Music Institute of Chicago celebrates Chicago Jazz Legend Benny Goodman

Concerts, film highlight Music Institute’s Fourth Jazz Festival Nov. 1 and 2

The Music Institute of Chicago’s fourth annual jazz festival celebrates the enduring legacy of Chicago’s own Benny Goodman, featuring two concerts and the film The Benny Goodman Story November 1 and 2 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. This two-day event shines a spotlight on the King of Swing, who first learned to play the clarinet at Chicago’s famed Hull House.

Friday, November 1, 7:30 p.m.
Guest clarinetist Victor Goines, director of the Jazz Studies Program at Northwestern University, joins an all-star ensemble of faculty and guest artists for an evening of high-energy swing music, the kind Goodman made famous.

Saturday, November 2, 3 p.m.
A panel of musical and cultural scholars discusses Goodman’s impact on jazz, classical music, the Jewish Diaspora, and race relations. Following the panel is a screening of the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story, starring Steve Allen and Donna Reed and featuring cameo appearances by many of the greatest jazz musicians of the century, such as Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, Stan Getz, and Harry James.

Saturday, November 2, 7:30 p.m.
The festival continues on Saturday evening with a concert of classical music Goodman performed, commissioned, or premiered. The program includes Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, featuring Music Institute faculty clarinetist Barbara Drapcho, and Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with renowned soloist Larry Combs and conductor James Setapen leading an orchestra of Music institute faculty, Academy students, and special guests. The concert concludes with a rocking rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs.

“Benny Goodman stood at the crossroads of cultural and musical history, rising from humble beginnings to become one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century,” commented Music Institute President and CEO Mark George. “Goodman was a cultural icon for Jewish Americans and an advocate for African-American jazz musicians. His musical impact transcended the trailblazing jazz performances of his early career. Goodman was also a classical musician, who commissioned and premiered landmark compositions from artists such as Aaron Copland and Bela Bartok.”
Other highlights of the 2013–14 season include internationally acclaimed cellist and MIC alumnus Peter Seidenberg November 16; a triple bill of Quintet Attacca, Axiom Brass, and Mark George on piano March 1; pianist Inna Faliks May 3; and organist Nathan Laube May 17.

Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers and arts therapists reach thousands of students and clients of all ages and levels of experience. The Music Institute opens a new location this fall at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center in downtown Chicago. Other Music Institute locations include Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs in four distinct areas: the Community School, Academy, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, and Nichols Concert Hall.

The Music Institute of Chicago’s festival celebrating Benny Goodman takes place Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets for the performances are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students, available online or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. The screening of The Benny Goodman Story is Saturday, November 2 at 3 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall; admission is $10. Festival Passes are available for $55, $35 for seniors. All programming is subject to change.