul Days. He has performed with the touring Broadway show Evita, Zalman Mlotek’s Soul to Soul and has played at many festivals including: Ashkenaz, The Distillery Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival and, Caribana.
A much sought after teacher, he instructs privately at Royal St. George College and has taught klezmer workshops for CAMMAC and at Klezkanada. He has coached award-winning ensembles and is the musical director of Klezkonnection, Canada’s largest community klezmer orchestra. He holds a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from York University.

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