Benny Goodman 100th Birthday Celebration Planned

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Benny Goodman, the legendary jazz clarinetist who passed away in 1986, members of the Goodman family have joined together with a consortium of the world’s greatest musicians and music institutions to create a yearlong celebration of the King of Swing.

The celebration will kick off in December with a press conference in Chicago, where Goodman was born on May 30, 1909. Hosted at Columbia College Chicago, the press conference will take place at Columbia’s Music Center, 1016 S. Michigan Avenue, at 10 a.m. on December 12. Later that evening, the first Goodman Centennial event will take place as the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, with special guest clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, commemorates the 70th anniversary of Goodman’s legendary concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938.

“This is a celebration of an American treasure,” said Phoebe Jacobs, executive vice president of the Louis Armstrong Foundation and chair of the Benny Goodman Centennial Committee. “Big Bands, the Swing Era and Benny Goodman represent one of the greatest musical eras in history. On behalf of all of the partners who are participating, we hope to have a full year of reminding people of the greatness of Benny Goodman and his music.”

Partners in the celebration, to date, include: ASCAP, City of Chicago, Chicago Jazz Institute, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago, DownBeat Magazine, the Benny Goodman family, the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago, Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, Northwestern University, Polk Brothers Foundation, and Jazz Appreciation Month initiatives of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

For a complete biography, discography and timeline of the career of Benny Goodman, visit Benny Goodman.com.