H I C A G O
R I B U T E
The Goodman family settled
at 1125 South Francisco
Avenue when Benny was eight. He took music
lessons at Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and at
Hull-House. In 1921, the precocious 12-year-old made
his professional debut.
During the early 1920s, Goodman played with members of the Austin High Gang,
a group of Chicago musicians inspired by New Orleans jazz. Goodman steeped
himself in the styles of King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, and he studied
the techniques of clarinetists Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone.
In 1925, Goodman left
Chicago to perform with Ben Pollacks band. He launched the Benny Goodman
Banda 12-piece jazz orchestranine years later in New York City.
To arrange material for the all-white ensemble, Goodman hired Fletcher Henderson,
a black composer. Although racial integration onstage was uncommon, Goodman
recorded and performed with black pianist Teddy Wilson in 1935.
orchestral instrumentation with the sparkle and spontaneity of jazz, Goodman
spearheaded the nationwide craze of dance music in the 1930s. Critics and
fans crowned Goodman the King of Swing.
In the decades that
followed, Goodman recorded with the Budapest String Quartet, commissioned
works by Bartok, Copland and Hindemith, and performed with leading American